Willow Bark (Salix alba) as a Natural Healer
“Willow bark extract has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic.” (1) Using willow bark to make a tea is relatively simple and it’s “adverse effects appear to be minimal as compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin.” (1) Willow bark tea can be used for headaches, fever, menstrual cramps and even as an antiseptic. Willow bark also has anti-inflammatory properties which may be beneficial in combating joint pain. (2)
Using natural medicine and natural remedies doesn’t need to be difficult or terribly complicated. I use Willow Bark tea, to treat headaches and fevers, as well as the occasional backache. The bark of the Willow Tree has been used for literally thousands of years and is easily harvested in the Spring from young branches that are two to three years old. Two teaspoons of willow bark can be steeped in one cup of boiling water, for 10-20 minutes. I tend to add cinnamon and honey because it tends to taste rather bitter.
Making Willow Bark Tea is easy to do, and only requires a few ingredients. The recipe I use is as follows:
2 teaspoon of White Willow Bark
1/2-1 stick of cinnamon (optional)
1 cup filtered water
Raw honey to taste (optional)
Bring water to a boil, and add willow bark and cinnamon. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and add honey. I typically make 4 cups of tea at a time, so use 4 cups of filtered water, 8 teaspoons of willow bark and 2 cinnamon sticks. The tea can taste bitter, hence my addition of Raw honey.
Willow Bark Tea is slower than traditional aspirin, but it seems to last longer. Children and teens under the age of 16, should not use willow bark. A person who is pregnant, nursing or taking medication should consult their health care provider prior to using herbs or herbal remedies.