Willow bark is a natural pain reliever, therefore it’s sometimes called ‘herbal aspirin’. Willow bark can ease acute and chronic pain, such as headaches, reduce inflammation and fever. White willow (salix alba) and other salix species contain salicin which the body converts into salicylic acid (the active ingredient of aspirin). Dried willow bark can be bought, but you can also gather your own willow bark in the nature. In an emergency in the wilderness, just chewing some fresh willow bark can relief the pain.
How to harvest willow bark: Prune some twigs in the spring (remove buds or leaves if there are any), peel the bark and dry it.
Willow Bark Tea
- 1 tsp dried willow bark
- 1 cup water
Put bark and water into a saucepan, bring to a boil, steep for 5 minutes, remove the bark and drink the tea as soon as it’s cold enough.
Here you’ll find my recipe for another salicin-containing herbal painkiller – meadowsweet tea.