Skip to Content

Willow Bark

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 10, 2019.

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 be used to help with swelling, and muscle and joint pain, especially in people with arthritis. Others will use it to help lower fevers and symptoms of the common cold or flu. Some people believe willow bark may help with cancer, headache, menstrual cramps, and gout.

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.

  • 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.

  • Take extra care if you are allergic to aspirin.

  • 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

    • Gout

    • Asthma

    • Diabetes

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Stomach cramps

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Rash

  • Itching

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

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

  • Ringing in the ears

Last Reviewed Date

2017-07-31

Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.

Copyright

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

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

More about willow bark

Professional resources