• Willow Bark

    Synonyms: European Willow Bark, Salicis Cortex, Salix, White Willow Bark, Willow

    Family: Salicaceae

    Genus species: Salix alba, Salix fragilis, Salix purpurea, Salix pentandra

    Type: Dioecious tree or shrub

    Part Used: Bark

    Location: Asia, Britain, central Europe, North America, southern Europe

    Actions: Analgesic, anhidrotic, antibacterial, anticoagulant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antithrombotic, astringent, bitter, CNS depressant, diaphoretic, digestive, improves peripheral circulation, sedative, simple bitter, tonic, uterosedative

    Indications: Ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis, bronchitis, dandruff, diarrhea, earache, eczema, fibrositis, gallstones, gastroenteritis, gout, gouty arthritis, heartburn, hemorrhoids, indigestion, inflammation, influenza, kidney stone, malaria, mild feverish conditions (common cold, influenza), mild headache, minor aches, minor pain, neuralgia, nosebleed, PMS, rheumatoid arthritis, sores, sprain, tendonitis, varicose veins

    Chemicals & Nutrients: Calcium, Carbohydrates (80%), Fats (0.5%), Fiber (9%), Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein (10%), Salicylates (1.5-11% salicin), Tannins (8-20%)

    Preparation & Dosages: (3x/day)

    Dry Bark: 1-3 g or by decoction

    Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25 % alcohol, dose 1-3 ml

    Contraindications: Asthma, diabetes, gout, hemophilia, hypersensitivity to aspirin, hypoprothrombinemia, kidney disorders, lactation, liver disorders, peptic ulcer, pregnancy.

    Drug Interactions: Alcohol, anticoagulants, aspirin, barbiturates, methotrexate, metoclopramide, phenytoin, probenecid, sedatives, spironolactone, valproate. Due to the salicylates in this herb the following interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with acetazolamide; may potentiate anticoagulants; may potentiate phenytoin; increased risk of toxicity with methotrexate; may inhibit or antagonize probenecid.

    Side Effects: (Possible adverse effects and/or overdose effects) Hypersensitivity to salicylates, the possibility of the expected reactions: urticaria, rhinitis, asthma, bronchospasms.

    Warning: Tannins are incompatible with alkalies, gelatin, heavy metals, iron, lime water, metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents and zinc sulfate. Tannins precipitate proteins. Tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. Long-term and/or excessive use of herbs containing high concentrations of tannins is not recommended. A correlation has been made between esophogeal or nasal cancer in humans and regular consumption of certain herbs with high tannin concentrations (Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical Botany. Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.)

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