Willow (Salix Alba / white oak) bark contain salicylates, which is why it has been used as a medicinal plant. Salicylates are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the body and break down into salicylic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory drug. Salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory, fever-reducing and pain-removing. Salicylic acid is also used to produce aspirin.
Willow bark has been used to alleviate pain and headaches, reduce fever, rheumatism, internal bleeding, arthritis, heartburn, insomnia, flatulence, gout, colds, indigestion and abdominal pain. It also helps in muscle pain and muscle stiffness and in the treatment of arthritis.
The carnivorous agents or willow affects the digestive system's ailments by preventing diarrhea, treating inflammation, and decreasing blood vessels. The willow has also has a disinfectant effect.
Externally the willow can be used for burns, wounds, rashes and inflammations. It can also treat dermatitis and skin dermatitis.
Salicylic acid may irritate the digestive tract and also cause allergies. External long-term use in large areas of skin should be avoided.
The willow bark contains parkers and may stain the urine red.
NOTE! Not suitable for pregnant or kidney sufferers!
It is recommended to make decoction of the willow bark. It is possible to make a larger quantity but the appropriate ratio is about 1 tbsp bark / 2 dl of water. Boil water for 5 minutes, and strain. The decoction can be added into feed 1-2 times a day for about 1 dl at a time.
Decoction is also suitable for foals suffering gastroenteritis and diarrhea, but dosage MUST always be started at VERY low doses.
For external use, you can make a willow compress (bark boiled in hot water. Cool down and apply to the skin.
Dosage: horse 500kg: Decoction1-1.5 dl, 1-2 times a day.
1- 2 tbsp bark as it is.
1 tbsp = 3 g, 1 dl = 15 g.