Salix alba (SA) is a species of willow native to Europe and western and central Asia. The bark of Salix alba is a plant used in folk medicine for the treatment of chronic and acute inflammation, infection, pain, and fever. The phytochemical characterization of the bark extract of this plant indicated that its main component is salicin, a precursor of the anti-inflammatory agent acetylsalicylic acid.
Willow bark (Salix spp.) is herbal Aspirin. Herb experts says that Native Americans used various willow bark remedies to heal headaches. Modern medicine also considers use of willow bark remedy for migraine and headaches: Aspirin was developed due to research on compounds found in willow. In fact, white willow bark (Salix alba) is one of the oldest home analgesics, dating back to 500 BC. Modern research confirms old-time wisdom, showing that Salix Alba helps Migraine and Headaches, back, osteoarthritic and nerve pain. Willow bark contains the compounds apigenin, salicin and salicylic acid, which provide anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antineuralgic actions.
Everything you wanted to know about Salix alba (White Willow) in India
What is Salix alba (White Willow)?
The bark of Salix alba is the most well-studied natural and salicylate-containing herb used in pain management in inflammatory conditions. Willow bark comes from the willow tree of the Salix species. The bark contains salicin, a compound similar to aspirin. Salicin is metabolized in the body to create salicylic acid, a precursor to aspirin.
What are Health Benefits of Salix Alba?
Salix Alba herbal extract has long been used in traditional medicine to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. Alternative practitioners contend that willow bark can safely treat a host of pain disorders, including headache, low back pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Low back pain: Scientific reviews show evidence that Salix Alba in proper dose relieves acute exacerbations of chronic back pain.
Osteoarthritis: Salix bark extract also showed benefit in relieving pain of hip and knee osteoarthritis.
What is Mode of Action of Salix Alba?
Salicin, when converted to salicylic acid, inhibits the activity of cyclo-oxygenase 1 (COX-1) and cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2). These are the same enzymes targeted by NSAIDs to alleviate pain and inflammation.
Is Salix Alba better than OTC Painkillers?
Salix Alba is considered by many to be a reasonable alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen.
What is Salix Alba dosage for Arthritis Disorders?
Dosage: Standardized extract providing 120-240 mg salicin per day in divided doses. Generally speaking, oral doses of up to 400 mg per day are considered safe and effective for treatment of muscle or joint pain.
What are possible side effects of Salix Alba?
Willow bark is considered relatively safe herbal remedy. Insofar as willow bark is similar to aspirin, it is possible to develop many of the same side effects, particularly if overused. These may include stomach upset, vomiting, dizziness, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver toxicity, and kidney impairment.
Is Salix Alba safe in Children and Pregnant women and Nursing mothers?
Children and teens should not use willow bark due to a rare condition known as Reye’s syndrome, commonly associated with aspirin. The same applies to breastfeeding mothers who may inadvertently transmit salicin to their babies. The safety of willow bark during pregnancy is unknown, so it is best to avoid it if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
Willow bark may slow blood clotting and prolong bleeding time. As such, it should not be taken with anticoagulants like Coumadin (warfarin), antiplatelet drugs like Plavix (clopidogrel), or any drugs associated with bleeding (including NSAIDs).