Skip to main content

Willow Bark

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 20, 2021.

What are other common names?

  • Salix alba
  • Salix daphnoides
  • Salix fragilis
  • Salix nigra
  • Salix pentandra
  • Salix purpurea
  • Basket Willow
  • Bay Willow
  • Black Willow
  • Black Willow Extract
  • Black Willowbark
  • Brittle Willow
  • Corteza de Sauce
  • Crack Willow
  • Daphne Willow
  • European Willow
  • European Willow Bark
  • Extrait d'Écorce de Saule
  • Extrait d'Écorce de Saule Blanc
  • Extrait de Saule
  • Extrait de Saule Blanc
  • Knackweide
  • Laurel Willow
  • Lorbeerweide
  • Organic Willow
  • Osier Blanc
  • Osier Roug
  • Purple Osier Willow
  • Purple Osier Willow/Basket Willow
  • Purple Willow
  • Purpurweide
  • Pussy Willow
  • Reifweide
  • Salicis cortex
  • Saule
  • Saule Argenté
  • Saule Blanc
  • Saule Commun
  • Saule des Viviers
  • Saule Discolore
  • Saule Fragile
  • Saule Noir
  • Saule Pourpre
  • Silberweid
  • Violet Willow
  • Weidenrinde
  • White Willow
  • White Willow Bark
  • White Willow Extract
  • Wild Countryside White Willow
  • Willow
  • Willow Bark Extract
  • Écorce de Saule Blanc

What is this product used for?

Willow bark may help with pain, especially in people with arthritis or low back pain.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • This product interferes with many drugs. It reduces the effectiveness of many drugs. It increases side effects of some drugs. Talk with your doctor before you start using this product.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Do not use this product if you are breastfeeding.

  • Avoid beer, wine, and mixed drinks (alcohol) while taking this product.

  • Do not take this product if you are allergic to aspirin.

  • Do not give this product to children or teenagers with the flu or other viral infections.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (Lovenox).

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (Activase), reteplase (Retavase), or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Naprosyn).

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Kidney problems

    • Liver problems

    • Bleeding problems

    • Stomach ulcers

    • Gout

    • Asthma

    • Diabetes

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar, especially if you have blood sugar problems.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Rash

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of liver problems. These include upset stomach or throwing up, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, not hungry.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose or bloody stools

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Blood in your stools or dark, tarry-colored stools

  • Changes in menstrual periods like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles

  • Ringing in the ears

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at


Copyright © 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

More about willow bark

Professional resources

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.