After months and months of my son suffering with GERD someone told me about slippery elm. I had never heard of it before but after trying cranial osteopath, various medications such as omeprozole, gaviscon and ratidine and feed thickeners like carobel which didn't work, we were desperate. I was told slippery elm is a natural product from a tree in North America and it lines the oesophagus, stomach and gut so it can relieve heart burn and help with other reflux symptoms.
I did some research into slippery elm before deciding to use it as my son was only 8 months old at the time and my sons GP and pediatrician had never heard of it. After spending hours and hours googling and reading everything I could, I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. I brought a box of the powder form from Holland & Barrett for around £5 and I added a small amount to my sons bottle before bed. My son was on Neocate LCP at the time and hated it but he drank more than usual with the slippery elm in it, I am not sure if this was due to the thickness or the taste but either way I was grateful and hoping for more sleep that night. It actually took around a week to see a massive improvement but after that first week my son stopped being sick after feeds, stopped screaming in pain after feeds, no more back arching and fussing over the bottle, he was overall a happier baby and slept better - not through the night but a considerable improvement and any night time improvements are greatly appreciated when you haven’t slept properly since.... ? I can’t even remember any more !!
I want to share my experience of slippery elm because it really did change our lives and if it helps one other baby then it was worth me sitting here and typing all this out. I am not professionally qualified to recommend slippery elm, I can only share my own experience and you should do your own research and consult with your child’s doctor. The slippery elm powder I brought from Holland & Barrett does contain wheat and gluten.
Below is some information taken from The University Of Maryland Medical Center wbsite about slippery elm.
Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) has been used as an herbal remedy in North America for centuries. Native Americans used slippery elm in healing salves for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, and skin inflammation. It was also taken orally to relieve coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach problems.
Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm also causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production may protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.
There has been little scientific research on slippery elm, but it is often suggested for the following conditions:
- Sore throat
- Gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD)
- Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrom (IBS)
- Wounds, burns, boils, psoriasis, and other skin conditions (external)
Source: Slippery elm | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/slippery-elm#ixzz3OyqyvlvdUniversity of Maryland Medical Center
There is a great support group on Facebook for reflux, if you check out cow’s milk protein allergy support page it will lead you to the reflux group.
Disclaimer: I am not professionally qualified to recommend slippery elm, I can only share my own experience and you should do your own research and consult with your child’s doctor before consuming slippery elm.