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Thread: wiilow for headaches

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    Default wiilow for headaches

    ok who knows this one. after pending 10 dollars for ibuprofin yesterday i am going to learn how to use willow for pain, so q/a is what part of willow and hwo? do you use the bark and just eat it? or do you peel the bark and eat the twigs? or do you eat the leaves? any ideas people?
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    My book says for the White Willow the stem bark is a painkiller, fever reducer, and an original source of salicyclic acid for aspirin. Various bark extracts are used as a sore throat gargle for heartburn stomach problems and food poisoning to relieve arthric pain and to remove corns. Infused leaves make a tea for nervous insomnia and are added to baths to ease rheumatism. Pussy willow(salix caprea) has similar medicinal uses.S. babylonica root bark treats leukemia and restores bone marrow function after chemotherapy. The salix species provide the best quality artists charcoal branches are used for weaving and the white willow variety caerulea is the source of wod for cricket bats.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Black Willow (Salix nigra) can also be used as a tea. Boil the bark for 10-15 minutes. Drink the tea to alleviate headaches.

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    Senior Member RBB's Avatar
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    Scrape the outer bark off a willow twig (1/4 to 1/2 inch). Remove the inner bark. Chew it. Works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBB View Post
    Scrape the outer bark off a willow twig (1/4 to 1/2 inch). Remove the inner bark. Chew it. Works.
    chew which piece?
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    Senior Member tacmedic's Avatar
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    Chew the inner bark, it contains the highest quantities of salicylic acid. Be forewarned it is not the most pleasant taste in the world.

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    so if you peel off bark you are left with the pulp is that what you are refering to? i have not heard of inner and outer bark
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    Senior Member RBB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wareagle69 View Post
    so if you peel off bark you are left with the pulp is that what you are refering to? i have not heard of inner and outer bark
    Using a jack-knife, scrape the outside of the willow branch until all the color is gone. Peel off what is left (should be roughly white in color). That is what you chew.
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    walk lightly on the earth wildWoman's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that as with other plants where you harvest the bark, the pain killing properties of willow are at their peak levels in the bark just as the leaves are emerging, and again as the leaves fall off in autumn. You might want to harvest a bunch of bark in spring and fall. Poplar/trembling aspen is apparently pretty much interchangeable with willow for a painkiller.
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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    yup good point as leaves emerge they take nutrients from the bark and roots, funny how you know something but it takes someone to point out the obvoius though, i was also reading the ojibway made a tea for a remedy. thanks WW
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Here you go, WE.

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    Here's a good site on how to collect it:

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...icial%26sa%3DN
    Last edited by Rick; 06-02-2008 at 07:25 AM.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Just remember that this is aspirin so you should never give it to a child because of the potential for Reyes Syndrome.

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    Don't know if you have them up your way but Georgia is covered up with flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) which has cornic acid which is also a pain reliever and fever reducer. Still waiting for a killer headache or fever to try it out on... In the winter you have to go to the root bark instead of the twig bark.

    On this topic, anyone know the best way to store bark and roots of things like willow or dogwood? I suspect the next time I have a fever of 103 I won't much feel like heading out for dogwood bark even if I have some in my yard.

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    spend more time reading the forum, the headache will follow...
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    walk lightly on the earth wildWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmc View Post
    Don't know if you have them up your way but Georgia is covered up with flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) which has cornic acid which is also a pain reliever and fever reducer. Still waiting for a killer headache or fever to try it out on... In the winter you have to go to the root bark instead of the twig bark.

    On this topic, anyone know the best way to store bark and roots of things like willow or dogwood? I suspect the next time I have a fever of 103 I won't much feel like heading out for dogwood bark even if I have some in my yard.
    A paper bag is a good storage container for it. You want to store herbs in a dark dry place. I have most of my stuff in canning jars with cheesecloth over the opening, all inside a cardboard box.
    Another thing is that to lessen the impact on the tree when you harvest bark, break off a branch and peel that instead of cutting into the trunk.
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    Senior Member laughing beetle's Avatar
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    I have always used it as a tea, or perhaps decoction is the right word.

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    Senior Member snakeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Black Willow (Salix nigra) can also be used as a tea. Boil the bark for 10-15 minutes. Drink the tea to alleviate headaches.
    Do you boil the inner or outer bark?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Snakeman - The inner bark or "bast" is what's used. It contains both the glycosides salicin and populin, which are aspirin like compounds. Both are metabolized in the body as salicylic acid and offers very similar benefits. You can either make a tea or just chew on the twigs. You'll find it awfully bitter so if you make a tea you might want to add sugar or some other sweetening agent.
    Last edited by Rick; 08-22-2008 at 11:51 AM.

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    after splitting and debarking some poplar staves the other day, i started trimming the staves down and started getting a bit sore in the knee and hips, as i generally do, and chewing the cambium from the poplar seemed to help, so i suspect this is a fair source of salicins aswell.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Canid - As far as I can determine, aspens, poplars and cottonwoods all contain varying levels of populin and salicin. Which makes sense to me since they are closely related to willows.

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