Appearance and General Info
The Chinese Elm is very hardy and can grow in most conditions including disturbed and drier conditions. They have green, alternate and simple leaves that are elliptic and serrated. The blades are asymmetrical at the base and taper to a slender point at the apex. Small green flowers appear on the stalks before the new leaves unfold in the early spring months. Elm are hermaphroditic (possessing both male and female organs,) with perfect flowers which, being wind-pollinated, are without petals. The fruit is round and wind dispersed. All species are tolerant of a wide range of soils and pH levels.
Elm: Medicinal Uses:
The leaves once dried make a delicious tea that is very calming for indigestion and soothing for the nerves and belly aches. It also works well for counteracting poisoning. The leaves are diuretic and aid in the healthy function and regulation of the kidneys. The stem bark is also a diuretic and can be applied as a poultice (administered medicinally by spreading it on a cloth and applying it the ailing region) on abscesses, mastitis and swellings. It also assists in fever reduction used topically and soothes inflamed and irritated surfaces.
Elm: Edible Uses:
Elm leaves are edible and are fantastic used as an addition to a salad. The inner bark is also edible and can be dried and made into noodles. The dried inner bark can also be ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups, or added to cereal flours when making bread. The fruit may be eaten raw when ripe, and when used while still immature, can be made into a sauce or a wine. The dried leaves make a very healthy and pleasant tea.