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.
Alternative practitioners contend that willow bark can safely treat a host of pain disorders, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.