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Quest Vitamins LTD,
8 Venture Way,
Aston Science Park,
B7 4AP.

Tel: 0121 359 0056
Fax: 0121 359 0313
Registered in England No. 2530437

White Willow (Salix alba)


White willow is commonly used as a natural alternative to aspirin. Unlike aspirin, white willow does not easily upset the stomach. White willow contains a substance that can be purified to produce salicylic acid, a precursor of aspirin.


White willow has been used to treat a variety of ailments in various parts of the world. It has been used as a treatment for Pain and fever in China since 500 B.C. In Europe, it was used to stop Vomiting, reduce Warts, and suppress sexual desire.


Part of the plant used: BARK.

Tea, 1-2 g of white willow bark per one cup of water boiled for 10 minutes.

Standardised tinctures and dry extracts, providing 60-120 mg of salicin daily


White willow is used for many of the same purposes of aspirin, including treatment of the following: bursitis, tendinitis, Headaches, osteoarthritis,(1) dysmenorrhea, and rheumatoid Arthritis. It may be less hard on the stomach than aspirin because salicylic acid is in chemical forms in white willow that convert into salicylic acid only after absorption by the body (2).


White willow should not be used long-term, for it may lead to stomach irritation and bleeding Ulcers. Risks of aspirin apply to white willow as well. (3)

Children should not be given white willow due to risk of Reye?s syndrome. It should not be used by individuals with aspirin allergies, bleeding disorders, ulcers, kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes.

Safety in pregnant or nursing women and patients with severe liver or kidney disease has not been determined.


White willow should not be taken with the following: alcohol, "blood thinners," other anti-inflammatories, methotrexate, metoclopramide, phenytoin, probenecid, spironolactone, and valproate. Adverse interactions may occur.


1. Mills SY et al. Effect of a proprietary herbal medicine on the relief of chronic arthritic Pain: A double-blind study. Br J Rheum 1996;35:874-78
2. Newall C, et al. Herbal medicines: A guide for health-care professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996: 268.
3. Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.


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