Willow - Very Useful Herb for Arthritis
Salix alba Salicaceae Also called White willow
This deciduous tree is characterised by its graciful branches bearing silky, lance-shaped leaves. It grows to a height of 1 0-15m and is found throughout Europe in damp places, especially on riverbanks. Its flowers are catkins that appear in spring. The supple young twigs are traditionally used as a material for fences and basketwork.
Willow bark contains salicin, which the body converts into salicyl alcohol and subsequently to the known anti-inflammatory agent salicylic acid (a natural form of aspirin). It also contains flavonoids and proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins) that are well known for their astringent and wound-healing properties.
Willow bark combats inflammation, rheumatism, pain, headaches and fever. Japanese scientists carried out experiments in 2002 which demonstrated that salicylic acid (produced from the conversion of salicin in the intestines), reduced fever without damaging the stomach.
Willow bark is also known to have an antiseptic effect and is used externally to treat wounds and ulcers. It has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and for intestinal infections. For its ability to reduce fever, it is also indicated in the treatment of influenza.A trial carried out in Germany in 2001 found that willow exerted a moderate analgesic effect on people who were suffering from osteoarthritis.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO THEAT rever, flu, headaches, pains, rheumatism
For external use
TO TREAT ulcers. wounds
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Suited to moist or wet soil and a sunny location. Willow will take up a lot of space in a smaller garden.
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Date : 28th-29th Nov, 2015
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