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Willows are trees and shrubs that have about 400 different species. The use of willow bark dates back to ancient Greece, when patients were advised to chew on the bark for relief of pain and inflammation. Today, willow bark is used to relieve pain such as low back pain and osteoarthritis, headache, and for inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis
People who have known allergies to salicylates, such as aspirin, should not use willow bark. According to some researchers, willow bark should not be recommended to people with asthma, diabetes, gout, gastritis, hemophilia, and stomach ulcers. If you have any of these conditions, or if you're taking blood-thinning medications or NSAID's regularly, be sure to check with your doctor before taking willow bark.
The drug interactions associated with salicylates may apply to products that contain willow bark. You should not use willow bark with alcohol, barbiturates, sedatives, and other products that have salicylates because this may worsen irritant effects and adverse reactions. Willow may also interact with oral anticoagulants, seizure medications...