White Willow these are a special trees from my childhood with whom I had a lot of fun as child to play around use its long leaves to slip down from these trees near by the river. But in that time I wasn't aware of it various beneficial use and rich history, and not only slip down from the trees long leaves.
White willow (Salix alba) is a large tree that grows in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, North America, and Asia. This tree grows to a height of 11–25 m (35–75 ft) prefers to grow near waters. In the spring, the slender branches first sprout tiny, yellow flowers and then long, thin green leaves.
The Ginkgo Biloba tree has been referred to as a “living fossil.” This is because it is the only living member of the Ginkgoales family. Individual trees may live as long as 3000 years, just another reason to call this plant a “living fossil.” with long lasting spirit. This tree provides a direct link to our prehistory through its unchanging structure. Most of these earlier trees were males. Read more click here.
For very ancient times white willow has been considered a popular natural remedy for many ancient civilizations. Medicines made from willow and other salicylate rich plants appear in clay tablets from ancient Sumer as well as the Ebers Papyrus from ancient Egypt. Salicin’s anti-inflammatory effects help to diminish wrinkles and reduce the appearance of pores, and even out skin tone while promoting increased firmness. It is a natural exfoliant, salicin sloughs off dead skin cells and clears pores to reveal the skin become more radiant and smooth. It is extremely effective, Salicin is gentle and non-irritating, making it safe for nearly all skin types. Popular skin care ingredient Salicylic acid is the metabolized derivative of salicin. Other civilizations like Chinese, Ancient Assyrian, Native Americans, and Ancient Egyptian, as well in Europe to stop vomiting, remove warts, and suppress sexual desire in addition to treating fevers and pains; Dioscorides, Hippocrates, and Galen recommended white willow to remedy fevers and pain. White willow is the oldest recorded analgesic, or painkiller, and to relieve pain during childbirth, in human history.
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Willow bark medicine became a standard part of the materia medica of Western medicine beginning at least with the Greek physicians. The Roman encyclopedist Celsus, in his De Medicina, suggested willow leaf extract to treat the four signs of inflammation: redness, heat, swelling and pain. Willow treatments also appeared in Dioscorides's De Materia Medica, and Pliny the Elder's Natural History. By the time of Galen, willow bark was commonly used throughout the Roman and Arab worlds.
Since beginning of human history methods or art of healing been very changing but at the base they remains the same. We can approach different ways how to heal a being. But are we aware what is the real thing behind a curved light that heals? To read more click here.
Willow bark extract became recognized for its specific effects on fever, pain and inflammation in the 18 century. The major turning point for willow bark in medicine came in Britain, 1763, when English chaplain Edward Stone describing the impressive power of willow bark extract to cure ague—an ill-defined constellation of symptoms, including intermittent fever, pain, and fatigue, that primarily referred to malaria. Inspired by the doctrine of signatures to search for a treatment for agues near the brackish waters that were known to cause it. The white willow bark was used to treat malaria in Britain in the 18th century, since the bark was similar to cinchona bark, a South American bark used to treat malaria. In his letter, Stone reported consistent success, describing willow extract's effects as identical to Peruvian bark, though a little less potent. (In fact, the active ingredient of Peruvian bark was quinine, which attacked the infectious cause of malaria, while the active ingredient of willow extract, salicin, relieved the symptoms of malaria but could not cure it.) Stone's letter (mistakenly attributed to Edmund rather than Edward Stone) was printed in Philosophical Transactions, and by the end of the 18th century willow was gaining popularity as an inexpensive substitute for Peruvian bark.
The French pharmacist H Leroux identified white willow’s active chemical compound salicin in 1829. By the nineteenth century pharmacists were experimenting with and prescribing a variety of chemicals related to salicin, the active component of willow extract. In the beginning of 19th century, European chemists extracted the constituent salicin from white willow bark and converted it to salicylic acid. At the end of the 19th century, acetylsalicylic acid was synthetically produced and aspirin was born.
In 1897, scientists at the drug and dye firm Bayer began investigating acetylsalicylic acid as a less-irritating replacement for standard common salicylate medicines, and identified a new way to synthesize it. By 1899, Bayer had dubbed this drug Aspirin and was selling it around the world. The word Aspirin was Bayer's brand name, rather than the generic name of the drug; however, Bayer's rights to the trademark were lost or sold in many countries.
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The mechanism of aspirin's analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties was unknown till the early- to mid-twentieth century; widely accepted since the drug was first brought to market, was that aspirin relieved pain by acting on the central nervous system. Harry Collier, a biochemist in 1958 began investigating the relationship between kinins and the effects of aspirin. He found that aspirin worked locally to combat pain and inflammation, rather than on the central nervous system.
Whilst this chemical is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic, studies show several other components of Willow bark (including polyphenols and flavonoids), have antioxidant, fever reducing, antiseptic and immune boosting properties. Some studies show that this plant is as effective as aspirin for reducing pain and inflammation at much lower doses. It has been shown to relieve headaches and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects than synthesised pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
White willow is being recalled as nature's aspirin and gaining popularity around the world as an alternative treatment for fevers, inflammatory, bursitis, tendinitis , headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, angina, back pain, osteoarthritis , menstrual cramps, toothache pain and muscle aches.
There are over 300 species of willow, but only several species are used medicinally: white willow (Salix alba), purple willow (Salix purpurea ), violet willow (Salix daphnoides ), and crack willow (Salix fragilis).
Arthritis - Anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing painful inflammation of the joints. It is thought that regular intake of white willow bark will help to suppress the progression and onset of arthritis.
Heart Health - It is well known that low doses of salicylates from white willow bark are taken as a preventative as well as first aid for a heart attack as it helps to reduce the risk of internal clotting. Lowers blood pressure, relieving the symptoms.
Menstrual Cramps - Willow bark regulates the production of prostaglandins and reduces inflammation, it will help to soothe not only cramps but other PMS symptoms. The only side effect to using this remedy could be an increase in the flow of blood due to its blood thinning effects.
Positive effects on stomach disorders - Tannins present in white willow bark can prevent gastrointestinal disorders.
Skin Health - Powerfully antioxidant compounds in white willow bark have been found to have a very positive effect on the skin. It increases the blood flow to the skin, thus providing much needed nourishment, and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. Boosting the regenerative process of the skin, making the wounds heal faster. The willow bark contains salicylic acid, a BHA acid (Beta Hydroxy Acid) which has an ability to penetrate through the oil in the skin, the same oil which is responsible for clogging pores. Willow bark extract is a natural remedy for the various skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, a remedy for acne, and eczema. The polyphenols present in the bark help alleviate these conditions with their anti-inflammatory properties.
Willow bark extract is beneficial for the scalp if dealing with dandruff and oily scalp. With its astringent properties, the extract helps to exfoliate the scalp. As with oily skin, it aids in oily scalp since it’s a gentle cleanser, suitable also for sensitive skin. Willow bark extract helps to balance the sebum, to moisturize the hair and keep the scalp healthy.
Risks - This is serious plant medicine and need to be taken serious as regular aspirin. For more advice ask your health assistant.
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