Slippery Elm Bark Vs Wormwood: 7 Amazing Benefits Right Now

Come with us as we take a close look at Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood. Our aim is to see which may be the best fit for a range of needs and circumstances. Of two herbs that have been used for centuries to promote gut health and cleanse the body of parasites, which do you think will come out on top?

While both herbs have similar benefits, they work in different ways and have distinct properties that make them unique. Let’s find out which is the best pick in the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion.

Slippery Elm Bark vs Wormwood Overview

Slippery Elma Bark

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) bark is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to soothe the digestive tract and promote gut health. [1]

It is derived from the inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree and is known for its high mucilage content, which gives it a gel-like consistency when mixed with water.

Slippery Elm bark is commonly used to treat digestive issues such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. [2]


Wormwood (Artemisia capillaris), on the other hand, is a bitter herb that is commonly used to eliminate intestinal parasites, especially roundworms, and pinworms. [3, 4]

The Artemisia family is understood to consist of anywhere between 400 and 2,000 different species, depending upon the sources. Many of which possess similar properties. [20, 22]

It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for parasitic infections and is known for its broad-spectrum effects. We will take a closer look at these a little later in this article.

Wormwood is often used in combination with other herbs, such as Black Walnut and Clove, to break the life cycle of parasites and promote overall gut health. [5]

As you evaluate the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood comparison, the variety of species in the Artemisia genus gives reasonable scope to consideration of the various species and their properties. That is an article for a later date, though.

Gut Health and Parasites

Parasites can cause a range of health problems, including digestive issues, fatigue, and weakened immune systems. As a topic that has been growing in awareness recently, we have found that more and more of our Readers are curious about parasites and getting rid of them.

Gut health is critical to overall health, and parasites can disrupt the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. A parasite cleanse can help eliminate harmful parasites from the gut and restore balance to the microbiome. [6, 7]

In this instance, Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood is not the core of the discussion as they both serve an equally important purpose, so it really is a case of both rather than either or in my opinion.

These herbs are two natural remedies that are commonly used in parasite cleanses. Slippery Elm bark, as mentioned earlier, is high in mucilage, a substance that can soothe and protect the digestive tract.

Slippery Elm Bark Vs Wormwood - Parasite

This property is described as becoming relevant as it can also help eliminate parasites from the gut by creating a slippery environment that makes it difficult for parasites to attach to the intestinal walls. However, more research is required to substantiate this idea.

Wormwood, on the other hand, contains a compound called artemisinin, which has been shown to be effective against a variety of parasites, including giardia and roundworms. [5, 8]

Wormwood can also help stimulate bile flow and improve liver function, which can further support overall gut health. Artemisia capillaries has many helpful applications that can treat different liver problems. These can help with fatty liver, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and some research even suggests liver cancer. [9, 10]

However, more research needs to be done to learn the best way to use Artemisia capillaris, how much to use, and how it works in vivo.

While considering the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion, both are said to be effective in parasite cleanses. They work in different ways and may be more effective for different types of parasites.

When it comes to parasite cleanses, it is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

Benefits of Slippery Elm Bark

With the long history that Slippery Elm Bark has, there are time-tested benefits that keep people coming back to it again and again. As a natural remedy, it has been relied upon for:

  1. Relieving digestive issues
    • Slippery Elm bark is a demulcent, which means that it can soothe the lining of the stomach and intestines, reducing irritation. It has been shown to relieve symptoms of digestive issues such as heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea. It appears in Triphala. [11]
  2. Reducing inflammation
    • Slippery Elm bark contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis, sore throat, and respiratory infections. [12, 14, 15]
  3. Supporting skin health
    • Slippery Elm bark can be used topically to soothe skin irritations such as burns, wounds, and rashes. Research into the beneficial effects on psoriasis yielded some interesting results. [13]

Slippery Elm bark is generally considered safe when taken in appropriate doses. However, it may interact with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before using it.

Let’s take a look at the various benefits of Artemisia capillaris next in the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion.

