Slippery Elm for Horses

Slippery Elm for Horses

Last updated on March 12th, 2023 at 08:56 pm

How to Use Slippery Elm Bark for Horses

What is Slippery Elm Bark Powder?

Slippery Elm is a type of tree that grows in North America, all the way from the Southern United States to Northern Canada.

These trees grow an amazing 80 feet high and have a lifespan of anywhere between 15 to 20 years. And while Slippery Elm is known to have quite a few different medicinal uses, its most popular formula is a powder made from its inner park, which is used as a demulcent for the relief of inflammatory issues. This is because of a special mucilage which can be found inside the tree bark. 

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Slippery Elm in Horses

This all-natural herb is amazing for treating gut problems in horses. The bark powder can also be used as a healthy poultice to help with the horse’s irritated skin. However, its best usage is to be ingested by your horse to assist with all kinds of gut issues and respiratory problems. Specifically, many people use Slippery Elm bark to soothe dangerous ulcers.

slippery elm bark supplement horses

It is important to note that only the inside bark of the tree may be used for medicinal usages since the outer bark is way too fibrous and can irritate your horse. The tree bark is ground to create a very fine, light brown powder. If the powder is too dark, that means there is outer bark inside of the mixture. Try to buy only light tan powder or very light brown powder, nothing dark.

Dosage and Preparation for Feeding to Horses

Once you have your bark powder, all you need is to add water. This will give you a viscous, liquid-like mixture that is rich with the tree’s mucilage. This pasty substance is going to help line the inside of the horse’s gut, soothing any inflammation of the membranes. It shouldn’t take long before you witness the healing power of Slippery Elm.

The typical dosage for feeding the powder to a horse is 1/3 of a cup per day. This would equal about 15 grams. You can mix it with water or tea. It is recommended that you don’t feed it with other supplements or medications because of the properties of the elm.

Best Slippery Elm Power

Getting things in powder form for horses is really convenient. On the ranch, we usually get our clients to provide us with all the feed additives in baggies so we can easily add them to their daily feed in the proper amounts for each horse. We also like scoops and pumps on bottles because it’s easy to add them in.

When it comes to the digestive tract and gastric ulcers slippery elm powder and powders in general work well for supplementing your horse. Liquids also work pretty well. The digestive system will work with both forms, and when you treat ulcers or any other types of gastric issues you want to make sure your horse is getting the full dosage, and it is bio-available for them.

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What Does Slippery Elm Do?

Slippery Elm bark powder is used, as already stated, to treat gut issues and skin issues. Most people use the bark powder for a colic preventative in horses. This magical treatment will support general healing, can help encourage normal bowel movements, and will even work as an antacid.

Slippery Elm may also be used to help restore the imbalance of bacteria inside your horse’s gut. Yet again, all of this is done thanks to the natural mucilage found inside the tree’s bark.

The most popular use of Slippery Elm is undoubtedly for the treatment of gastric ulcers. You can combine the Slippery Elm powder with all kinds of other natural remedies, like aloe vera or chamomile, to help soothe the painful and unruly ulcers in the horse’s belly. The bark powder works by layering over the raw and inflamed tissue, protecting it from the rioting stomach acids while absorbing the toxins outward. Either mix the bark powder into your horse’s feed or put it straight into their mouth with a syringe. 

Another use, although less talked about, is for hoof abscesses. To help reduce the overall inflammation of a hoof abscess and to remove the toxins causing your horse pain, try mixing the Slippery Elm powder into a special poultice concoction. You may even mix the powder 50:50 with healthy castor oil, then use the paste to clean and promote the healing of flesh wounds or infections. 

You have nothing to worry about when using the bark powder since it is a perfectly natural and safe herb for any horse. In fact, there are no proven or even rumoured side effects of using the herb. Just be sure that you wait a few hours after administering medicine before feeding your horse. This is because the mucilage could stop your horse from properly absorbing its medications, so better to give them their medicine and supplements on an empty stomach.

Does Slippery Elm Cure Horse Gastric Ulcers?

It absolutely does help ulcers heal inside of a horse’s gut. Slippery Elm powder is truly amazing, and can have benefits for the whole digestive system. The powder will soothe any inflammation inside of the horse’s gut, their bowel, and all the way into their intestinal tract. Used properly, this miracle powder can totally repair the horse’s mucus lining inside of their stomachs. By adding the bark powder with some Chamomile tea, you will be helping to soothe the entire digestive tract.

You can expect an overall healing time of your horse’s ulceration of anywhere between 10 and 12 weeks. This is with a daily dose of Slippery Elm bark powder. For dosage, you’ll be looking at about 1/3 cups of bark powder. You can moisten the powder with water or, better yet, with Chamomile tea. Give the moist paste to your horse directly or simply add it to their feed.

Interestingly enough, even human beings react well to Slippery Elm powder treatments. We really can’t stress enough how safe this tree bark is, and how healthy. Feel free to use it with your ageing horses and foals to control scouring. This supplement has a way of killing all the bad bacteria inside of your horse’s gut while leaving all of the good bacteria unscathed. In fact, almost every horse treated with Slippery Elm powder for their ulcers was reported to be healing within just a few days.

Making Slippery Elm Bark Powder at Home

If you have many horses on your property, you may want to think about a constant supply of Slippery Elm bark, and Slippery Elm Powder. And while growing a massive tree simply to collect its bark may sound completely insane, it is actually not so complicated.

These trees are considered “at-risk”, and so you would be doing the world a favour by planting a couple of these on your property. If you get your hands on some seeds and plant then come springtime, you can expect to have a growing tree within just a couple of years.

Again, this may sound like a far-fetched idea, but it’s a great solution to future ulcer issues with your horses. When the need arises, you can trim the bark you need to keep your horses healthy all year long.

Slippery Elm from A Tree
Slippery Elm from A Tree

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