Willow - Salix Spp.

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This Willow (Salix spp.) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA. The expanded 3rd edition materia medica, and additional herbal tidbits are also available as a kindle ebook at Amazon and details on this e-book are here.

Willow - Salix spp. in the Salicaceae or Willow family

Part used: Bark.

Taste/smell: Astringent, bitter.

Tendencies: Cooling, drying.

Dosage: Decoction: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; or 1:5 dry strength liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Willow is indicated for sores on the mucosa or skin, diarrhea, ulcers, fever with intermittent chills, arthritic pain, sexual irritability and excessive passion, mental irritation, bitterness and tiredness.

Use: (a) Astringent, (b) Anti-inflammatory, (c) Analgesic.

The various willows have been commonly used for fevers, headaches and rheumatism. The glucoside constituent salicin is converted to salicylic acid in the body.  Salicylic acid, has been shown to modulate the inflammatory process.

Salicin is converted into the aglycone called saligenin (AKA salicyl alcohol), by intestinal flora in the distal ilium and colon. This can take hours, and once it is absorbed, it is further changed into salicylic acid which is the main active form and is effective for several hours.

Contraindications: There is some concern Willow may be contraindicated in cases of bleeding disorders like hemophilia or in conjunction with blood thinning agents. This has not been confirmed or denied.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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