Slippery Elm Bark Powder and The Potato Diet

Natural Remedies to Enhance Healing and Encourage Wellness

by the late Carla (Sage) Benoist

Carla lovely portrait

Photo of Carla provided by Meri E. Brady

I’ve written out the information on Slippery Elm and IBD/Colitis issues and my vet’s “Potato Diet” a lot of times, but since I’ve never gotten in down in an article format (as Marcia Herman requested months and months ago) I couldn’t find any copies. That will teach me to procrastinate!!

The holistic vet practice I used to go to regularly (and still use sometimes) recommends using what they call “The Potato Diet” when a dog gets intestinal issues and upsets. It really does work; if there are parasites or bacteria involved, I can see using things like Flagyl, Metronidazole, etc. but when it is just irritated stomach and intestine linings and a sensitive stomach, I prefer a more natural approach. Besides, with many natural remedies—especially nutrition-based ones — they do no harm and don’t interfere with other treatments.

I’m going to write out the whole thing– it works absolute wonders for many dogs in many situations; the addition of the Slippery Elm Bark Powder was my idea after a lot of research. The vet practice was kind of ‘oh of course, that’s what S.E. is for….’ With or without the whole potato diet, the Slippery Elm Bark Powder always helps.

The original potato diet as given to me by my holistic vet for irritable bowel, colitis, diarrhea, stomach cramping:

Fast 12-24 hours to rest stomach. Then feed Potato Diet for up to a week, phasing regular food back in gradually as you would with food changes.

2 large white potatoes, 2 sweet potatoes or yams the same size, 1 small turnip, 1 small leek (optional).

Boil or steam (preferred). Mash a little (not trying for mashed-potato consistency here), serve 2ce a day at regular meal times. For a really sensitive stomach or a recurring problem, you can do 3-4 smaller meals over the course of a day. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm; I mix in 1 tsp slippery elm bark powder with each meal (sometimes I start with ½ tsp so they get used to the taste but the flavor is mild and nutty and I have never met a dog who minded it.)

You don’t need to do the whole routine, you can just skip a meal and then do the potato diet for a couple of days to a week but it the problem is severe or frequently recurring, the whole protocol works wonders – it allows and facilitates stomach and gut healing.

About that Slippery Elm Bark powder

You can buy it through but I like to buy mine in an herb shop; I have an old coffee jar that I like to keep it in with the tsp right in it. It is not expensive.

I came upon Slippery Elm Bark powder when a friend gave me a little book about trees and their medicine many years ago – just happened upon it. I’m not an expert by any means in herbal medicine – I just happen to know enough about some amazing natural cures that I know where to find the information needed and the people who are experts to teach me more.

Turns out that for hundreds of years, Slippery Elm Bark Powder (SEBM) was used as a substitute infant formula for children who were allergic even to goat’s milk. It is soothing, safe and very nutritious. SEBM is not contra-indicated with any other treatment or medicine or any condition – it’s food and it has no negative effects or side effects, nor will it block beneficial effects from conventional medical treatments should you choose to pursue them.

What it will do, however, is to heal the lining of stomach and intestines. It has been known to radically improve the condition of people with Crohn’s disease, IBD, colitis as well as helping nursing home patients whose systems were weak and battered by the array of medicines they’d been given. It provides healing and comfort that stops stomach aches and allows one to eat again (first person experience and documented).

I put it in capsules and take it when my system is messed up from lengthy antibiotic doses while treating my Chronic Lyme, along with probiotics. I also take it any time I start getting acid reflux or stomach cramping.

Photo of Agnes provided by Judi Mallinson.

Photo of Agnes provided by Judi Mallinson.

I sprinkle it on my dogs food – sometimes when they are on antibiotics for a tick disease or dental problem, sometimes just because they have a sensitive stomach like my 11- year-old Agnes. I can tell she needs it because she looks like her stomach hurts and she won’t eat!

If I had a dog with IBD or colitis problems, or simply an occasional digestive problem and sensitive stomach, I would definitely make it part of my regular routine with them. (Of course, dogs with routine problems like this or several other conditions should be getting Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics with their meals routinely anyway.

I don’t hesitate to recommend these possible boosts to canine and their human’s stomach and intestinal well-being because they’re completely safe.

Original article for GAO, posted 12/5/12

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article and any photos or artwork contained within may not be reproduced or reprinted without express written permission from the author, artists, and/or photographers. 


One thought on “Slippery Elm Bark Powder and The Potato Diet

  1. Posted for my friend, Ellie Goldstein: The greyhound world has lost a good friend whose last article is a fine one but I think a couple of points ought to be considered.

    First…slippery elm bark powder is felt to be more effective if first made into a slurry rather than used as a dry powder. Extra slurry can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days.

    Secondly…it’s designed for acute situations rather than sustained long term use. If a problem persists it’s recommended the dog owner consult a vet. It’s remarkably effective . I’ve had dogs do an about face from diarrhea to firm stools in 24 hours with slippery elm.

    And last for those who have never used it…the purchase of a small amount of powder at a local health food store will go a long way…Ellie G

    Posted by greyhoundarticlesonline | December 9, 2012, 8:52 AM

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