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Nature's Way Willow is a dietary supplement composed of white willow bark extract standardized for salicin content, supplemented with a small amount of plant’s powdered bark.
The preparation works similarily to aspirin. It relieves pain, fights inflammation and promotes lowering of fever. It is safe for the body and does not irritate the stomach mucosa. It is used in rheumatoid arthritis or migraine therapies, supports the treatment of flu and cold. Due to its anticoagulant properties, it can also be used in stroke and heart attack prophylaxis.
White willow (Salix alba L.) is a common, tall tree from the Salicaceae family. For therapeutic purposes its most primarily used part is bark (less frequently leaves), which is a rich source of bioactive substances with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic effects.
The prevalent substances contained in the tree’s bark are phenolic glycoside known as salicin and its derivatives. Also noteworthy are flavonoids, phenolic acids and catechin and its polymers. Although salicin is most often mentioned substance in the context of white willow, researchers emphasize that the healing properties of this plant stem from the synergistic action of all the compounds present in the bark.
The plant-based equivalent of aspirin
White willow bark extract can be regarded as a natural and safe substitute for aspirin and popular NSAIDs. In some countries, powdered white willow bark is commonly administered along with aspirin to enhance the therapeutic effect and minimize the risk of side effects.
Orally-administered salicin and its derivatives contained in the bark (salicortin, tremulacin, triandrin, vimalin, fragilin, populin) are metabolized to salicylic acid. They give practically the same effects as synthetic acetylsalicylic acid.
Due to the time required for the metabolism of organic salicylates, their therapeutic effects appear a bit later. However, it is worth noting that they last longer and cause no side effects typical for aspirin, and NSAIDs.
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect
The mechanism of action responsible for the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of the white willow bark extracts includes the inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 cyclooxygenases. These enzymes catalyze the transformation of phospholipids of cell membranes, as a result of which prostanoids are formed, which include pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. The most important inhibitors of cyclooxygenases are, by all means, salicin and its derivatives, but the research indicates that for anti-inflammatory effect equally important are flavonoids, tannins, and compounds with antioxidant potential.
Similar studies have been conducted with people suffering from migraine headaches. Patients treated with white willow bark extracts experienced a significant improvement in well-being, while no significant changes were observed in the placebo group.
White willow bark extracts were tested for anticoagulant activity. Since several studies have proven their effectiveness in this area, they can be potentially used in stroke prophylaxis.
Clinical trials confirmed that salicin and its derivatives impair the release of ADP, which plays a key role in initiating signals leading to a shape change of blood platelets and the synthesis of thromboxane A2. Hence, the substances will presumably inhibit platelet aggregation and they will display an anticoagulant effect.
The bioactive compounds isolated from the white willow bark are fungicidal and antimicrobial. They inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for the formation of acne and are effective against pathogens that cause periodontium diseases.
Safe for the gastrointestinal tract
In addition to many advantages, synthetic acetylsalicylic acid has one serious disadvantage – it impairs mucous secretion in the stomach walls and directly irritates the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. It significantly increases the risk of perforation and gastrointestinal bleeding.
However, white willow bark extract has such an advantage over the acetylsalicylic acid that despite the identical mechanism of action, it has no adverse effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Clinical trials have confirmed that there are no risks of damage to the gastric or duodenal mucosa followed the use of extracts.
In conclusion, Nature's Way Willow is a great alternative to synthetic NSAIDs. Excellent substitute in the treatment of pain complaints and diseases accompanied by inflammation and fever. It can also be used in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
The supplement works similarly to aspirin, however, it has a much milder effect on the digestive tract. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended dose. The optimal therapeutic dose is 4 capsules a day, taken in two doses, separated by a several-hour break.
The supplement cannot be used by persons allergic to salicylates and people with peptic or duodenal ulcer. In case of taking any medicines thinning the blood, consult the doctor before the use.
Nature's Way is an American company with almost 50 years’ experience, currently leading on the market of natural, vegetable dietary supplements. The company combines the tradition and plant power with an advanced technology to ensure the best possible results.
All stages of the products’ preparation are in line with the GMP’s standards. Nature's Way products are TRU-ID ™ certified, which means they have been tested for the authenticity of the plant substances. The raw materials used by the company are GMO-free.
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|per portion (2 capsules)||amount||%DV|
|Willow (bark)||500 mg||**|
|Willow (bark) Extract standardized to 15% salicin (60 mg)||400 mg||**|
Plant-derived capsule (hypromellose), magnesium stearate.
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