Slippery Elm (Inner Bark) & Aloe Vera

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New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/17/2012 3:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone. I'm new to this forum.
I have had bad flaring since Dec 2011. This was my fault, though, since I hated using enema so I sometimes used it when my flares were bad and stopped when it calmed, which was very stupid of me to do (I do use it regularly now). I'm pretty much in remission now, but when I had pretty bad bloody stools, I drank aloe vera juice since I heard that it was really good for the digestive system. This juice contained vitamin C, citric acid, and aloe vera gel (not the outer layer, but only the gel). I drank it thinking it was good for me and the first two days I drank very little only in the morning (something like 50 ml a day). Nothing changed but I continued drinking it. On the 4th day, my bleeding got so bad that I stopped. My friend who recommended me the juice told me that there was blood because the aloe vera gel is getting rid of all the "bad stuff" (toxins) in my system. In other words, it's detoxing. She told me that the bleeding should stop soon. I got scared so I stopped drinking the juice. Is this how it's supposed to be? Should I have continued to drink it until my body got rid of the toxins? FYI. The aloe vera juice was from Forever Living Products.  
Another thing I wanted to ask was about slippery elm inner bark supplements and slippery elm powder. I've heard that this is good to take to prevent diarrhea. The other day, I mixed some slippery elm powder with hot water and drank it after dinner. However, I had the runs all throughout the night. I also had cold sweats. I was thinking perhaps it's because I mixed too much powder. Another thing that crossed my mind was whether or not this happened because I drank it soon after drinking my med (pentasa). I normally take 8 tablets of pentasa 500 mg daily (4 tabs after breaksfast and 4 tabs after lunch). If there's anybody out there that drinks slippery elm powder with tea/hot water or whatever or even supplements, how do you take it? Also, have you experienced cold sweats or the runs after taking it in? I appreciate any kind of response or comments. Thank you in advance :)    

Diagnosed: Mild UC in 2008
Meds: Pentasa 500 mg (8 tablets daily); Pentasa Enema 1g (nightly)
Others: Probiotics

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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 4691
   Posted 5/17/2012 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum.
I'm sorry you're having such difficulty controlling your symptoms.
I cannot speak to the Aloe Vera, as I've not used it. But I doubt it could be the cause of the bleeding. I think it may be a coincidence. I know some people have had success with aloe vera and others have not. And that's true of alot of what is spoken about here.
As far as the excessive runs after the slippery elm, I'm wondering if you may not be intolerant of the mesalamines you are using. Many are, and some typical reactions are cramping, stomach pains, headaches, and very liquid D (and quite a bit of it).
So my question to you is how about you stop whatever else you're doing except of course for the mesalamines and see if you're still having the liquid D, etc...?
I've been using slippery elm bark powder very successfully, among other things (and if you want to know what has put me in remission, you can check out , and look at the 11th post). I only use the organic slippery elm bark powder, use about 1 tablespoon mixed in room temp filtered water 1-2 oz, mix it up, add my probiotics VSL#3 and S.Boulaardi - this forms a gel like mixture which I drink down. If it gets too thick, then I add a little more water and make it more liquified. You can also add a little honey to this concoction if you like.
I know some do use slippery elm as a hot tea, you can look for Stereofilic's posts or perhaps he'll chime in and tell you his recipe.
One more thing, I don't believe that the release of toxins is what would result in bleeding.
Which probiotics are you on?
Let us know how we can help you.
Rx meds didn't help me. But 4.5 mg LDN +Paleo diet +supplements =REMISSION.Protein shakes w/almond milk,Maca powder,L-Glutamine,D-Ribose,chia seeds.VSL#3,K2,VIt. D3,slippery elm bark powder.For more info,my protocol is the 11th post at this link:
If you have any questions, you can find my email address at my profile.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3936
   Posted 5/17/2012 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
The benefit of slippery elm is that it is antioxidant as well as helpful for keeping the mucosal lining from leaking. Leaking toxins can make you fell really bad. But, slippery elm does make more mucus, which can have an effect on stool quality/formation. Also a large dose is going to come out as a large mucus-like bowel movement. I did that the 1st night and I had slippery elm poops all night. Sounds like you did too. Now I take capsules, a few a day. There is not much mucus, and I like to think the the mucosal lining is getting help.

If you had been on 5-asa for any number of days prior to your slippery elm experiment, I would not think that your experience was any kind of 5-asa intolerance. Some people are intolerant, and they generally have a strong reaction (gas, cramping, bloating, increased diarrhea) in the 1st few days. If you had been taking it for a while, and diarrhea did not increase a lot since you started, you can pretty much not worry about 5-asa intolerance. However, there is some recommended yearly test of kidney function because a very small number of folks develop some kidney problems.

