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Willow bark comes from the willow tree of the Salix species. The bark contains salicin, a compound similar to aspirin. Salicin is metabolized in the body to create salicylic acid, a precursor to aspirin.The herbal extract has long been used in native and folk medicine to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. In the late 1800s, chemists discovered a way to make a synthetic version of salicylic acid, called acetylsalicylic acid, which we today know as aspirin.
Willow bark is the bark from several varieties of the willow tree, including white willow or European willow, black willow or pussy willow, crack willow, purple willow, and others. The bark is used to make medicine.
Willow bark acts a lot like aspirin. It's most commonly used for pain and fever. But there is no good scientific evidence to show that it works as well as aspirin for these conditions.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Some experts warn that willow bark may interfere with the body's response against COVID-19. There is no strong data to support this warning. But there is also no good data to support using willow bark for COVID-19.
How does it work?
Willow bark contains a chemical called salicin that is similar to aspirin.
Possible side effects include:
- It can also cause itching, rash, and allergic reactions, particularly in people allergic to aspirin.
- Pregnancy: There isn't enough reliable information to know if willow bark is safe to use when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Breast-feeding: Using willow bark while breast-feeding is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Willow bark contains chemicals that can enter breast milk and have harmful effects on the nursing infant. Don't use it if you are breast-feeding.
- Children: Willow bark is POSSIBLY UNSAFE n children when taken by mouth for viral infections such as colds and flu. There is some concern that, like aspirin, it might increase the risk of developing Reye's syndrome. Stay on the safe side and don't use willow bark in children.
- Bleeding disorders: Willow bark might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
- Kidney disease: Willow bark might reduce blood flow through the kidneys. This might lead to kidney failure in some people. If you have kidney disease, don't use willow bark.
- Sensitivity to aspirin: People with ASTHMA, STOMACH ULCERS, DIABETES, GOUT, HEMOPHILIA, HYPOPROTHROMBINEMIA, or KIDNEY or LIVER DISEASE might be sensitive to aspirin and also willow bark. Using willow bark might cause serious allergic reactions. Avoid use.
- Surgery: Willow bark might slow blood clotting. There is a concern it could cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using willow bark at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.