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The white willow was introduced into the United States form Europe and can be found next to rivers and streams throughout the country. The bark is the part of the willow used, and is easily removed in the spring when the sap begins to flow.
Willows have been used for centuries for pain relief and reduction of fever. The leaves can be chewed, and contain salicylic acid. This compound has been synthesized into acetylsalicylic acid, otherwise known as aspirin.
Natural salicylic acid is nearly as potent as aspirin, however, the compound salicin from willow does not cause gastric or intestinal upset or bleeding as aspirin can, This is because willow does not block prostaglandins in the stomach or intestines.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Disclaimer: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.