Beautanicals Herb Nursery


White Willow

White Willow Image

Latin Name: Salix alba
Alternate Names: White Willow, Black Willow, Crack Willow, White Willow

Properties: Alterative, Anaphrodisiac, Analgesic, Anodyne, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antirheumatic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Bitter Tonic, Digestive Tonic, Febrifuge, Tonic, Vermifuge.

Internal Uses: Arthritis, Backache, Colic, Dysentery, Dyspepsia, Fever, Gonorrhea, Gout, Headache, Heartburn, Hot Flashes, Joint Inflammation, Malaria, Migraine, Night Sweats, Pain, Rheumatism, Urinary Infections

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.

Only Black Willow is an anaphrodisiac, while all species are a mild antiseptic. Willow, along with the herb Meadowsweet, is often known as the source of salicylic acid, a precursor to the original aspirin. The excretion of salicylic acid in the urine helps soothe an irritated urinary tract. It inhibits prostaglandin production, which reduces inflammation.

Topical Uses: Burns, Dandruff, Gingivitis, Insect Bites, Tonsillitis, Wounds

Topical Applications: Use as a mouthwash for sore gums, gargle for tonsillitis, hair rinse for dandruff, compress and poultice for burns, insect bites and wounds, and foot soak for sweaty feet. Willow is an excellent material for making baskets and dowsing rods.

Culinary uses: Young shoots can be gathered when the weather first warms and the inner bark is edible and rich in vitamin C. Inner bark can be eaten raw but is best if dried and made into a flour. Young leaves are also edible. Leaves can be used as livestock fodder.

Energetics: Bitter, Cold, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Glycosides (salicin, salicoside), salicortine, tannin, catechin, flavonoids. Female Willow buds contain phytoestrogens.

Contraindications: Avoid use if allergic to aspirin. Incompatible with iodine.

The common name Willow includes the species Salix nigra (Black Willow), Salix fragilis, (Crack Willow) and Salix cinerea, which are used interchangeably with Salix alba (White Willow).