The bark of the stately white willow tree (Salix alba) has been used in China for centuries as a medicine because of its ability to relieve pain and lower fever. Early settlers to America found Native Americans gathering bark from indigenous willow trees for similar purposes.
The active ingredient in white willow is salicin, which the body converts into salicylic acid. The first aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was made from a different salicin-containing herb, meadowsweet, working in essentially the same way. All aspirin is now chemically synthesized. It is not surprising, then, that white willow bark is often called "herbal aspirin."
ANALGESIC – white willow has bee shown to relieve acute and chronic pain, including headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. The effectiveness of white willow bark for easing these and other types of discomforts results from its power to lower prostaglandin levels.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – the salicin content is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the compound salicin does not cause gastric or intestinal upset or bleeding as aspirin can, this is because willow does not block prostaglandins in the stomach or intestines.
Dosage: One capsule to be taken one to three times daily.