What is a Decoction?

A decoction is simply a very strong tea made from the chopped, sturdier parts of herbs (roots, barks, etc). In this decoction, we use chopped Slippery Elm bark and chopped Marshmallow root. Both are demulcents. A demulcent relieves irritation and inflammation and forms a film over your mucous membranes to soothe them. This decoction is great for anyone with leaky gut or someone dealing with diarrhea or constipation.

For mild cases, you can simply take a tablespoon upon waking, about 15 minutes before each meal, and before bed. For extreme cases of leaky gut, you can take a tablespoon every two hours or so. This can be done for a month, or even two for a permeable gut membrane. For my decoction, I add a little bit of Licorice root.


Let me break down the individual ingredients for you.

marshmallow root slippery elm bark licorice root


Slippery Elm Bark:

  • stress relieving
  • loaded with antioxidants
  • soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines
  • improves digestion (which can help with weight loss) and helps with digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, leaky gut, acid reflux, IBS, Colitis, Crohns
  • it is great for sore throats and coughs as well as certain skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Marshmallow Root:

  • good for coughs and colds.
  • fights bacterial infections such as UTIs and bronchitis.
  • repairs and coats the lining of the intestines.
  • helps with heartburn, stomach ulcers, constipation and diarrhea.
  • lowers acute and chronic inflammation
  • supports heart health
  • reduces water retention (edema, bloating)
  • good to use in homemade beauty products for skin and hair.
  • Make marshmallows the way they were originally made! Go here for a marshmallow recipe from Wellness Mama.

Licorice Root: (Use only if you are not pregnant and have no problems with your blood pressure, liver, or kidneys.)

  • an adaptogenic herb that is great at lowering cortisol (good for some stages of Adrenal Fatigue-go here if you think you might have it and want to know which stage.)
  • anti-viral (especially helpful for hepatitis)
  • enhances immune system by boosting interferon
  • anti-inflammatory
  • pain reliever
  • it’s an expectorant, so it is excellent for coughs
  • it is also a demulcent so it soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines
  • good for premenstrual cramping (it’s anti-spasmodic which helps with cramps)
  • good for premenstrual irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness
  • supports heart health by limiting the damage done by “bad” cholesterol
  • provides a natural sweetness to teas and decoctions


Decoction of Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, and Licorice Bark


Decoction of Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark:

  1. Add all ingredients into a large pot with a lid.
  2. Let sit overnight.
  3. In the morning, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Simmer until mixture is reduced by half.
  5. Let the mixture cool before bottling.
  6. strain through a stainless steel sieve and funnel into a glass bottle.
  7. Keep the mixture in the fridge. It will keep for a month or so. (Throw it out if it starts to smell “off”)
  8. For diarrhea and constipation, take 1 tablespoon before meals and before bed.  For leaky gut,  take 1 tablespoon every 2 hours while awake for one month (can do two months if needed).


Decoction of Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark

A decoction to heal and seal your gut lining. Will alleviate constipation and diarrhea as well.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 12 hours


  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Slippery Elm Bark
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Marshmallow Root
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons chopped licorice see information regarding licorice
  • 2 Quarts filtered water


  • Place all ingredients in a stock pan and cover with a lid.
  • Allow to soak overnight.
  • In the morning, bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer until it is reduced by half.
  • Allow mixture to cool before handling.
  • Once cool, pour the mixture through a stainless steel strainer and then funnel into a glass bottle.
  • Keep mixture in the fridge to keep it fresh.


Take 1 tablespoon before meals and bed for constipation and diarrhea.
For leaky gut, take 1 tablespoon every two hours for one month.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Please remember that I am NOT a doctor. You should have one with whom you can discuss adding herbs and supplements to your regimen in case they interfere with any medications you are already taking.


Looking for other things to make with marshmallow root? Try my super soothing and hydrating Marshmallow and Rose Face Mask!

Decoction of Slippery Elm Bark and Marshmallow Root