Willow trees are abundant in both number and variety. Bark colors vary from dark brown to light, almost yellow. Willows range in size from small, trunkless bundles, to towering trees reaching 30 or more feet tall. They are a water plant that grows exclusively on the banks or rivers, streams, and ponds. The leaves of a willow tree are lacy, thin, and hairless. The inner bark is the part that was historically used to help with inflammation, fever and almost anything else for which modern aspirin is used. Willow and other plants containing salix are sometimes referred to as aspirin on a stick.
History and Folklore:
Around 100 AD, Greek physicians were prescribing willow bark as an anti-inflammatory. More than 1600 years later, in London, clinical studies were conducted regarding the effectiveness of willow bark powder on ague fever. Another 100 years later, it was studied as a treatment for rheumatism.
Cultivation and Harvest:
The inner bark can be stripped from almost any size branch, but the smaller branches are more potent. If harvesting from a trunkless willow, harvest the larger, more woody branches. The bark is easy to peel. When using a smaller branch, the whole branch can be used. Once dried, it can be ground into a powder and used in teas, tinctures, and capsules.
Avoid during pregnancy, while nursing or in children under the age of 2. Do not use internally if you are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulents, if you are on an immunosuppressant, or if you suffer from aspirin reactivity.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Anodyne, mild antiseptic
Black Willow, Yellow Willow, Sandbar Willow, Jara, Jarita
Tincture Ingredients: Willow Bark (Salix alba)
*These statements have not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.