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White Willow Bark

Salix alba

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."


400mg one to three times daily.

Potential applications

Salicin is useful in diseases accompanied by fever, rheumatic ailments, headache, toothache and other inflammatory conditions. Fever lowering.

Known contraindications

Avoid in cases of salicylate sensitivity. Not to be given to children under 16 with flu-like symptoms, with Reyes Syndrome. Avoid during pregnancy.


Individuals with concerns about blood clotting and bleeding time should use aspirin and white willow with caution, as both have the potential to interfere with platelet aggregation and prolong bleeding time (i.e. a "blood-thinning" effect).

Use in conjunction with

  • Pain relief - Turmeric, quercetin, flax seed oil, antioxidants, pycnogenol/grape seed extract.


If morning sleepiness occurs, reduce the dosage. If the initial dosage is ineffective, eliminate those factors that disrupt sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol, before considering a dose increase.


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