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Willow - Salix spp. White Willow; European Willow; Willow

Willow

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Biological Name: Salix spp.Willow

Family: Salicaceae

Other Names: White Willow; European Willow; Willow

Elements Applied: Bark is commonly applied in herbal medicine

Active Components:

  • Phenolic glycosides; salireposide, salicin, salicortin, picein, acetylated salicin, triandrin, accompanied by esters of salicyl alcohol and salicylic acid;
  • Other: flavonoids, tannins, p-coumaric acid and catechin.

History: Willow’s biological name has given birth to the name of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), and the main component, which in its turn was used in production of aspirin. Willow bark was conventionally applied for rheumatic conditions, pains, headaches, and fevers.

Used For: The herb is applied to relieve pains, treat inflammations, and tone the muscles.

The range of conditions in which it is used includes: rheumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, headaches, fever, and bursitis.

Plant’s main capacity lies in glycoside salicin, which transfers to salicylic acid in the body. This acid is capable of relieving pains and inflammations. Willow’s effect on pains is experienced after a longer interval, but is more prolonged than that of aspirin-containing remedies. Tree bark has a high content of tannins, which makes the herb valuable in treating a range of digestive conditions. Still, their excessive intake may result in diarrhea and nausea.

Additional Info: The tree is mainly found in southern and central Europe; however, it can also be met in North America.

Preparation and Intake: White willow tea is made of 1-2 grams of tree bark, which is boiled in a cup of water for at least ten minutes. The common daily quantity is from five cups a day.

In form of tincture the common dose at which the plant is taken is 1-2 ml thrice a day.

One may also use willow medicines, standardized for salicin concentration. In this case the normal dose is 60-120 mg a day.

Safety: Prolonged application is not recommended, as it may lead to adverse conditions, resulting from long-term aspirin usage, for instance, stomach ulcers. Still, willow is less harmful than aspirin.

There is no further data concerning the herb’s safety level. It is possible that the plant interacts with the medicine you use. Speak to your health-care provider before taking the plant.