Muscle and joint pains plague many of us on a regular basis and are often accompanied by acute or chronic inflammation—a natural immune response from the body. Patients of arthritis, fibromyalgia and tendonitis experience this pain on a daily basis.
Several herbal remedies have pain-relieving properties and can be useful in treating everyday aches and pains naturally without any side effects. One such natural herb, especially known to soothe muscle soreness and joint troubles, is white willow bark.
The Benefits Of White Willow Bark
Botanically known as Salix alba, white willow tree is indigenous to Europe and certain parts of Asia. The bark of white willow contains salicin, which gets converted to salicylic acid inside the body. [1,2] This phenolic acid, which is quite popular in the medical world, is known as an active metabolite of aspirin and can relieve aches and pains in minutes.
Salicylic acid also lowers the production of prostaglandins in the body, hormone-like compounds that are responsible for pain and inflammation. A 2013 study found that a standardized extract of white willow bark helped in reducing knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. 
How To Take It
- Make a pain-relieving tea by boiling 1tsp dried willow bark in a cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Let it steep for 30 minutes, till the tea gets a beautiful red color. Have three to four cups every day for better results.
1. Maroon JC, Bost JW, Maroon A. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Surg Neurol Int. 2010 Dec 13;1:80. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.73804. PubMed PMID: 21206541; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3011108.
2. Kong CS, Kim KH, Choi JS, Kim JE, Park C, Jeong JW. Salicin, an extract from white willow bark, inhibits angiogenesis by blocking the ROS-ERK pathways. Phytother Res. 2014 Aug;28(8):1246-51. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5126. Epub 2014 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 24535656.
3. Schmid B, Lüdtke R, Selbmann HK, Kötter I, Tschirdewahn B, Schaffner W, Heide L. Efficacy and tolerability of a standardized willow bark extract in patients with osteoarthritis: randomized placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial.Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):344-50. PubMed PMID: 11406860.