Friday, March 16, 2012

elm milk







I spent some time reconnecting with slippery elm yesterday by reading up on its food and medicinal uses -- I like to get out my older herbals periodically, The Famous Book of Herbs is from Lyn, printed in 1933 (thank you again, Lyn!). One thing led to another. It had been a while since I've needed to make elm milk to soothe a stomach ache around here, but it's so good that even though I wasn't sick, I made myself a cup. And partly, too, because of that slippery elm tree spirit living in the sewing room. 

elm milk: bring a cup of milk (any kind) to a simmer, then whisk in 1 or 2 teaspoons of ground slippery elm. I like it unsweetened, but to put it over the top, add a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The cup in the photo is already mixed up -- the plate of ground slippery elm bark is just there to show what it looks like.

This morning I added a teaspoon to my protein shake -- it was made from water, dried kosher gelatin powder (for the protein), cod liver oil, a big spoonful of yogurt, iosol, and the elm. You wouldn't think a person could say yum to that line-up, would you? But, trust me, you could, and will! 

Slippery elm bark heals the digestive system, reduces the severity of psoriasis, soothes sore throats, and makes a healing poultice/bandage for wounds and other skin conditions. There's more -- it's also a nutritious food on par with oatmeal, safely used by all with no limits on consumption. 

The small quilt is going to be hung in the sewing room, now that I have one -- made by Grandmother Lucia with her cotton scraps.

That little piece of bark isn't slippery elm, but it is beautiful -- the outer surface has a horizontal pattern, the inner has a vertical grain. I don't think I've ever looked so closely at bark. Good thing I studied it right away because one of the dogs has since eaten it.  

I'll continue to ally with slippery elm over the next weeks -- if you have any recipes or uses for her, I'd love to learn them.

Thanks for visiting here and happy weekending. xo

26 comments:

deanna7trees said...

such beautiful images. just love that pink quilt. nice that you have that as a memory.

Trish said...

You are wonderful and so sensitive...in a good and magical way of course.
I love your Grandmothers quilt. How special it is to have and hold something made by our elders.
Much love to you.

Jeannie said...

Grandmother's quilts are extra special. It is as though they can still give you a hug. My Great Gram used to do something with Slippery Elm, but I'm going to have to ask Mom what. I do remember going out and gathering Cascara Bark for her. It is a Northwest Indian rememdy (laxative).Wishing you happy stitching this weekend.

liniecat said...

So chuffed the little book has given you pleasure and now I know what slippery elm is for!
I grew up seeing ads for it and it reminds me of a song my grandad used to sing about a guy who climbs a slippery elm tree, well think he wasa chased up a slippery elm lol

Nanette said...

Look at your pretty table, set with flowers and all, and looking so inviting, how lovely. I haven't needed to use sleppery elm for yoears, but it was my 'good friend' for quite a while, I guess I was having trouble digesting whatever was going on around me at the time.

Love the pink quilt too. I have quilt making on my to-do list this weekend. Have a peaceful one.

Notjustnat said...

Lovely images on this post. Interesting reading about elm milk - hugs Nat

Deb G said...

I bet you won't stop looking at the bark on trees now...they are full of so many incredible patterns and textures. Different trees are all so different.

Marie said...

I just read that slippery elm is good for the skin and female change of life?
Cool that you received that antique book. I l-o-v-e books, especially the ones
that are out of print and have such enlightening information.
So sweet to have your grandmother's quilt. I think the grandmother
memories are my fondest from my childhood.
Have a great weekend.
<3 xoxo

Robyn A said...

My eyes went straight to the embroidered flowers on the tablecloth, did you do them? They are lovely! There are alas no quilters among my ancestors but I do have many beautiful pieces of crochet from my grandmother so I know how precious it is to have something to remind you of your family.

mybloomnart said...

What a pretty table setting! The way you put together the textiles, herbs and tea is like poetry...

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Deanna -- yes, the quilt has such nice colors, doesn't it? It must've been made in the 40's, maybe 50's. It had started to fade so was rolled up in the linen closet for quite a while.

woman with wings said...

Trish, you are too nice -- but I do love the magical way part! ;-) This quilt was lovingly made, you can feel it when you touch it. Love to you.

woman with wings said...

Jeannie -- thanks for saying that because a hug from her would be so nice. I'd love to know what your great gram used slippery elm for if and when you find out! Oh yes, cascara, powerful stuff! Hope you had a great weekend, Jeannie!

woman with wings said...

Lyn, this little book is so cool. You'll probably want it back! I wonder what that song was, I'll google it and see what I find. Thanks for the tip!

woman with wings said...

Thank you, Nanette! Good that you've gotten past the digestive stuff and I love that you see now that it was external as well. Isn't that the way it ends up sometimes? Hope you got to spend time quilt-making this past weekend!

woman with wings said...

Thank you, Nat, and Happy Equinox!

woman with wings said...

Deb, you're so right, I'm already fixated on bark. Before I just noticed colors, now it's the whole shebang!

woman with wings said...

Marie, thanks for mentioning what you read about slippery elm, it is one amazing tree, that's for sure. I forget sometimes how special it is to have things made by my grandmother, even with all those other grandchildren, somehow I was lucky enough to end up with some of her things. Probably due to my mom being her oldest daughter!

woman with wings said...

Robyn, thank you -- I didn't embroider the tablecloth, I wish I could say I did. ;-) You are lucky to have the crochet work from your grandmother, do you crochet, too? The crochet gene didn't get passed my way, darn it! But I admire it from afar.

woman with wings said...

mybloomnart -- love your blog name! -- thank you -- flowers pretty much make anything look good!

Robyn A said...

Alas no! My grandmother did teach me to do a square for a blanket but I have forgotten as my mother didn't crochet herself and we lived far away from my grandmother. She could just look at a design and reproduce it and of course make up her own designs. She was the only one who kept encouraging me to use my hands creatively even though I was set on a more academic path. Luckily the handwork has triumphed finally over the academic!

woman with wings said...

Luckily and happily, both!

helen said...

What a dream of a post Peggy. It has everything...herbal books, a _most_ important herb, beautiful flowers and textiles, and a gorgeous piece of bark.

I shall be having the elm milk tonight...complete with honey and cinnamon....oh yummmm. Thank you for this method. :~))))

woman with wings said...

Hi Helen! Thank you so much -- hope you like the elm milk, I'm still putting it in my morning concoction. I understand that some people -- get this -- don't LIKE the taste. I can't imagine not liking it. Of course, I also love the fragrance of valerian root. Do you, too?

helen said...

Hi Peggy....it was delicious....and so soothing of course ~ I had it again this morning! :~))

Yes! I love valerian root too. I can't think of any herb that I've used that I don't like the smell of.

A friend told me about these today. She has mixed a 100g of the seeds into 250g of set honey and takes 1 tsp morning and night. I went to buy some and did the same when I came home! Have you heard of their benefits? I have loved this flower for so long and did not know its seeds were so beneficial. How I love to learn new things!

BB ~ and have a lovely weekend x x

woman with wings said...

Helen, is that nigella? Love in a mist? Interesting, will have to read it over again more thoroughly, thanks for the heads up. This planet is awesome. BB.