Benefits of Wormwood

Wormwood, too, has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes due to its many potential benefits. Some of the most noteworthy include:

  1. Antimicrobial properties
    • Wormwood has been shown to have antimicrobial properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria and fungi in the body. [16, 17]
  2. Parasite cleanse
    • Wormwood has traditionally been used to help rid the body of parasites, such as intestinal worms. [18]
  3. Reduced inflammation
    • Wormwood has been associated with reducing inflammation in the body, which can help alleviate pain and swelling. [19]
  4. Improved digestion
    • Wormwood has been used to treat digestive problems, such as flatulence, stomach aches, leaky gut, and diarrhea. [20, 21, 24]

While these benefits are promising, it’s important to note that more scientific research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks associated with wormwood.

As mentioned earlier, for me it is not so much about Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood as it is about how they can work together.


How Slippery Elm Bark and Wormwood Work

There are some considerations required when looking at either of these two herbs. As you weigh up the pros and cons of Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood, the following will hopefully help you prime yourself for conversations with healthcare providers to get the most out of any discussions you may have.

Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood Comaprison Slippery Elm Bark Wormwood
Side Effects and Precautions Generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. However, it may cause mild side effects such as nausea or stomach upset in some people Should be used with caution, as it can be toxic in high doses.
May interact with certain medications, so particular attention is required here. Should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by people with liver or kidney disease.
May interact with certain medication.
Dosage and Administration * 500-1000 mg, taken orally up to three times per day. 200-400 mg, taken orally up to three times per day.
Capsule or powder form, or made into tea. capsule or tincture form.
* Any recommended dosages mentioned here as a part of the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion are general figures. They are not to be considered as advice in any form, and you should always speak with a specialist first.

It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as they can help determine the appropriate dosage and monitor for any potential side effects or interactions.


Who should not take Slippery Elm bark?

Further considerations in the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion bear reviewing to include Slippery Elm being generally considered safe for many people. It has been used for centuries to address various health issues, there are certain groups of individuals who should exercise caution before using this natural remedy.

Before taking Slippery Elm bark, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss any potential risks or interactions, especially for the following individuals:
• People taking medications – Slippery Elm bark may interact with certain medications due to its high mucilage content, which can interfere with the absorption of some drugs.
• Pregnant or breastfeeding women – Although there is limited research on the safety of slippery elm bark during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is generally advised that pregnant and nursing women consult with their healthcare provider before using this.
• Individuals with allergies – People with known allergies to Slippery Elm or related plants should avoid using this natural remedy to prevent potential allergic reactions.
• Those with digestive blockages – Again, due to its high mucilage content, Slippery Elm bark may potentially exacerbate pre-existing intestinal blockages or obstructions.

What are other names for Slippery Elm bark?

Slipper Elm and the bark is known by several other names, including:
• Ulmus rubra – This is the scientific name for the Slippery Elm tree. Ulmus refers to the elm family, and rubra signifies its reddish bark.
• Red Elm – Another common name for the Slippery Elm tree, Red Elm refers to the tree’s reddish bark.
• Indian Elm – This name is derived from the fact that Native American tribes used Slippery Elm bark for medicinal purposes and as a food source.
• Moose Elm – This name is attributed to the tree’s popularity among moose, which are known to browse on its branches.
• Soft Elm – This name is inspired by the tree’s relatively soft wood, which makes it easy to work with in various applications.

What are the disadvantages of Slippery Elm?

Although Slippery Elm bark is a natural remedy with various health benefits, there are some disadvantages and precautions to consider outside of the potential side effects mentioned in this article. These may include:
• Potential for impure products – As with any supplement, there’s always a risk of purchasing a product that is impure or contaminated. It’s crucial to choose a reputable and trusted brand to ensure the quality and safety of the product.
• Insufficient scientific research – While there is historical and anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of Slippery Elm bark, the number of scientific studies is limited. Researchers widely agree that there is a need for more research in order to fully understand its potential benefits and risks.

What is similar to Slippery Elm bark?

An alternative to the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion is Marshmallow root. It is an herbal alternative that has been used for generations. Like Slippery Elm, it has a high mucilage content, which soothes and protects the digestive tract. Marshmallow root is used to relieve digestive issues, such as heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing inflammation in various conditions.

