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Herbs & Plants

Salix eleagnos

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Botanical Name : Salix eleagnos
Family: Salicaceae
Tribe: Saliceae
Genus: Salix
Species:Salix eleagnos
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms: Salix rosmarinifolia, Rosemary Willow

Common Names: Olive willow, Hoary willow, Rosemary willow

Habitat: Salix eleagnos is native to central and southern Europe and south west Asia.

Description:
Salix eleagnos is an erect bushy deciduous shrub with narrow grey-green leaves up to 20 cm (8 in) long, which turn yellow in autumn (fall). The plant is 3 m (10 ft) tall by 5 m (16 ft) broad.The green catkins, 3–6 cm (1–2 in) long, appear with the leaves in spring, male catkins having yellow anthers.

Like all willows, the species is dioecious. The specific epithet eleagnos is frequently spelt elaeagnos, though the original spelling has been accepted as a correct Greek form.

S. eleagnos subsp. angustifolia has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

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Botanical details:
*Growth form: the plant is a shrub (a woody plant with several stems growing from the base) the plant is a tree
*Leaf type: the leaf blade is simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
*Leaves per node: there is one leaf per node along the stem
*Leaf blade edges: the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes / the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
*Leaf duration: the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
*Armature on plant: the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
*Leaf blade length: 5–160 mm
*Leaf blade width: 1–8 mm
*Leaf stalk: the leaves have leaf stalks
*Fruit type (general): the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
*Bark texture: the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
*Twig winter color: brown,red,yellow
*Bud scale number: there is one scale on the winter bud, and it covers the scale like a cap
Medicinal Uses:
In Ancient Greece, the bark of the white willow (Salix alba) was chewed to relieve the pain of gout and to reduce fever. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed ground willow bark to ease aches and pains. In the 1st century A.D. Dioscorides, a Greek physician in service to the Romans, wrote that the ingested bark and leaves of Salix alba reduce fever and relieve pain. For centuries, Europeans used tea made of the roots and leaves to lower fever and relieve aches. The Chickasaw Indians used tea made from the roots to relieve headache.
In 1830, German researchers isolated salicin from the bark of the white willow tree and from other plants. Their research determined that ingested salicin becomes salicylic acid in the stomach, and that salicylic acid is responsible for the desired effects as well as undesirable toxic side effects that include gastrointestinal bleeding. In 1875 a derivative, acetylsalicylic acid, was synthesized from salicylic acid. Acetylsalicylic acid was discovered to have the properties of and to have many fewer side effects than salicylic acid. In 1899 acetylsalicylic acid appeared in powder form for the first time; 1915 was the first time that it appeared in pill form. A part of the terms of the peace treaty with Germany following World War I was the surrender of the patent and of the trade mark ASPIRIN for acetylsalicylic acid. Since then acetylsalicylic acid (abbreviated as ASA) has been universally known as aspirin. Aspirin is one of the most important and one of the cheapest drugs in the medical armamentarium for the treatment of human diseases, for the relief of pain, and as a blood thinner in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes caused by disease in the blood vessel walls.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_eleagnos
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/salix/elaeagnos/
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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Herbs & Plants

Salyx nigra

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Botanical Name: Salyx nigra
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Species: S. nigra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonym: Pussy Willow.

Common Name : Black willow

Habitat : Salyx nigra is native to eastern North America (New York and Pennsylvania), from New Brunswick and southern Ontario west to Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is typically found along streams and in swamps.

Description:
Salyx nigra is a medium-sized deciduous tree, the largest North American species of willow, growing to 10–30 m (33–98 ft) tall, exceptionally up to 45 m (148 ft), with a trunk 50–80 centimetres (20–31 in) diameter. (Largest example: According to the National Register of Big Trees, the largest black willow tree in the US is in Hennepin, Minnesota. Its height is 63 feet (19 m), circumference is 32 feet (9.8 m) and spread is 73 feet (22 m).The Marlboro Tree, located in Marlboro Township, New Jersey is certified by the State of New Jersey as the largest known example of this tree in the state. It is about 152 years old and measures 76 feet (23 m) in height and 19.7 feet (6.0 m) in circumference. Five grown people must hold hands to fully encircle the tree)

