Yes it is supposed to be helpful and I have read that you should take it between meals as it can affect absorption of other things.
I don't take it as the lozenges years ago made me feel a bit nauseated but I have known people who took it without that side effect.
Also if you end up having a hard time scheduling it during the day, I have found that taking "between meal" supplements in the middle of the night when I have to use the restroom helpful. I just keep the bottle of whatever the supplement is on the bathroom counter to remind me.
I've been taking both slippery elm and marshmallow root twice a day (between meals) for three weeks now and while I have the occasional twinge or bad day with my gut, it is MUCH improved on a regular basis. Will it persist once I stop the herbs? Who knows? But it is definitely making a big difference -- with no side effects that I notice.
Slippery elm, as almost everyone here has already noted, is absolutely the go-to for gut problems. It's also highly nutritive and a decent pre-biotic, providing fodder for your beneficial microbiota.
I find the capsules much more tolerable than the tablets that you have to chew up. Slippery Elm has an interesting taste, sort of pungent and earthy with a very slight echo of spiciness and something like very mild, gentle molasses.
I take it first thing in the morning with my weird little ginger-cinnamon-potassium et al electrolyte tea and that usually gets my day off to a decent start. How long that lasts is up to sooooooo many other factors, mostly out of my control ....
After the morning dose, I try to find at least one more point during the day that's 30-60 minutes before I have to ingest anything, or 2 hours after ....
As @Jyoti noted above, it has no side effects that I've found, beyond the caveat to take it away from other stuff whose absrption might be hampered by the gluey texture ....
Marshmallow Root is another great old-school herb for digestion, and highly recommended ...
Because of its mucilaginous composition, it can slow or impede the absorption of medications, etc, which is why it's best to take it away from meals, vits, medications, et al .... it has a very short half-life, tho, about 30 to 45 minutes I think ...
The chinese digestive herbs I take- they lead to direct improvement immediately. No few weeks required.
In fact, I'm taking 1/2 of a dose, and once not 3 Xs, and they improve things remarkably. One dose has a noticeable effect. The chinese are so brilliant back in 2000 BC.
And nothing about that lasts. It can revert back again 24 hours later. This phenomenon, in my body, has lead me to be more suspicous of the entire notion that the microbiome is changed. I really doubt it.
These herbs slow down the speed food moves thru my system, restores calm peristalsys, the liver is less stressed (a bit of liver or gut detox usually happens when I resume this tea after not taking it for a while.) I just went a bout six months not taking it at all. Just- rebelling.
Its really amazing, these herbs- to manage gut function, but they do not seem to "cure" anything.
I think tht TCM is all about homeostasis .... balancing the Yin and Yang, hot and cold, moist and dry. Maybe in the absence of a chronic stressor like ME they could slowly move things, gently and firmly, back into more permanent alignment.
At least that's my understanding.
Like you, I have great respect for TCM .... it's just that finding a genuine and informed practitioner is a biatch .... you're lucky to have one ...
There is an existing formula Over the Counter pills (wan)- that one could try. They contain the same herbs that are in my tea I obtain (granular or raw herbs). I did raw herbs only for about a decade, and simply got tired. I buy the granules which are dehydrated tea, they actually cost more than making tea wiht raw herbs, yourself. But its sure handy and works Just about as well.
So I"ve never tried these pills.
I keep several Plum Flower brand stomach type pills around...I swear by YinChaio (cold and flu deterrant)...and have one bottle here dedicated to if somebody gets COVID. TAKE it ASAP for 36 hours. Anyway, the Plum flower formulas for the stomach are really great, too!
Plum Flower is a good US brand that does rigorous testing. It should be reasonably safe.
These should help reduce wind (IBS-d type).
Disclaimer: it would be better to find an expert who can work with your system, as our systems are individual. Most chinese medicine is individualized. A chinese herbalist who knows what they are doing, has 600 herbs inside their office. Raw herbs, leaves, twigs, seeds, flowers, roots...