White Willow




Salicylic acid from salix and other plants had been used for at least 3,500 years by almost all developed cultures; the first known documentation of this is from ancient Egypt and describes a myrtle extract for pain relief.

Willows (Salix sp.) are fast growing woody plants that are an established commercial crop, grown for harvesting for combustion in biomass boilers, as well as for a number of traditional uses such as basket-making and the production of herbal medicines.

However, this genus of plants (the Salicaceae) also produces and accumulates a variety of chemicals, mainly based on phenolic glycoside structures Salix metabolites have a number of potential economic uses across a range of industries from basic chemicals (e.g. ingredients for resins and polymers) to high value pharmaceuticals and bio-energy. They are efficient bio-accumulators also used in phyto-remediation to help detoxify land.


Salicin from which salicylic acid is extracted. Rich in phenolic compounds and anti-oxidants.  It also contains Gibberellic acid (GA) a phyto-hormone  important for plant growth. The “green revolution” of farming occurred largely due to the application of gibberellic acid to crops. Scientists are discovering the many ways in which gibberellins aid plant development, while discerning the methods by which they are transported and synthesized in plants. It is commonly used in agriculture to increase crop yields and as an agent to root cuttings.


  1. For the treatment, relief and management of acute and chronic pain
  2. Low back pain: A Cochrane review showed moderate evidence that a 240 mg dose of salicin relieves acute and chronic back pain producing the same results as 12.5 mg rofecoxib. Rofecoxib is a COX-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It was marketed by Merck & Co. to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain conditions, migraine, and dysmenorrhea.
  3. Effect on non-specific low back pain is dose-dependent, with the best response seen with a 240 mg dose compared to 120 mg.
  4. Osteoarthritis: Salix bark extract showed benefit in relieving pain of hip and knee osteoarthritis. After 3 weeks, results were comparable to standard treatment and after 6 weeks, results with Salix were superior to that of the standard treatment. Mild pain complaints responded better than did those that were more severe.
  5. Contraindications: Salicylate allergy. There is no evidence that willow causes or promotes Reye’s syndrome ( a possible trigger to this disease is the reaction to aspirin)
  6. Salix alba extracts containing salicylic acid, namely that of acetylsalicylic acid is one of the most impressive development any drug ever had (Bayer aspirin)
  7. White willow extract with acetylsalicylic acid was gentler on the stomach than straight salicylic acid and easy to synthesize. as an efficient painkiller that did not affect the heart (as opposed to painkillers used in the past).
  8. Recently discovered that acetylsalicylic acid is a potent platelet inhibitor and saves thousands of lives by protecting from heart attacks.

Dosage: Standardized extract providing 120-240 mg salicin per day in divided doses. Fluid extract (1:1): 2 to 4 mL three times per day or more.



 is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule substrates, intermediates and products of metabolism. Specifically, metabolomics is the “systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind”, the study of their small-molecule. Therefore as diagnostic tool itis a technique of finding causes and mechanisms of disease in humans and horses.  The system detects and identifies the signaling and inflammatory chemicals that are released during a disease process.


1- Could a small daily dose of white willow bark protect against the onset of laminitis

2- A laminitic attack can even  occur even when the diet is strictly managed

3- Recently scientists have simulated the ‘food poisoning’ event that occurs in the hind gut which allows toxins to flood through the gastro intestinal tract, which eventually causes the failure of the sensitive laminae in the feet.  This originally occurs during a failure event in the gut. ( Fibre in browsed willow branches will help restore gut flora.)

4- Note this type of laminitis is different to endocrinopathic laminits relating to EMS which appears to have a build- up time and relates to adipose tissue raised insulin/glucose levels and the release of inflammatory chemicals from the fat pad deposits. Willow in this case has a different application with respect to the levels of glucose in the blood and the formation of AGEs

5- Scientists found that ‘well’ horses release ONE CHEMICAL SIGNALING MARKER ( determinable by blood testing) in the small intestine which remains stable, but the level of this chemical FALLS prior to an attack of the ‘food poisoning’ type of laminitis.

6- The level and fall of this chemical signalling marker precedes the failure of the gut barrier prior to the laminitis/ colic event. (obviously the horse owner will have to have access to blood testing facilities as these levels change rapidly. but the speed and rate of change will give a clear picture where the disease process sits.

7-There appears to be a correlation between the production of this chemical, the level to which it falls and the symptoms which occur after.

8- Making it possible to PREDICT whether the horse is likely to have multiple organ failure, ie if the levels drop below a certain measurable amount the horse will develop colic like symptoms followed by an acute attack of laminitis, it can also predict those horses which will survive and those which are likely to die. This means that owners will be able to know and understand that their apparently ‘well’ looking horse is in fact ‘sick’ with the potential for a life threatening ‘food poisoning’ event.

9- This also means that there is a potential window of opportunity to manage the gastro intestinal event before it hits the feet.

10 – It was also discovered that  a horse will produce two chemicals that are IDENTICAL to compounds occurring in WHITE WILLOW and one other common hedgerow plant both prior and during the devastating inflammatory event without being fed either plant.

11- This may present an opportunity for prevention and intervention.   As the science is going to take some time to trickle through to the stable yard, it may be worth examining the subject of prevention more closely.

Copyright © Dandelion by Pexeto
Seo wordpress plugin by www.seowizard.org.