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The bark is dark brown to blackish, becoming fissured in older trees, and frequently forking near the base. The shoots are slender and variable in color from green to brown, yellow or purplish; they are (like the related European Salix fragilis) brittle at the base, snapping evenly at the branch junction if bent sharply. The foliage buds are 2–4 millimetres (0.079–0.157 in) long, with a single, pointed reddish-brown bud scale. The leaves are alternate, long, thin, 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long and 0.5–2 centimetres (0.20–0.79 in) broad, usually somewhat falcate, dark, shiny green on both sides or with a lighter green underside, with a finely serrated margin, a short petiole and a pair of small stipules. It is dioecious, with small, greenish yellow to yellow flowers borne on catkins 2.5–7.5 centimetres (0.98–2.95 in) long in early spring at the same time as the new leaves appear. The fruit is a 5 millimetres (0.20 in) capsule which splits open when mature to release the numerous minute, down-covered seeds. The leaves turn a lemon yellow in the fall.

Salix gooddingii (Goodding’s willow) is sometimes included in S. nigra as a variety, as S. nigra var. vallicola Dudley; when included, this extends the species’ range to western North America. However, the two are usually treated as distinct species.

Another name occasionally used for black willow is “swamp willow”, not to be confused with Salix myrtilloides (swamp willow).
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils, but prefers a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position. Rarely thrives on chalk. A fast-growing but relatively short-lived species, it can reach 15 metres tall within 10 years from seed in the wild. Twigs tend to break off easily in storms, these will then often root and grow into new trees. A good bee plant, providing an early source of nectar. Trees are impatient of root disturbance and should be moved regularly before being planted in their permanent positions, which is best done whilst the plants are young. The root system is rather aggressive and can cause problems with drains. Plants should not be grown within 10 metres of buildings. Closely related to Salix caroliniana, hybridising with that species where their ranges overlap. This species is also likely to hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Although the flowers are produced in catkins early in the year, they are pollinated by bees and other insects rather than by the wind. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Seedlings are very fast-growing, they can reach 1.2 metres tall in their first year. Plants are used commercially for papermaking. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Grows submerged, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – must be surface sown as soon as it is ripe in late spring. It has a very short viability, perhaps as little as a few days. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, November to February in a sheltered outdoor bed or planted straight into their permanent position and given a good weed-suppressing mulch. Very easy. Plant into their permanent positions in the autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June to August in a frame. Very easy.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Inner bark – raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then added to cereal flour for use in making bread etc. A very bitter flavour, it is a famine food that is only used when all else fails. Young shoots – raw or cooked. They are not very palatable
Constituents: The bark contains tannin and about 1 per cent of Salinigrin, a white crystalline glucoside soluble in water and alcohol.

Medicinal Uses: An aphrodisiac sedative, tonic. The bark has been prescribed in gonorrhoea and to relieve ovarian pain; a liquid extract is prepared and used in mixture with other sedatives. Largely used in the treatment of nocturnal emissions.

Black willow roots are very bitter, and have been used as a substitute for quinine in the past. Ethnobotanical uses of black willow by various Native American tribes include basketry, and treatment of fever, headache, and coughs. The bark of the tree contains salicylic acid, a chemical compound similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid).

Other Uses:
Basketry; Charcoal; Hair; Paper; Soil stabilization; Tannin; Wood.

The young stems are very flexible and are used in basket and furniture making. The twigs can be split in half lengthways, sun-dried and used as the foundation of coiled basketry. The plant is usually coppiced annually when grown for basket making, though it is possible to coppice it every two years if thick poles are required as uprights. A fibre obtained from the stems is used in making paper. The stems are harvested in spring or summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten with mallets or put through a blender. The paper is red/brown in colour. The trees are often used in erosion control, their roots forming dense networks that stabilize stream banks. The bark is a good source of tannin. A decoction or infusion of the bark can be used as a hair wash to make the hair grow. Wood – not durable, light, soft and weak but does not splinter, warp or check. The wood is tough and fairly strong according to another report. It weighs 27lb per cubic foot. Used where strength is not important, for artificial limbs, barn floors etc. A good charcoal is also obtained from the wood
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provi

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_nigra
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wilbla21.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+nigra

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Herbs & Plants

Willow Bark (Salix alba and other salix sp.)

