Salicin in willow bark.
Subject: Willow bark -extracting salicylin
From: ahb995.aber.ac.uk (ANNA HE BAIK)
Date: 10 May 1995 15:18:46 +0100
Does the amount of salicylin in willow bark vary according to what time of year it is? I'm asking because my chemistry tutor tried to extract salicylic acid from some last year (she was thinking of setting it as an assignment) and got next to nothing out of a large potful of willow twigs. Any ideas? How do you make tea from willow bark? Just steep it, or do you stick it in alcohol?
From: kathjokl.aol.com (Kathjokl)
According to the British Herbal Compendium salicin is highest in the spring and summer, lowest in the winter. The amount of salicin varies a great deal depending on the species used. Salix alba or white willow is common used but does not have a very high salicin content 0.5 - 1%. Some species have even less or none. The salicin rich species used most in Europe are S. purpurea (6.1 - 8.5%), S. daphnoides (4.9 - 8.4%) and S. fragilis (3.9 - 10.2%).
From: ntlor.primenet.com (Sebastian Rust)
kathjokl.aol.com (Kathjokl) wrote:
> According to the British Herbal Compendium
The highest amounts of salicyates are in the ones that are being attacked by bugs. In a Scientific American, a few years back they printed an article about plant protection , salicyates are the willows way of protecting itself. In response to attack the willow produces more salicyate.
From: p_iannone.pop.com (Paul Iannone)
: and got next to nothing out of a large potful of willow twigs.
Almost all plant chemicals vary by season, by time of day, and by plant. These factors ARE predictable to a great degree, though. This may also be a problem of the definition of 'bark.' In the case of cinnamon, for instance, it is the inner bark that contains the flavor. The outer cork is discarded.
--Paul || p_iannone.pop.com
> This may also be a problem of the definition of 'bark.'
You are correct. It's the inner white bark of the willow that the pain reliever is extracted from.