Willow

Latin:  Salix sp.

Family:  Salicaceae

Parts Used:  Bark

Taste/Energetics:  Bitter, cooling

Properties:  Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, febrifuge, antimicrobial, styptic

Actions:   This is the classic herb one thinks of for pain relief due to it containing salicylic acid and indeed it is helpful as a general anti-inflammatory analgesic for arthritis, joint and rheumatic pain.  It is strongly astringent and useful for stemming internal bleeding.  Finally it helps to soothe and cool high fevers.  This is not a strong pain reliever but does seem to be effective, especially when synergized with other plants in a formula.

Dosage:  2-4 tsp decoction in pint of hot water for 40 minutes (phew- hard to get down.)   Tincture 1-2 ml to 3x/day.  In capsule 1-2 grams to 3 x/day

Contraindications:  Yes it can cause gastric distress over time (though not as bad as aspirin.) Avoid in pregnancy.  Avoid if taking blood thinners.

Further Reading:

Willow monograph  by Elise Krohn