Herb info 09/2017: Willow.
There are a lot of willow species, and telling them apart isn't made easier by their ready hybridization. All willows can be used the same way.
Willow bark is bitter and astringent and thus cooling and drying.
Willow flowers are fairly sweet and thus a bit moistening.
The young bark of closely related species, like dogwoods and poplars can be used like willow bark.
I'm not at all sure that the flowers of those species can be used like willow flowers.
Use the bark, young twigs and young leaf of willows for their salicylate content to ease pain. They contain both tannins and salicylates; they'll irritate your gut. For internal use, I much prefer meadowsweet (Filipendula).
Willow flowers smooth out extreme hormone fluctuations. Use them as a fresh plant tincture. To 100 g (4 oz) of fresh flowers, add 200 ml (20 fl.oz.) of strong alcohol (the strongest you can get). Let macerate for 14 days, strain, bottle and label: "Willow flowers, March 2017".
The dose is 15 drops 3 x / day for teens (whose hormones rule them instead of them ruling their hormones), for menopausal women and for anybody else who suffers from their hormones being utterly out of whack.
For all of these you should also give nutrients.
I haven't tried dried willow flowers, but if you do, and they work, please tell me, too!
Henriette's herb cards: order yours here!
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