When my daughter was a baby, I found that the store-bought strained fruits that I was feeding her would easily slide off the spoon. Recalling that slippery elm was touted in the Herbal Handbook as good food for all baby animals, I mixed ¼ teaspoon into a little hot water and then mixed the resulting gel into her food. The fruit stayed on the spoon easily, and I figured that the fiber and protein wouldn’t hurt her.
There was another baby in the Lost Dutchman’s camp, who was a little older and more precocious, running at nine months. But she had a gut problem; she would throw up her baby vitamins. She had had hernia surgery at 6 weeks; I figured that the surgery had never really healed. So I told her mom to mix slippery elm into her baby food for a while. After a month, she was able to keep her baby vitamins down. It seemed like a success story all around.
About 20 or so years later, I read in Science News (a magazine I recommend to anyone wanting to keep up on the latest health news and science in general) that Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes stomach ulcers, appears to protect against allergies. The rise in childhood allergies seen in recent years seems linked to a fall in general H. pylori infection, which was formerly widespread, causing ulcers only in certain people.
My elder daughter had developed several uncommon food and pollen allergies in her pre-teen years, despite exposure throughout her early childhood to animals and dirt. My younger daughter, no less hygiene-challenge, got my allergies to ‘cillin antibiotics and poison oak that the elder also got, no doubt inherited; skin reactions to some other plants; and hay fever from big-leaf maple pollen in her teen years after she moved to Grants Pass.
The younger didn’t eat strained baby food, but was fed mashed-up adult food and baby cereal flavored with Velveeta or applesauce. The elder got a full course of slippery elm for about 6 months, in her strained fruits. They both got slippery elm in tea, oatmeal, or applesauce whenever one had the slightest gut problem or sore throat. Slippery elm is a specific to kill H. pylori.
Any antibiotic can kill good germs as well as bad and can also make bacteria resistant to it. One should use even natural, gentle antibiotics like slippery elm only when really needed, not for convenience. Nor should any antibiotic be used with an acid blocker; stomach acid is the only thing that protects the intestines from antibiotic-resistant germs.
On the other hand, it takes persistent use for several weeks to kill H. pylori. Like other antibiotics, using it only until one feels better won’t stop a chronic problem.