How-to: Harvesting Willow Bark for Tea and Tinctures

learning to love herbs

We had a snowstorm this week. Yes, you read that right: several inches of heavy, wet snow fell onto trees and flowers that were in full-bloom the day before. This resulted in tree branch carnage all over our neighborhood.

Luckily for me, my backyard neighbor has a white willow tree that leans over our fence. Several large branches fell right onto my grass. Being an opportunistic sort of girl, I grabbed a knife and went to cut some fresh willow bark.

Before we begin, let me give a quick re-cap on white willow and its uses. (Please feel free to skip ahead if you just want to know how to cut the dang bark).

The bark of all willow trees contains varying degrees of an active constituent called salicin, which is the precursor to salicylic acid. This is a compound that acts as an anti-inflammatory and is the active ingredient…

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