White Willow Bark, also called the “Herbal Aspirin”, comes from the bark of the Stately White Willow Tree. Its ability to lower fever and relieve pain has been widely influenced in China for centuries, and early American settlers were also influenced by its use from Native Americans.
Salicin is the active ingredient in White Willow Bark, which is converted in the body to salicylic acid. Similar to the first aspirin made, acetylsalicylic acid, White Willow Bark essentially contains the same herbs. The White Willow Tree is the most common of willow to be used for medical purposes. Other Salicin-rich willow species may include the Violet Willow, Purple Willow, and Crack Willow, which all may be labeled or sold over the counter with Willow Bark on the label.
Unlike Aspirin, White Willow Bark does not cause any known adverse effects on the stomach or bleeding. White Willow Bark may take longer to begin reacting in the body, but its effects will usually last longer than normal aspirin. The effective results of White Willow Bark to lower prostaglandin levels is what eases discomfort. White Willow Bark may be found in many forms including:
• Dried Herbs/Tea
Some of the most common uses for White Willow Bark include:
• Muscle Aches
• Menstrual Cramps
• Back and Neck Pain
• Arthritis Pain
White Willow Barks active ingredient salicin, is used in dosages of 40 – 80 mg., three times daily. For muscle aches and pains, including back pain and arthritis pain, 40 mg. of salicin can be used up to three times daily. If Willow Bark is needed for chronic pain, 40 – 80 mg. of salicin can be used daily.
White Willow Bark should not be used in dosages higher than recommended because it can cause stomach upset, nausea, or ringing of the ears. If this occurs, it is advised to stop taking the herb. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, please consult your doctor before using Willow Bark.