What does Slippery Elm bark do for the body?

As we consider the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion, Slippery Elm offers several benefits for the body. It is known for its ability to soothe the digestive tract, helping to alleviate symptoms of digestive issues like heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea.

The high mucilage content in Slippery Elm bark creates a protective barrier that can ease irritation in the stomach and intestines.

Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in conditions like arthritis, sore throat, and respiratory infections.

Is it bad to take Slippery Elm everyday?

Taking Slippery Elm bark daily is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses.

However, as with any supplement, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a daily regimen. They can help determine the appropriate dosage and monitor for any potential side effects or interactions with existing medications.

Remember, regardless of the discussion around Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood here, individual tolerance and needs can vary, and a healthcare provider can best guide you on whether daily consumption of Slippery Elm bark is suitable for your specific situation.

Does Slippery Elm absorb toxins?

While Slippery Elm bark may not directly absorb toxins, its ability to create a slippery environment in the gut is understood to help eliminate parasites and other unwanted substances from the body by making it difficult for them to attach to the intestinal walls.

Is Slippery Elm a probiotic or prebiotic?

Based on current-day research, Slippery Elm bark is considered to neither be a probiotic or a prebiotic. However, some studies have suggested there may be prebiotic potential in the bark. [25]

Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote a healthy gut flora, and prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that act as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria.

While the mucilage from Slippery Elm bark does not fall under the categories of probiotics or prebiotics, it still provides benefits for gut health by easing irritation and supporting the digestive system.

How long does it take to see results from Slippery Elm?

The time it takes to see results from Slippery Elm bark can vary depending on the individual and the specific health concern being addressed.

Some people may experience relief from digestive issues like heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea within a few hours to a few days of taking Slippery Elm bark.

However, for other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or chronic digestive issues, it might take longer to see noticeable improvements.

Should you take Slippery Elm on an empty stomach?

Taking Slippery Elm bark on an empty stomach can be beneficial for some individuals, as it might provide a soothing effect on the stomach lining and reduce irritation.

However, the ideal time to take Slippery Elm can vary depending on the specific health concern and individual preferences. Some people might find it more effective to take it with a meal or a snack, especially if addressing digestive issues like acid reflux.

Can you take Fenugreek and Slippery Elm together?

Additional to certain Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood considerations, combining Fenugreek and Slippery Elm is not known to have harmful interactions, and both herbs have properties that could support digestive health.

Fenugreek is commonly used to improve digestion and reduce inflammation, while Slippery Elm helps soothe the digestive tract and alleviate various digestive issues.

Is Slippery Elm high in histamine?

Slippery Elm bark is not known for being high in histamine. In fact, it is often used to help soothe various health issues, such as inflammation, irritation, and digestive problems.

Histamines are compounds involved in immune response and can cause inflammation and other allergic symptoms. [23]

While Slippery Elm bark does not appear to have significant histamine content, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before using it, especially if you have a known histamine intolerance or sensitivity.

Does Slippery Elm help with bloating?

Yes, it can help with bloating. It has a long history of being used to treat various digestive issues, including bloating, by soothing the lining of the stomach and intestines.

Does Slippery Elm heal gut lining?

Slippery Elm has been known to support gut health and potentially aid in healing the gut lining. This demulcent effect can help relieve irritation and inflammation in the digestive tract, making it a popular natural remedy for conditions like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.


Wrapping up the Slippery Elm bark vs Wormwood discussion, both have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. While Slippery Elm bark is known for its ability to soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation, Wormwood is used to improve digestion, fight off parasites, and reduce fever.

It is important to use both herbs with caution and to follow the recommended dosage to avoid any potential side effects. Join the conversation on Pinterest or Instagram and share your thoughts.


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Last Updated on 2 months by D&C Editorial Team


About the Author

Matthew has been on an active journey towards living a healthy life from a young age. Influenced by his Grandmother, a practicing Naturopath who served her community from the 1940's to the 1980's, his views on living holistically were shaped from a young age. Growing up in different parts of Australia, his connection with the Ocean and a passion for sustainability comes through in everything he does and shares.

"I'm not a Doctor, and I don't play one on the Internet." - me

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