White willow bark has been used for more than 5000 years as a pain relief remedy. It is a miracle drug for pain and heart attack prevention and is commonly known as nature’s aspirin. It contains a precursor to aspirin that essentially serves the same purpose as the drug.
What Is White Willow Bark?
It is derived from the bark of a white willow tree with a scientific name Salix Alba. The white willow tree is native to Central and Southern Europe. It has different concentrations of compounds that make it effective for a variety of health issues. The use of white willow bark began during Hippocrates’ time when people were told to chew on the bark for relief from pain and fever. It contains an active ingredient called Salicin which was identified in 1829.
Benefits of White Willow
If consumed in the right way and amount, the benefits of white willow are numerous. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Ensures Healthy Skin
Many cosmetics and personal care products contain extracts of white willow bark. It has anti-inflammatory, astringent and soothing properties that make it a great product for acne and acne scars. It is also a great treatment for clogged pores as it contains salicylic acid which is a natural exfoliant for shedding dead cells on the skin.
Furthermore, white willow contains flavonoids, tannins, salicin, salicortin, and minerals that help with skin rejuvenation. They have a positive impact on your skin’s health whether consumed orally or applied topically. White willow also promotes blood flow to your skin because of the high content of antioxidants. In turn, improved blood flow reduces the appearance of wrinkles and other aging marks.
One of the primary benefits of white willow is pain relief. It contains a chemical Salicin which is similar to another one called acetylsalicylic acid found in Aspirin. Salicin is great for reducing and curing headaches and even milder migraines. However, they take effects to take longer to kick in but are more long-lasting than that of aspirin.
Eases Muscle and Back Pain
White willow serves as an effective natural remedy for back pains, muscle and neck aches and bone diseases such as arthritis. One of the components of white willow inhibits cyclooxygenase which produces prostaglandins. Prostaglandin is an inflammatory mediator. By hindering the production of prostaglandins, white willow acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Prevents Heart Attacks
The American Heart Association says that regular doses of aspirin can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin is known to reduce the risk of blood clotting which causes hindrance in the pumping of blood. Since we have established that aspirin and white willow are comparable, it is justified to say that white willow has similar benefits.
If you have heart disease, you may consume white willow tea. It will thin your blood almost like aspirin. Please be careful about the amount you consume. Don’t try going beyond what is recommended on the packaging or by your physician.
Soothes Menstrual Cramps
Typically, the contractions and inflammation in the uterine lining cause menstrual pains. As mentioned before, white willow regulates the formation of prostaglandins which, in turn, reduces inflammation. White willow not only soothes menstrual cramps but also cure premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
However, it is advised to consume white willow before your period kicks in and not while it is occurring; doing so can increase the bleeding.
Another great benefit of white willow is that it helps you burn fat. Many people incorporate white willow in their weight loss efforts because it is even more effective when combined with other metabolism-boosting and fat-burning substances. The intensity of the positive effect of these substances multiplies but, of course, in a healthy and more sustainable way.
Fevers are an indication of an infection in your body. It is important to reduce or break a fever in order to speed up the healing process. The sooner your temperature gets normal, the quicker your organs will start working normally again. This was one of the very first uses of white willow in the ancient years. The anti-inflammatory properties of white willow attracted the people of Greece and Egypt.
Soothes Stomach Disorders
The high content of tannins in white willow makes it effective for gastrointestinal distress and other stomach disorders. White willow bark, like all other herbal treatments, acts slowly but has a long-lasting effect. If you are facing digestive problems, you may add white willow to your diet along with consuming fiber-rich foods.