While I have experience that Lialda alone cleared my right and transverse colon in the 18 months between my 1st and 2nd scoping, I did not feel the improvement because it was not reaching my left colon, which got worse. The single thing (other than high doses of Prednisone) that let me feel better and see improvement was very strong probiotics. I got the double-strength VSL#3 by prescription, and had better stool (still soft) and fewer BM after the 2nd day. Of course, I did not take them until Lialda had cleared most of my colon, and rectal meds had quieted (improved, not remission) my left and sigmoid colon. It is possible they would have helped earlier, or maybe not. I know fecal transplant (another kind of probiotic therapy) is not recommended when disease is in a severe state. You might consider VSL#3 probiotics.

Post Edited (DBwithUC) : 5/17/2012 1:56:38 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 4691
   Posted 5/17/2012 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   

Actually the intolerance to the mesalamines, can develop at any time.
I was on the mesalamines for several weeks before the intolerance to it reared it's ugly head.
Rx meds didn't help me. But 4.5 mg LDN +Paleo diet +supplements =REMISSION.Protein shakes w/almond milk,Maca powder,L-Glutamine,D-Ribose,chia seeds.VSL#3,K2,VIt. D3,slippery elm bark powder.For more info,my protocol is the 11th post at this link:
If you have any questions, you can find my email address at my profile.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3936
   Posted 5/17/2012 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I read an article about people developing intolerance after long term - but that was very very few people. What you describe, several weeks, I would have lumped into the "initial category". It seems to me it would depend on how intolerant you were, and the condition of your bowel, and the rate of your systemic absorption, and whether the intolerance was to the 5-asa alone or to any buffer. This seems more a mater of "build up" than of the the "sudden onset" of intolerance. For most things there is some small chance they can occur at any time, but generally critical time periods are well understood after things have been in use for a while.

Also, the likelihood of a coincidental "occurring at any time" reaction to 5-asa onsetting the very same night as an initial large dose of slippery elm - well that is beyond credence. Likely a million to one.

While I recognize 21 days is different from 3 days, I hardly think something that happens in the first few days/weeks can in any way be used to justify such a bold statement as "can develop at any time". This is the kind of overly-broad unsupported prejudicial overstatement that I feel often mars your otherwise informative and caring advice and participation.

In this case the OP had been in treatment and presumably on 5-asa, both oral and rectal, for over 6 months, reported periods of lower flaring, and currently somewhat close to remission. Neither lulls in flares, or anything approaching remission, would occur if they were intolerant of 5-asa. That's just plain logic. They were also asking about what seemed to be an immediate response (same night) to the slippery elm. You somewhat forced matters choosing to completely ignore the diarrhea a large does of slippery elm will deliver, and raise the very unlikely possibility that this sudden response was a sudden atypical intolerance to 5-asa that just happened to show up at the unlikely timing of 6 months. So while you are technically correct that intolerance could develop at any time, it is my opinion that your anti-medication, anti-doctor, anti-medical researcher, anti FDA, borderline conspiracy agenda got in the way of giving the OP an honest answer.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 5/17/2012 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmm, I'm watching the thread with interest. I already know that all aloe vera juices make my flares get much worse... Even George's brand did. The other night I tried a teaspoon of organic Slippery elm powder mixed with hot water and it too seemed to ratchet up my gut pain. no D, unlike the effect aloe juice has on mez, but pancolitic pain flared up.
"In order to save the village organ, we had to destroy remove it" -- Doctor's Prescriber's proverb. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1414
   Posted 5/17/2012 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   

You said: "Another thing that crossed my mind was whether or not this happened because I drank it soon after drinking my med (pentasa)"

I believe you're supposed to leave a 2-hour window between taking slippery elm and a med. I drink a slippery elm mixture in the evening before going to bed. I mix a heaping teaspoon of powder into a glass of juice (preferably at room temp.) along with some probiotics. I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to "gel up" and drink it down. This has been effective for me in reducing morning urgency and gas.

Also, if I have eaten something that I think will cause a problem I drink the same mixture (without the probiotics) during the day. But I pay attention to the timing so I'm not taking it within 2 hours of another med. like Colazal generic.
Generally speaking, the stuff seems to effectively soothe my digestive tract.

Regarding the use of aloe vera":
Common sense tells me that if you're bleeding then something is irritating your colon. If it were me, I would stop taking it. Don't mean to insult your friend, but I don't buy the explanation that the "toxins" are being washed out in the form of blood.

IMO you would be better off eating something bland like chicken broth for a couple of days as well as using the slippery elm. Give your colon a rest.
Hope this is helpful and that you feel better soon.
Female, USA
Diagnosed pancolitis 12/2003, Colazal generic (balsalazide).
Benebiotic and Jarrow S Boulardii probiotics, vitamins with iron, Starwest organic slippery elm bark powder, chia seeds, L-Glutamine and LDN.
Working toward a more organic, gluten-free, lactose-free diet.
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