Part Used: Dried bark
Willow Bark (Salix lucida) is a decidious shrub growing to 8m. The bark is smooth and light brown to reddish-brown in color. It has anodyne; antiasthmatic; astringent; febrifuge; and haemostatic properties. The herb has been used as a remedy for fever, aches and pains. Willow bark contains compounds called phenolic glycoside esters. Intestinal micro-organisms transform these compounds to saligenin, which is oxidized in the liver and blood, producing salicylic acid. It has pain-relieving effects like aspirin, but with fewer side effects. Pain is reduced by inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis in sensory nerves. Willow Bark has been considered a "natural aspirin".
The bark of Willow Bark is analgesic, antiasthmatic, astringent and haemostatic and effectively used in the treatment of bleeding and asthma. A poultice of the bark has been applied to the head to allay the pain of headaches. The poultice has also been used to treat sores and bleeding cuts. The fresh bark contains salicin, which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge.
Plants for a Future. http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Salix+lucida&CAN=LATIND
All Natural. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/willow.shtml