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Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula: Decoction or Tea

Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula: Decoction or Tea
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According to Ayurveda, the health of the intestinal wall was tended to with great care in innumerable ways. Today, there are many scientific studies confirming how these Ayurvedic therapies actually support a healthy microbiome as well as optimal digestive and overall health.

My favorite such therapy that I have been using successfully in my practice for almost thirty years is a concentrated tea made out of chopped (not ground) slippery elm bark, marshmallow root and licorice root.

Suggested Use:
High Potency Decoction: Soak 3 tablespoons in 2 quarts of water overnight. In a large saucepan, boil the mixture down to 1/2 quart in the morning. Strain the formula through a sieve or metal strainer, using a large spoon to push as much of the decoction through the strainer as possible. Save the liquid and discard the herbs. Take 1 tablespoon of the liquid every two hours on an empty stomach, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Tea for Maintenance: Steep up to 1 tablespoon Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula in 8 ounces boiling water for 5 – 20 minutes. Strain and drink one cup per day or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Bottle Contains: 48 servings, 1 tbsp. each
Ingredients: Organic Slippery Elm Bark, Organic Marshmallow Root, Organic Licorice Root
Does not contain: Yeast, gluten, corn, soy, milk, fish, animal products, binders, fillers, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners, colors
Kosher Certified

For Best Results:


  • For occasional constipation, use it with the Elim I herbal formula. Wean off the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula first and then wean off the Elim I.
  • For loose stools, take the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula along with Elim II. Wean off the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula first and then wean off the Elim II.
  • For mucus in the stool, take the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula with Amalaki to help re-establish a healthy intestinal lining.
  • For occasional heartburn, take the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula with Cool Digest before meal.
  • To best restore a healthy microbiome, take the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula with our Gut Revival, which has probiotics that other kill off bad microbes and repopulate the gut with good microbes.
  • Once finished with the Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula, follow up with our colonizing probiotic, Flora Restore, which has been shown to establish new permanent microbial residents and microbial diversity in the gut.


(Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a classic Ayurvedic herb used worldwide as a natural lubricant or demulcent for the intestinal and respiratory airways. Licorice naturally lubricates and soothes mucus membranes and, as an adaptogen, it protects them from stress and environmental irritants and pollens. (6)

Licorice quells the production of excess reactive mucus. (6) It supports the function of other herbs when taking in combination. (6)

Licorice is calming for vata, cooling for pitta, and can liquefy the mucus of kapha.

Slippery Elm Bark
(Ulmus fulva) has long been used for digestive and intestinal concerns because of its demulcent, lubricating and gut-protective properties. (8) Along with its mucilaginous, protective properties for the intestinal wall, it has been shown to support healthy antioxidant activity in the intestinal tract. (7)

Like licorice, it has a sweet taste and cooling action. It balances vata and pitta in the same way licorice does, but it will increase kapha as a result of its more mucilaginous properties. A thick layer of protective mucilaginous herb that covers the entire intestinal tract is the key to its success.

Marshmallow Root
(Althaea officinalis) is perhaps the most demulcent of the three herbs in this formula. It has been studied to protect the stomach lining from excess acid and protect the intestinal tract from intestinal irritants, such as the toxic form of carrageenan. (9) Medicinally, it has been approved by the German Commission E in supporting inflammation of the gastric mucosa, and for irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. (9)

Like both licorice and slippery elm, marshmallow is a soluble fiber which means it will be fully broken down in order to form a viscous layer between the intestinal wall and potential irritants, supporting the skin’s natural healing process, while it attaches to bile ensuring that it is carried to the toilet with all the toxins in tow.

Marshmallow is cooling for pitta, soothing and calming for vata and, as it is mucus producing, it will increase kapha –a good thing in this instance, as we are trying to coat and protect the intestines from top to bottom over the course of a month of therapy.

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23384445
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20886335
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21829582
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22483040
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21750565
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271691/
7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271691/
8. http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/elmsli09.html
9. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13880209.2010.516754

LifeSpa Product Line: Guaranteed To Be Pure
All of LifeSpa's herbal formulas and supplements meet or exceed third party NSF GMP quality standards. LifeSpa's whole leaf herbal formulas and oils contain 98% organic ingredients. All of LifeSpa's herbal formulas are manufactured in an FDA registered facility, and are independently tested for lead and contaminants.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of John Douillard. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice. They are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of John Douillard and his community. John Douillard encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.