Name: Willow

Willows – Willows

Popular names: krastalnik, willow, willow.

Parts used: bark.

Pharmacy name: willow bark – Salicis cortex (formerly: Cortex Salicis).

Botanical description. Since we are talking about different types of willows, we note only important distinguishing features that are suitable for all willows: these are trees or shrubs; inflorescences (the so-called “willow lambs”) are found in them up to the leaves; all willows are dioecious, so that on one tree (or bush) flowers of only one sex. In the spring, when the “juices go up”, the bark of the trunks and branches easily separates. They bloom in early spring, before the leaves appear (March-April). Willows prefer damp habitats. They are satellites of rivers, found along ditches, frame wet meadows, also live in damp forests and along edges.

Collection and preparation. In the spring, the bark is stripped from the branches of medium thickness and dried in the air.

active substances. The main active ingredients of willow bark are salicylic acid compounds. Along with them, there are glycosides, flavonoids and tannins.

Healing action and application. Since aspirin and pure salicylic acid have been obtained synthetically, willow bark no longer plays a significant role in medicine as a remedy for high fever and rheumatism. True, its diaphoretic, analgesic and diuretic effect remained relevant, but now it is very rarely used in tea mixtures. And this is sad, because in the treatment of diseases for which no remedy has yet been found – I mean primarily rheumatism – more can be achieved with the help of willow bark than is supposed. Treatment with this medicinal plant should not be the lot of traditional medicine alone. The German National Health Service considers febrile illnesses, headaches and rheumatic ailments as likely areas of application for willow.

Application in folk medicine. In folk medicine, this remedy still finds its home. Willow bark tea is used for all febrile diseases, and above all those that are characterized by headaches; with rheumatism and gout (not in the last turn in the hope of removing uric acid from the body). It is also given for gastrointestinal diseases.

  • Willow bark tea: 1 teaspoon with a top of thinly sliced ​​bark is poured into 1/4 liter of cold water, brought to a boil very slowly and removed from heat. Dosage: 2 cups of tea every day.

Side effects. If you drink tea from willow bark in the indicated quantities, then there is no reason to fear side effects. Pregnant women should not use!

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