Salix alba

 White Willow - willow family tree
 Another name for this tree are silver willow, willow, willow or simply willow. Salix alba belongs to the family of willow and can reach 30 m in height, with trunk diameter can be up to 1 m. The branches of the tree often drooping, and the crown spreading. White willow bark has a light gray hue, provided that the plant is young and black or dark gray in older trees. The trunk has a dark gray bark and branches on it can be reddish or yellowish, but always flexible and thin. Leaves linear-lanceolate or lanceolate, sufficiently short petioles, silvery-silky. The flowers are small plants, they are gathered in erect catkins that bloom simultaneously with leaves.

Fruit white willow is a small box the double unilocular having small seeds, which are covered with hairs. Flowering tree in April, and its fruit is fully mature in May.

Widespread willow throughout the CIS, except, perhaps, can only be considered the Far North. Most often grows along roads, near houses, along the banks of rivers and forest edges in wet and fertile soils. The people of Greece dedicated this tree Hecate - goddess of witchcraft and ghosts. Quite often it is white willow became the main symbol of grief and sorrow.

Preparation of raw materials

The most common drug becomes white willow bark, rarely those can be male catkins of the tree. Properly prepared crust to be collected from the branches or young trees before the period of deployment of the leaves, that is in April and May. By the way, at this time it is incredibly easy to collect wood, because it is very easy to exfoliate. Dried bark is often under a tin roof attics or in very well ventilated areas, where it is very thin scatter. Also, white willow bark drying can take place in special dryers set temperature not exceeding 40 ° C. Ready and properly prepared raw material can be stored for 4 years in a dry and cool place.

Men's earrings are best collected in the flowering period, and then dried in the shade.

The use of white willow

 The bark of white willow
 Willow bark contains up to 7% of the glycoside salicin, which further due to the action of special enzymes can salikazy hydrolytically cleaved at tannins, saligenin, glucose, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and a host of other resin materials.

The plant has antiseptic, tonic, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, analgesic and antipyretic activity.

The bark of the branches and trunk of the white willow has a disinfectant, diuretic, astringent, antipyretic and hemostatic properties. When colitis, gout, women's diseases, gastritis, dysentery, internal bleeding, dyspepsia, neuralgia, migraine, pleurisy, diseases of the spleen and liver, fever, typhus, tuberculosis, bedsores, nervousness, rheumatism and cystitis are encouraged to take into powder, infusion or decoction white willow. But external preparations willow can be used for rinsing the mouth, which is necessary to gingivitis, periodontal disease and angina. Also can be used topically to combat willow with varicose veins, hyperhidrosis, various skin diseases and even sweating. Previously, willow bark and has been used as an effective antimalarial drug.

A decoction of the leaves of the white willow tree in traditional medicine is used for menorrhagia and heavy bleeding in the intestines. It can also be a good antipyretic as an infusion of willow flowers.

Damage from the use of white willow

It is strictly forbidden to use drugs for pregnant women and patients with willows, which are used in the treatment of substance laxatives, aspirin, cough drops and cold preparations, vitamins, antacids, and amino acids.