White Willow Bark
Biological Name: Salix spp.
Other Names: Willow, White Willow, European Willow
Parts Used: Bark
- Phenolic glycosides; salicin, picein and triandrin, with esters of salicylic acid and salicyl alcohol, acetylated salicin, salicortin and salireposide
- Miscellaneous; tannins, catechin, p-coumaric acid and flavonoids.
White willow’s Latin name is the source of the name for acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) as well as the parent compound from which aspirin was eventually created. Willow bark was used traditionally for fever, headache, pain, and rheumatic complaints.
Actions : Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, tonic.
• headache (tension)
• rheumatoid arthritis
The glycoside salicin, from which the body can split off salicylic acid, is the basis of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of willow. The analgesic actions of willow are typically slow-acting but last longer than standard aspirin products. The bark is also high in tannins, suggesting that it may be of some use in gastrointestinal conditions. However, excessive use may also cause nausea and diarrhea.
The white willow tree grows primarily in central and southern Europe, although it is also found in North America.
A white willow tea can be prepared from 1-2 grams of bark boiled in 200 ml of water for ten minutes. Five or more cups of this tea can be drunk per day.
Tincture is also used, commonly in the amount of 1-2 ml three times per day.
Willow extracts standardized for salicin content are also available. The daily intake of salicin is typically 60-120 mg per day.
Long-term use of willow is not advisable, as it may cause some of the same problems that aspirin does—primarily stomach ulcers. However, willow is much safer than aspirin.
No other information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.