Willow bark contains a chemical called salicin, which is similar to aspirin. It has pain and fever reducing effects in the body.
People commonly use willow bark for back pain, osteoarthritis, fever, flu, muscle pain, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using willow bark for COVID-19.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
Special Precautions and Warnings
Breast-feeding: It is possibly unsafe to use willow bark while breast-feeding. Willow bark contains chemicals that can enter breast milk and have harmful effects on the nursing infant. Don't use it if you are breast-feeding.
Children: Willow bark is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth for viral infections such as colds and flu. There is some concern that, like aspirin, it might increase the risk of developing Reye syndrome. Stay on the safe side and don't use willow bark in children.
Bleeding disorders: Willow bark might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Kidney disease: Willow bark might reduce blood flow through the kidneys. This might lead to kidney failure in some people. If you have kidney disease, don't use willow bark.
Sensitivity to aspirin: People with asthma, stomach ulcers, diabetes, gout, hemophilia, hypoprothrombinemia, or kidney or liver disease might be sensitive to aspirin and also willow bark. Using willow bark might cause serious allergic reactions. Avoid use.
Surgery: Willow bark might slow blood clotting. It could cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using willow bark at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with WILLOW BARK
Willow bark might slow blood clotting. Taking willow bark along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Do not take this combination
Aspirin interacts with WILLOW BARK
Willow bark contains chemicals similar to aspirin. Taking willow bark along with aspirin might increase the effects and side effects of aspirin.
Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate) interacts with WILLOW BARK
Willow bark contains chemicals that are similar to choline magnesium trisalicylate. Taking willow bark along with choline magnesium trisalicylate might increase the effects and side effects of choline magnesium trisalicylate.
Salsalate (Disalcid) interacts with WILLOW BARK
Salsalate is a type of medicine called a salicylate. It's similar to aspirin. Willow bark also contains a salicylate similar to aspirin. Taking salsalate along with willow bark might increase the effects and side effects of salsalate.
Acetazolamide interacts with WILLOW BARK
Willow bark contains chemicals that might increase the amount of acetazolamide in the blood. Taking willow bark along with acetazolamide might increase the effects and side effects of acetazolamide.
Be cautious with this combination
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.