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Willow Bark

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White Willow (Salix Alba), have been used by the Chinese, Greeks and Romans for thousands of year as an herbal remedy to relieve fever and pain. The active ingredient in white willow is salacin. In the early twentieth century salacin has been synthesized as aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Aspirin is more potent than salacin, but it is also more prone to causing side effects such as stomach irritation, ulcers and internal bleeding. Salacin is much gentler on the stomach than aspirin. Recent studies show that willow bark contains other compounds with antioxidant, antiseptic, and immune-boosting properties. In modern herbal medicine, willow bark is recommended for back pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatism pain, sprains, toothache, headache, fever, colds and flu.



Migraine headaches can be prevented by substances that block serotonin receptors 5-HT@A and 5-HT@C in the arteries of the brain. Like feverfew, white willow impedes these receptors and can inhibit migraines.



The level of salacin varies considerably from one species to another, so the level of pain relief may vary between teas and products.
Tea: Simmer 1 teaspoon willow bark in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain. Add honey to taste, if desired. Drink 1 cup 2 to 3 times a day.

Extracts: buy a willow bar product standardized to salicin: take a daily dose equivalent to 120 to 240 mg salicin, in 2 or 3 doses. It may take a week or so to see benefits.


In 2006 a small study in France was conducted involving seven women and five men who suffers with migraines ranging from one every 2 weeks to 3 migraines a week. Each subject received 300 mg of white willow and 300 mg of feverfew twice daily. After 6 weeks migraine frequency was reduce by 57% on average. After 12 weeks migraine frequency reduced ever further by 62% on average. In fact, 90% of the subjects experienced a substantial reduction in migraine frequency. This is an excellent result, and a far better one than those of most migraine drugs.
The results of the research on white willow and feverfew as combination for migraine therapy are highly impressive in comparison with other natural remedies or frequently used pharmaceuticals.  It is certainly a good option to try before you take prescription drugs.

Common Names: 
 Willow Bark
Latin Name: Salix alba, S. purpurpea, S. fragilis
Parts Used: Bark
Therapeutic Use: Migraine Headaches, back pain, osteoarthritis

Dr. Gregory Jean-Pierre of Upper Cervical Institute of Florida in Boca Raton, FL is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). His upper cervical clinic focuses on helping women with migraines. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems including migraines. More information can be found on their website at or follow on Facebook at

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Guest Tuesday, 21 May 2019

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