White Willow Bark: The Natural Pain Reliever that Works Like Aspirin


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Because of frequent utilization of anti-inflammatory drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other pain medications is currently related to an increasing collection of health issues,

lots of men and women want to know more about using natural pain killers as alternatives.

One option, called white willow bark — that has been employed in folklore and herbal medicines for years and years

also shows promise for curing pain naturally with very little danger of unwanted side effects.

As stated by a 2015 article published within the journal Pythotherspy Research, “Willow bark extract is  in use for centuries since its anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic.”

To put it differently, white willow bark benefits consist of lowering inflammatory reactions that contribute to chronic diseases, fighting with pain, and reducing fevers.

Whether extract or tea, willow bark may offer relief for people experiencing spine pain,

recurring headaches, muscular aches, menstrual cramps, and arthritis symptoms as well as much more.

What’s White Willow Bark?

White willow trees (Salix alba) grow a bark that comprises the compound identified as salicin, that has anti-inflammatory consequences.

Salicin works in similar manners as acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. In reality, from the 1800s, salicin has been used to build up aspirin.

Willow trees are all members of those Salicaceae vegetation family and are native to Europe, Central Asia, and Northern Africa.

Additionally, there is a range of varieties of willow trees in life that make bark that’s used to create extracts, supplements, and drugs. These Are the species:

  • white willow or European willow
  • black willow or pussy willow
  • crack willow
  • purple willow

Once salicin is consumed, it breaks too many different salicylate derivatives, which include many different health-promoting capacities.

The impacts of white willow require more time compared to aspirin to kick in. However, they tend to survive more and also to cause fewer effects compared to aspirin side effects.

Several studies have discovered that a lot of willow trees simply contain small quantities of salicin,

for that reason, extracts based on these types of trees may help cure pain as a result of the presence of different compounds too.

Antioxidant chemicals called polyphenolic glycosides and flavonoids are also in white willow bark (WWB).

All these facts show it can protect against oxidative stress and different symptoms connected to aging, such as reduced physical performance and cognitive loss, etc..

As well as salicin, fragilin, salicortin, and different salicylates, researchers feel that these antioxidants play a very prominent part in WWB’s therapeutic activities.

Seeing its usage as an all-natural pain killer, most of the known advantages of WWB relies on anecdotal observations, as opposed to clinical trials.

While some studies have been conducted, the Ones That have implied it might help cure ailments such as:

  • chronic lower back pain
  • joint pain/osteoarthritis
  • soreness due to physical training

Health Benefits

1. Has Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Dating all the way back into the time of Hippocrates, people have utilized white willow bark to assist inherently dull soreness and inflammation.

Now we all know from research that willow bark can decrease inflammation and oxidative stress and raise antioxidant action, such as glutathione.

In vitro studies and animal studies have discovered that WWB’s side effects consequences are due to the ability to scavenge free radicals and also down-regulate inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-α and atomic factor-kappa B.

Additionally, it appears to influence prostaglandin production, decreasing inflammation that results in pain such as cramps and fevers.

2. Used to Handle Arthritis Symptoms and Persistent Pain

Some research has shown that the white willow bark might help people managing chronic joint pain and distress, although findings in the study are somewhat conflicting.

Specific studies have proven that WWB infusion isn’t an effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Still, some have discovered it may decrease osteoarthritis pain and spine pain in addition to particular prescriptions.

Based on some 2009 orderly review on the potency of willow bark to get musculoskeletal pain,

many studies suggest a dose-dependent analgesic impact not poor to rofecoxib (a non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication used as a treatment for arthritis) among patients with low back pain.

But, no substantial effect was observed at a confirmatory analysis in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, even though the study was modest.

Researchers involved with the study reasoned, “Further studies must learn if the therapy of gout and rheumatoid arthritis necessitates extract with greater doses compared to 240 mg salicin every day.”

One study published in the American Journal of Medicine involving almost 200 individuals with lower back pain found that tinkering with willow bark resulted in considerable improvements in pain than those that received a placebo.

Yet another randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, which comprised 78 adults with osteoarthritis, found that people getting willow bark extract revealed a moderate analgesic result in atherosclerosis, which WWB seemed to become well-tolerated.

A significant advantage of using plant-derived herbs and extracts for pain like arthritis is the fact that many seem to cause fewer side effects in comparison with NSAIDs, including aspirin.


3. Defends Against Common Illnesses and Fevers

By encouraging the immune system, supplying antioxidants and decreasing inflammation, WWB may be utilized to get rid of a fever, cure a frequent cold,

help control symptoms of influenza and rate combined recovery from different illnesses.

Higher defense against germs and viruses appears to be on account of white willow’s polyphenols and flavonoid content, in addition to some other substances.

These antioxidants are shown to possess fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Willow bark can be particularly valuable for fevers when blended with cooling, for example, wintergreen or peppermint, in essential oil type or tea.

4. May Assist Service Athletic Performance

Since it may offer natural pain relief, white willow bark extract is used by many athletes to help encourage their recovery and performance.

Anecdotal reports, along with a few studies, indicate that it can reduce joint and muscle pain and combat exhaustion that interferes with bodily capacities.

It has also been popular throughout history to treat inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis, as clarified as Penn State Medical Center.

5. Used to Assist With Weight Loss

Although the study centered on its effects on weight reduction is restricted, some reports suggest that WWB might help boost fat loss among obese or obese individuals.

It is considered that willow bark anti-inflammatory activity will help encourage metabolic health,

however, some specialists recommend using it for this purpose because its safety has not been well-researched.

