8 Impressive Benefits of Willow Bark

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

The most useful health benefits of willow bark include its ability to reduce fevers, eliminate pain, lower inflammation, treat migraines, soothe the stomach, heal the skin, help with weight loss, and protect oral health.

What is Willow Bark?

Willow bark is most commonly derived from the bark of the white willow tree, which has the scientific name Salix alba. This tree is native to Europe and Central Asia and has been in use as a medicinal element for nearly 5,000 years. The benefits of this bark are numerous and well studied, which is why it remains such a popular and trusted alternative medicine for a variety of afflictions. White willow trees have an inner and outer bark, which have different concentrations of compounds, making them better for certain ailments. For this reason, always trust a trained herbalist or alternative medicine practitioner for willow bark supplements or powder.

You can consume it in the form of a tea by steeping chopped bark, but not the powdered form. You can also take capsules of willow bark, as well as topical tinctures and decoctions. The high concentration of unique chemicals, such as various tannins and salicin, have a strong impact on the body and result in significant health benefits if prepared and administered properly.

Close up of dried willow bark on a jute cloth

Health Benefits of Willow Bark

Let’s take a closer look at the many impressive health benefits of this bark.

Relieves Pain

Due to its rich blend of antioxidants and organic compounds, willow bark functions as a very successful analgesic. For thousands of years, it has been traditionally used to relieve pain from injuries and illness, with great success. In fact, more than 2,500 years ago, the earliest recorded use of an herb was of willow bark, in Chinese traditional medicine. Although it was mentioned in older texts dating back to the Egyptians, this was the first documented use of willow bark for pain relief!

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation takes on many different forms within our body. If you are looking to eliminate the inflammation in your respiratory tracts, gastrointestinal system, or joints, then willow bark can quickly soothe your symptoms. If you prepare a decoction or a tea of this bark, you will feel the inflammation and topical pain from arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gout, and other conditions disappear.

Reduces Fever

One of the most important anti-inflammatory properties of willow bark is in the reduction of fevers. Fevers are a symptom of an infection in the body, but reducing a fever or breaking it is important to speed up the healing process and get the organs working normally again. It has been used to treat fevers for thousands of years.

Eases Menstruation

For many women who suffer from abnormally heavy periods or severe menstrual symptoms, taking a small glass of willow bark can do wonders for everything from period pains and cramping to mood swings and unnecessary stress hormones in the body. Its relaxing characteristics are particularly good in these circumstances, as they can help re-balance hormones in a woman’s body.

Soothes Stomach Disorders

The high content of tannins can help soothe the stomach and prevent gastrointestinal distress during other illnesses or periods of a weakened immune system. While willow bark can be slow-acting, its effects can be long-lasting, making it an effective herbal remedy to occasionally add to your health regimen, but it should not be consumed daily unless advised by a doctor or trained herbalist.

Weight Loss

Many people turn to willow bark to enhance their weight loss efforts, namely because the herb combines so well with other fat-burning and metabolism-boosting substances. It can intensify the effects of these herbs in a healthy way, thereby increasing their efficacy and improving your results even further.

Skin Care

The appearance of the skin is very important for many people, and the high content of antioxidant compounds found in willow bark can have a major impact on the health of the skin. Whether applied topically or consumed, willow bark can increase blood flow to the skin due to its antioxidants, while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age marks. Furthermore, it can eliminate inflammation in the skin and ease the pain of insect bites and irritation.

Eliminates Migraines

If you suffer from chronic headaches and migraines, you might be able to benefit significantly from the pain-relieving qualities of willow bark. It can help eliminate migraines by lowering the blood pressure in the small capillaries and blood vessels in the head, easing pressure and relieving those painful, debilitating symptoms. It can also be used as a preventive method for regular headaches.

Word of Caution: The side effects of willow bark include upset stomachs, itchiness, and rashes, particularly with people who are allergic to other analgesics, such as aspirin. If you have blood or kidney disorders, be particularly careful before using willow bark, as it can exacerbate these conditions if not administered properly. There is no need to take willow bark on a regular basis, as high doses can greatly increase your chances of experiencing side effects. Furthermore, you should only add willow bark to your health regimen after speaking with your physician.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.8 out of 5.0 based on 269 user(s).

Latest Health News:

A middle-aged couple walking in the park

Sex-Specific Memory Tests Can Improve aMCI Diagnosis

Should the sex of a person be considered when testing for dementia? A recent study published in the journal Neurology suggests that ignoring the sex of the…


Maternal Gastric Bypass Can Help Reduce Birth Defects

The weight of a woman during pregnancy is closely linked to the health of the fetus. but having a gastric bypass surgery could prove helpful for the child,…

women lying front down on a bed by getting a massage

Relaxation May Not Work For People With Anxiety

A relaxing vacation or a day at the spa sounds like the best thing to rejuvenate yourself. But it might not work the same for everyone. A new study confirms…