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Fresh Natural White Willow Bark Powder 1 oz
First century Greek physician Dioscorides was the first Westerner to recommend willow bark for pain and inflammation, and his prescription did not catch on. A century later, the Roman doctor Galen recommended it only for the vague purpose of "drying up humors."
As the centuries passed, herbalists prescribed white willow bark for many ailments, including supression of sexual desire. Seventeenth-century English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper noted: "The leaves, bark, and seed are used to stanch bleeding...stay vomiting...provoke urine...take away warts...and clear the face and skin from spots and discolorings."
At this time, white willow was not commonly used to treat pain, but Culpeper touted the work of one Mr. Stone, who demonstrated its "great efficacy...in intermittent fever [malaria]." Culpeper concluded white willow bark "is likely to become an object worthy of ...attention."
Culpeper's words proved prophetic. By the 18th century, white willow bark was widely used to treat all sorts of fevers, and its pain-relieving action also returned to vogue. Early colonists introduced the tree into North America and found many Indian tribes using the bark of native willows to treat pain, chills, and fever.
Around 1828, French and German chemists extracted white willow bark's active chemical, salicin.
Ten years later, an Italian chemist purified the aspirin precursor, salicylic acid.