Elm tree bark, 300 lbs., stolen for herbal remedies, say Ky. cops

Elm tree
(CBS/AP) VANCEBURG, Ky.- Police in eastern Kentucky say they arrested five people who stole away with hundreds of pounds of elm tree bark, considered by some to be a source of effective herbal remedies.

The Lewis County Sheriff's Office said more than 300 pounds of elm bark was taken from private property, bark that can sell for up to $300 a pound, CBS affiliate WKYT reports.

According to, bark from the slippery elm can be turned into a powder to soothe the digestive tract, as well as an anti-inflammatory for internal and topical uses.

Even so, authorities say the five people arrested - three for theft and two for assisting - were all barking up the wrong tree.