The value of the White willow bark herb is quite notable in both herbal and medical fields for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to possess antioxidant, antiseptic and immune-boosting qualities.
The white willow is a deciduous tree that usually grows to 10 to 30 meters high. It bears long, green, tapering leaves in the spring. These leaves are typically covered by very fine silky white hairs. Its flowers are produced in catkins in the early spring. The tree possesses a deeply-fissured bark that has a grayish-brown color. White willow trees typically grow fast but are somewhat short-lived due to its susceptibility to diseases.
The white willow bark is obtained from young trees in the spring and these are used in herbal medicine. The willow bark is where aspirin has been derived and it is used in many other medications for arthritis and rheumatism.
In the 5 th century BC, Hippocrates wrote about a bitter powder extracted from willow bark that could alleviate aches and pains and reduce fevers. This remedy has also been mentioned in texts from ancient Egypt. The active extract of the bark is called salicin, and it was isolated to its crystalline form in 1828. In 1899, the Bayer company began manufacturing and selling a modified form of the willow bark chemical acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin.
Other active constituents of white willow bark aside from salicin include tannins, flavonoids and glycosides. White willow bark tea is typically made by placing about 2 grams of the bark in about 200 ml boiling water. Let the mix boil for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the beneficial constituents of the bark to be transferred into the tea. Let this mix simmer and cool down for about 30 minutes. Drink about 3 to 4 cups of this tea in a day.
*White willow tea should not be administered to children and pregnant/nursing women. People who are sensitive to aspirin should also avoid white willow tea and herb. This tea is not for long-term use. Check with your physician if you are suffering from ailments such as asthma, diabetes, gout and digestive ailments.
Below are some potential benefits derived from this brew:
- May help reduce fevers and flu.
- When administered topically along with vinegar may help remove warts, corns and unnecessary flesh.
- May help fight a host of pain-causing inflammatory ailments such as:
– lower back pain