Additionally, it seems to be dangerous when coupled with insecure weight-loss nutritional supplements,

like Ephedra, that will be prohibited in the USA because of reports of severe adverse results.

6. May Fight Depression and Boost Your Disposition

Many people today assert they experience advantages of white willow bark for decreasing pain, tiredness, and nervousness.

While the more formal study is required to validate how it could operate to raise somebody’s mood, energy, and attention,

it looks like white willow bark could have these consequences because of the anti-inflammatory capacity and capability to decrease oxidative stress —

that may interfere with cognitive functioning.

Risks, Side Effects, and Interactions

Consuming massive levels of white willow bark could be harmful because an excessive amount of salicin is effective at contributing to numerous medical issues among several people, such as bleeding disorders and kidney impairment.

Other possible side effects may consist of digestive upset and itching.

Individuals that are more prone to stomach upset, mainly brought on by drugs, ought to be careful when using willow bark solutions.

Individuals with any of the following health issues should avoid using white willow bark merchandise:

  • Bronchial ailments (since willow bark slows down blood clotting)
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Sensitivity to aspirin
  • Infection
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • Gout
  • Hemophilia
  • celiac disease
  • Having had recent surgery

Taking willow bark together with aspirin, beta-blockers, diuretics, or choline magnesium can increase the consequences and contribute to side effects. Also,

it should not be used with any other medicine that slows blood clotting (anticoagulants), because this increases the risk for uncontrolled bleeding.

Is white willow bark safe for pregnancy?

Because the study is limited to the usage of WWB during pregnancy, it is not advised.

It is also not recommended for young kids while breastfeeding.

Is white willow bark safe for puppies? While most veterinarians think it to be safe to give to dogs (although not cats),

it must just be granted under supervision from a vet because of the possibility to cause unwanted effects.

It’s also not safe for dogs given with other medicines, such as NSAID painkillers.

White Willow Bark vs. Ibuprofen: Which can Be Safer (and Why)?

Is white willow bark safer than aspirin or aspirin?

Since it has a lot of active chemicals, such as salicin, polyphenols, and flavonoids, there are some signs that willow bark provides a broader mechanism of activity,

while being less likely to cause severe unwanted effects — such as ibuprofen overdose.

Some people today explain WWB as being like”aspirin” In comparison to homemade produced aspirin,

WWB appears to pose significantly less danger of harmful the digestive lining (the mucosa).

Unlike aspirin, also, it does not have any impact on blood reduction when used in moderate dosages, like about 240 mg of infusion.

Individuals that have a proven allergy to aspirin (“salicylate-sensitive people”) shouldn’t use products made out of willow bark.

When signs of a response happen, for example, skin itching/hives or difficulty breathing, then a physician ought to be contacted immediately.

Types and Dosage

White willow bark comes in many forms, for example:

  • Extract/distilled tincture
  • Tea
  • Capsules/salicin pills
  • Topical creams/ointments
  • Lozenges

How can you obtain aspirin from willow bark?

As you can not just create aspirin from willow bark out of a lab setting, you also can create choices in the kind of white willow bark tea or infusion.

All these are deemed natural replacements for aspirin because they have similar side effects consequences.

White willow bark extracts are usually standardized to salicin content, so their strength/potency is dependent upon how far salicin the infusion contains.

The further salicin, the additional pain relief the infusion should supply.

Dosage recommendations vary based upon the item, so read directions carefully and begin with a shallow dose initially.

Willow bark capsules are generally taken in dosages ranging from 120–240 mg of salicin for six weeks.

Higher doses comprising about 240 mg of salicin, or possibly more, are often needed to assist ailments that cause substantial pain, for example, chronic injuries or arthritis.

Unlike carrying over-the-counter pain drugs, WWB may not take effect straight away.

Many people today discover that it requires up for a week or two even more to experience substantial improvements in pain and other ailments.

The Way to Produce White Willow Bark Tea

Bark in the white willow tree could be accumulated and used to make tea or”bark concoctions.”

Approximately two to 6 ounces could be swallowed up to several times each day, based upon the potency.

White willow trees could be recognized by their fierce, grayish bark and branches and twigs, which are slim, gold brown, and elastic.

The shrub has slender and long leaves that are glossy and green, with both white and white silky undersides.

Younger branches offer bark that is a lot easier to pull away.

If you do not have accessibility to willow trees nearby, then start looking for dried bark on the internet or in some herbal/health food shops.

  1. Eliminate bark from trying to find the papery substance that underlies the bark.
  2. Allow the bark tender for many hours, then boil in water for approximately ten minutes.
  3. Use about 1 tbsp of willow bark a cup of water.
  4. When enabling the tea to cool, so it is ideal for washing it with a meal, and this will cut the opportunity for having an upset tummy.
  5. The majority of folks can eat 1–3 cups of white willow bark tea every day. Drink 1 cup and wait for a few weeks before taking a second dose to be sure that you don’t react badly.


  • White willow bark is a natural pain reliever that includes a compound called salicin. It functions in similar manners, for example, aspirin, which explains the reason why white willow bark advantages include diminishing inflammation, fevers, joint pain, headache, menstrual cramps, and much more.
  • WWB is most frequently taken as infusion or tea to natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory consequences.
  • In infusion form, it is usually taken in dosages ranging from 120–240 mg of salicin for six weeks.
  • Even though it’s usually secure, white willow bark extract obtained in high doses may cause side effects such as increased itching, skin itching, itching along with an upset stomach. Allergic reactions are also potential among people that are allergic to salicin.