› What is it?
Willow bark is the bark from several varieties of the willow tree. The bark has been shown to help relieve some mild discomforts. Willow bark contains a chemical called salicin that acts similar to aspirin.
› Health benefits
Studies on willow bark have varying effectiveness ratings in the following areas:
Willow bark appears to reduce lower back pain. Higher doses seem to be more effective than lower doses. It can take up to a week for significant improvement.
Research shows that taking a specific product containing white willow bark extract and other ingredients for 8 weeks reduces joint pain. But taking this product doesn’t seem to help joint stiffness or function. More research is needed to determine effectiveness.
Research on willow bark extract for osteoarthritis has produced conflicting results. Some research shows it can reduce osteoarthritis pain. In fact, there is some evidence suggesting that willow bark extract works as well as conventional medications for osteoarthritis. But other research shows no benefit. More research is needed to determine effectiveness.
› How much do I need?
The appropriate dose depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health and several other conditions. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
› Dietary supplements
Willow bark is available in a powdered, encapsulated form or a distilled tincture form.
Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.