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Top 4 Health Benefits of White Willow + What The Research Shows

Woman reading a book and enjoying tea

White willow is often called “nature’s aspirin” because it contains salicin which was used to develop aspirin in the 1800s. Due to this, many people associate white willow with pain relief, but did you know that it actually has several other health benefits?

Today, we’re breaking down white willow's top four health benefits and what scientific research has found surrounding these health claims. 

1. Pain Relief

Let’s start with white willow’s most widely known health benefit - pain relief, particularly for osteoarthritis and low back pain. 

There are almost too many studies to name about white willow’s use as a pain reliever, but here are a few of the most exciting studies we found. 

One study on people with lower back pain found that white willow was more effective than the placebo, showing that it can be a good natural alternative to aspirin. 

The National Library of Medicine also noted that taking willow bark orally may help reduce back pain. 

Another study testing a joint pain supplement containing 15% white willow bark extract demonstrated that it significantly reduced joint pain severity in participants taking the supplement versus the placebo group. Noted improvements included an increased ability to perform daily activities and reduced stiffness. The biggest improvements were found in people struggling with knee pain. 

Lastly, one study in The Asian Journal of Kinesiology found that supplementing with white willow bark following lower body resistance training decreased muscle soreness. 

2. Anti-Aging Skincare

A commonly overlooked way to use white willow is in anti-aging skincare. 

One study tested a topical serum containing salicin, a natural extract found in white willow, at 0.5% and looked at its effect on the visible signs of skin aging. This study took 30 female subjects between the ages of 35 and 70 who were classified as having “mild to moderate signs of aging” and had them apply this serum to their face twice daily for two weeks. 

The results were pretty amazing! 

Researchers found statistically significant improvements in pore size, wrinkles, radiance, tactile roughness, and overall appearance only one week into the study. 

At week four, they found visible improvements in jaw-line contour, global firmness, and mottled pigmentation against their baseline. After 12 weeks, the participants were assessed in several ways, including an ultrasound, and showed significant improvements in the look and feel of their skin. 

Researchers concluded that salicin can reduce the visible signs of skin aging when applied topically (and consistently!). 

As a result of fantastic research like this, we’ve included white willow in multiple Herb Stop skincare products, including these: 

  • Flawless Jojoba Serum: This light, fast-absorbing serum is packed with powerful ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, white willow, green tea, vitamin B-3, and more, to support tighter, softer skin. 
  • Repairing Vitamin C Serum: Our Repairing Vitamin C Serum is an energizing choice to support your skin as it fights free radicals, which are known to contribute to skin aging. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, superfruit extracts, and white willow bark extract are included to promote healthier skin. 
  • Hydrating Primrose Eye Cream: Organic white willow bark extract is included in this eye cream as a helpful astringent to support toned, tightened skin. 
  • DMAE & MSM Tightening Serum: White willow bark extract combined with vegan DMAE, MSM, meadowfoam oil, and blue-green algae extract create this supportive powerhouse tightening serum. Allow it five minutes to sit on the skin to let it work its magic!  
  • DMAE & MSM Tightening Toner: This toner contains many incredible ingredients, like white willow bark and aloe leaf juice, to promote tightened and toned skin. This is the ultimate step to support your skin’s appearance before moisturizing your skin! 

3. Headaches

White willow bark is known for reducing inflammation which may help with headaches, including certain types of migraines which scientists believe may be triggered or worsened by inflammation. 

Interesting in learning more about anti-inflammatory herbs for pain relief? Read our previous piece on the 3 Must-Know Health Benefits of Turmeric and the Science Behind Them. 

4. Fever Reduction

In addition to pain relief, white willow bark has also been noted to have fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

At this time, scientists are unsure if this is due to the salicin found in white willow bark or another compound in the herb. Either way, white willow bark may be a good choice if you’re looking to soothe a fever and inflammation and even boost your immune system. 

Support Your Body with These White Willow Products

White willow bark is a versatile herb many enjoy having on hand to support their body during headaches, fevers, back pain, and much more. 

Here are some of the easiest ways you can incorporate white willow into your routine: 

  • White Willow Capsules: The easiest way to add white willow to your routine is to keep White Willow Capsules on hand. Many of our clients love using these for pain relief, fever reduction, arthritis, and even diarrhea with intestinal spasms. 
  • Harmony For Your Head Tea: If you struggle with pounding headaches, this tea is for you! Harmony For Your Head contains soothing spearmint and lavender, mellow rooibos, and supportive white willow to aid your body as it fights off pesky headaches. 
  • Joyful Muscle Tea: This tea contains many herbs for supporting yourself when you are experiencing aches and pains, including white willow, astragalus, eleuthero, ginger, and oat straw. Drink as needed or up to three times a day to promote pain relief. 
  • Joyful Muscle Extract: Similar to our Joyful Muscle Tea, this extract makes adding white willow and other herbs traditionally used for pain relief and immune support to your routine. Simply add 30 drops to a small glass of water and take it three to four times a day or as directed by your doctor. 

White willow bark is a multi-faceted herb that we love. We hope today’s breakdown of white willow’s health benefits and the research helped you decide if it’s right for you! 

Well Wishes, 

Herbalist Natalie & Herbalist Leilah

*White Willow Bark is not for use by individuals using anti-coagulant therapy or individuals with bleeding disorders. Do not use this herb if you are sensitive or allergic to salicylates (Aspirin). If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs, always consult with a qualified physician before using new healthcare products.

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