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  • Writer's pictureJennifer

White Willow (Salix alba)

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Willow, the graceful tree often found near water is a wonder of a plant. Its wood is tough and elastic, and from it the bark of the tree is harvested to make a wide range of products. The oil extracted from its bark is used in the treatment of many ailments including viral infections and joint pain. It also has been found that willow bark gives relief to arthritic joints by reducing inflammation related to gout.


Studies have shown that white willow bark contains salicylates, which are compounds which are anti-inflammatory compounds found in aspirin, making it an excellent addition for those suffering with arthritis pain and rheumatism.



What is White Willow Bark?


White willow bark is a natural medicine that contains active ingredients which have pain relieving properties. It has been used for centuries to help ease the effects of arthritis and other types of joint pain. It can be purchased in health food stores (and in some cases, drug stores) and comes in capsule form or even extract form. The dosage can vary depending on the person, but it is often recommended that you take between 250mg to 1000mg of this product per day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking this product as not everyone can take it safely. Pregnant and nursing women should not take willow bark without the approval of their doctor.


How Willow Bark Works


The compounds found in this product are thought to be responsible for easing inflammation and pain in the joints. It has been shown that it can have a positive effect on rheumatoid arthritis since it slows down the inflammation process in the joints. It is also thought that willow bark can help reduce swelling around injured joints.


Side Effects of White Willow Bark


There aren’t many side effects associated with using this product, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. You shouldn’t take too much of this product as it can cause headaches and other mild side effects such as nausea, cramps, fever and diarrhea when taken in large doses orally. Please always do your research before using and consult with your doctor if on any medications.


Topical use of White Willow Bark


Topical use of this product is thought to be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation in the injured area. You should never apply this product directly on your skin without diluting it first. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to do a patch test before using the product to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction to it.


Other Uses for White Willow Bark


There are two other ways you can use willow bark to help treat painful and inflamed joints. If you boil the bark of the tree, you can make tea out of it. The extract from the boiled bark is very bitter tasting, so mixing it with other ingredients such as ginger and honey can help make it more palatable.


Overall, this tree is a great natural remedy for pain.



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