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Willow (Salix spp.)



The willow is considered one of the most potent, natural analgesics today. This nifty member of the weeping willow tree family has been around since medieval times, when ancient Egyptians and Greeks used it to remedy a wide range of ailments. The willow has a substantially high concentration of salicilin that makes it very effective as an anti-inflammatory, and it is still a very prevalent healing agent in Chinese healing ranks. The bark is considered the main source of medicine from this invaluable tree, with its extracts being used for anything from simple pain relief to as complex a value as blood thinning; making it useful in the improvement of overall cardiovascular activity.

Medicinal uses

There are some varieties of the willow bark that are very effective remedy agents, and others, well-not so much. The willow bark is a natural pain killer, and it works rather effectively in relieving physical pain. It has also been known to reduce the severity of certain premenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and profuse sweating. Willow is also one of the most potent remedies for fever, with the bark extract known to substantially reduce body temperature. It is also on a short list of effective solutions to athletic aches, with its salicin component also being known to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. The willow was previously used to reduce internal bleeding, with applications in the treatment of lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis and, perhaps most commonly, headache. 

Its blood thinning properties also make it a useful contributor to improved cardiovascular activity. It improves circulation, and ensures that your blood pressure it maintained at an optimal rate. Willow bark gets a thumbs-up for both efficacy and safety, and has been given the go ahead fro use in children and adults.

Dosage and Administration

The recommended dosage is put at around 30-60 drops of the willow extract 2-3 times a day. This may vary depending on what it’s used for. The dosage may increase depending on severity. Clinical trials have used a much higher value-120 to 240 milligrams, as opposed to the generally recommended 60-120 of the willow bark extract. The gradual increase in concentration mainly seeks to elevate the salicin levels, and the dosage may go all the way to 2, 160 milligrams for the treatment of severe pains, such as those caused by osteoarthritis. There is no exact dosage for use in children.

Parts Used

The main part is usually the bark, but there are various applications for the leaves, and they are deemed to be significantly effective.


This bitter powdered bark is on a short list of some of the most potent, and most sought after natural remedies of all time. It’s been highly effective as both a fast source of pain relief, and a remedy for pains sustained during exercise. It has the main benefit of having little to no side effects, even with elevated dosages, but this is all reliant on a case by case basis. Although some people have experienced a reaction, the effects are usually minimal, and often infrequent. The willow provides a natural solution for elevated fever, and a lot of other top class benefits when used as a dietary supplement. This tree has been known to be an efficient blood thinning agent; causing a reduction in blood pressure-all boiling down to the rare benefit of improved heart function.

Side Effects

As mentioned earlier, the willow is typically a safe remedy, but in some cases, patients may be susceptible to side effects, allergies and adverse reactions. These effects are no where near severe, and they usually clear out within a few days. The main problem with many patients is the bitter aftertaste. This herb may be unpalatable to many, especially to children. There are also some cases of allergic reactions; eczema, itching, anaphylactic shock, swollen eyes etc.

Willow also causes headaches and certain gastro-intestinal problems. It should also be avoided by patients with a hypersensitivity to aspirin. In certain rare cases, the willow bark has been known to result in diarrhea, heartburn, vomiting, fatigue, high levels of uric acid in the blood, dizziness etc. It is also not recommended during pregnancy, or for nursing mothers.




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