White Willow in bulk
shopping: two varieties
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$3.06 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$7.65 
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$3.28 
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per Pound
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$8.20 
Salix alba

White WIllow Bark

plant overview
graceful, sweeping willow

White willow bark comes from the white willow tree, a deciduous tree commonly found along riverbanks in eastern North America, England, North Africa and parts of Asia. What is white willow bark used for? For centuries, it has been made into white willow bark tea to treat pain. The Native Americans specifically used it for fever and pain associated with arthritis. We now know that the white willow bark benefits come from a natural source of salicylates, agents collectively serving as the forerunner of aspirin. You can buy it in cut pieces for teas and tinctures or in powder form. White willow bark powder uses include salves, ointments, and most commonly, encapsulated in pill form.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
White willow bark
01.
A Bit of Botany
a bit of botanical information about white willow

description
Salix alba is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree of the Saliaceae family.

This fast-growing (although relatively short-lived) tree it grows up to 10–30 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. Its irregular crown is often leaning. The bark is grey-brown, and in older trees is deeply fissured; its shoots are usually grey-brown to green-brown.

White willow leaves are covered with very fine silky white hairs—particularly true for the leaves' undersides— making this tree paler in hue than most other willows. The leaves are 5–10 cm long and 0.5–1.5 cm wide.

In the early spring, the tree's flowers are produced in catkins (flowering spikes, typically downy and pendulous) in and are then pollinated by insects. The tree is dioecious, with male and female catkins on separate trees. Male catkins are 4–5 cm long; and the slightly shorter female catkins 3–4 cm long at pollination, though they will lengthen as the fruit matures. In midsummer when mature, the female catkins comprise numerous small (4 mm) capsules. Each of these capsules containing numerous minute seeds which are in turn embedded in white down, which aids wind dispersal.

common names & nomenclature
As mentioned above, this willow is paler than others, due to the white tone of the underside of its leaves lent by the silky white hairs that present themselves there. The common name of white willow references this paleness.

Also known as:
cricket bat willow, basket willow, crack willow, white willow

White Willow, the deciduous willow
02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for white willow

Salix alba is a species of willow native to Europe and western and central Asia.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting white willow

climate
White willow grows along sunny streams and rivers, marshes, woods and other wet areas.

soil
The plant succeeds in most soils—including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils. However, it prefers a damp, heavy soil.

growing
The white willow seed has a very short viability, perhaps as little as a few days, and it must be surface sown as soon as it is ripe in late spring. Can also take cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, plant in November to February in a sheltered outdoor bed. Can also be planted straight into their permanent location.

harvesting
White willow bark is harvested in the spring or early autumn. The bark is collected from branches 3-6 years in age, and is dried for later use.

preserving
Store dried white willow bark, cut pieces and dried white willow bark, powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story

Formulas & recipes

White Willow Bark Tea Recipe
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of white willow bark to 8 oz.–10 oz. of water
  • Boil for 10-15 minutes in a saucepan
  • Remove from heat, add cinnamon (or cinnamon stick) and ginger root, and let steep for another 20 minutes
  • Strain tea into a cup
  • Sweeten with honey or agave syrup to taste

White Willow Bark Ointment

This non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and helps to ease painful joints and overworked muscles. Be sure to use 100% aloe gel as some aloe products contain unwanted fillers. Beeswax is available in blocks and as pellets (pastilles) in craft stores and in natural health stores.

  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon grated beeswax
  • ½ cup sweet almond oil or carrier oil of choice
  • 1 cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 1 capsule vitamin E, pierced
  • 3 tablespoons white willow bark, cut & sifted
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried peppermint leaf

Making herb-infused oil

Put white willow bark and dried peppermint leaf into a lidded jar. Pour carrier oil over the dried herbs soaking them. Cover the jar and store for 4-6 weeks infusing the oil with the herbs. Once the oil is ready, strain it using a cheesecloth or mesh strainer.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.