Latin: Salix sp.
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.
Willow monograph by Elise Krohn