White Willow foliage; note white undersides of...Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Salix alba
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales

Other Names:-Crack willow; European willow; Liu-zhi; Purple willow; Pussy willow; Salix alba; Salix nigra; Wheeping willow; White willow

Habitat : Willow is found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Introduction:-
The use of willow bark dates back to the time of Hippocrates (400 BC) when patients were advised to chew on the bark to reduce fever and inflammation. Willow bark has been used throughout the centuries in China and Europe, and continues to be used today for the treatment of pain (particularly low back pain and osteoarthritis), headache, and inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis. The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb. In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. White willow appears to be slower than aspirin to achieve any effects, but those effects may last longer.

Description:
It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree growing up to 10-30 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter and an irregular, often leaning crown. The bark is grey-brown, deeply fissured in older trees.
The willow family includes a number of different species of deciduous trees and shrubs native to Europe, Asia, and some parts of North America. Some of the more commonly known are white willow/European willow ( Salix alba ), black willow/pussy willow ( Salix nigra ), crack willow ( Salix fragilis ), purple willow ( Salix purpurea ), and weeping willow ( Salix babylonica ). The willow bark sold in Europe and the United States usually includes a combination of the bark from white, purple, and crack willows.

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Willows are very cross-fertile and numerous hybrids occur, both naturally and in cultivation. A well known example is the weeping willow (Salix × sepulcralis), very widely planted as an ornamental tree, which is a hybrid of a Chinese species and a European species – Peking willow and white willow.

The willows all have abundant watery sap, bark which is heavily charged with salicylic acid, soft, usually pliant, tough wood, slender branches and large, fibrous, often stoloniferous roots. The roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity of life, and roots readily grow from aerial parts of the plant.

Medicinal Uses and Indications:-
Willow bark is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation, and there is good evidence that it is effective as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Researchers believe that the chemical salicin, found in willow bark, is responsible for these effects. However, studies have identified several other components of willow bark which have antioxidant, fever-reducing, antiseptic, and immune-boosting properties. Some studies have shown willow is as effective as aspirin for reducing pain and inflammation (but not fever), and at a much lower dose. Researchers theorize that may be due to the other compounds in the herb. More research is needed.

Treatment:-
Studies suggest that willow bark may be useful for the following conditions:

Headache

Willow bark has been shown to relieve headaches and there is some evidence that it is less likely to cause the same gastrointestinal side effects that other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, do. However, studies have not shown this conclusively, and people who are prone to stomach upset may want to avoid willow bark. Large-scale studies are needed to fully determine the safety and effectiveness of willow bark for chronic or recurrent headaches.

Low back pain

Willow bark appears to be effective for back pain. In a well-designed study of nearly 200 people with low back pain, those who received willow bark experienced a significant improvement in pain compared to those who received placebo. People who received higher doses of willow bark (240 mg salicin) had more significant pain relief than those who received low doses (120 mg salicin).

Osteoarthritis

Several studies have shown that willow is more effective at reducing pain from osteoarthritis than placebo. In a small study of people with osteoarthritis of the neck or lower back, those who received willow bark experienced significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who received placebo. A similar study of 78 patients hospitalized with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint found that patients who received willow bark experienced significant pain relief compared to those who received placebo.

Other Medical Uses :-

Some professional herbalists may recommend willow bark for the following conditions, although at present, no scientific studies have supported these uses:

Menstrual cramps
Fever
Flu
Tendonitis
Bursitis

Dosage and Administration:-

Pediatric
Because of the danger of developing Reye syndrome (a rare but serious illness associated with the use of aspirin in children), children under the age of 16 should not be given willow bark.

Adult
General dosing guidelines for willow bark are as follows:

Dried herb (used to make tea): boil 1 – 2 tsp of dried bark in 8 oz of water and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes; let steep for ½ hour; drink 3 – 4 cups daily
Powdered herb (available in capsules) or liquid: 60 – 240 mg of standardized salicin per day; talk to your doctor before taking a higher dose
Tincture (1:5, 30% alcohol): 4 – 6 mL three times per day

Precautions:-
Because willow bark contains salicin, people who are allergic or sensitive to salicylates (such as aspirin) should not use willow bark. Some researchers suggest that people with asthma, diabetes, gout, gastritis, hemophilia, and stomach ulcers should also avoid willow bark. If you have any of these conditions, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly or blood-thinning medication, be sure to consult your health care provider before taking willow bark. Willow bark should not given to children under the age of 16.


Side Effects:-

Side effects tend to be mild. However, gastrointestinal irritation and ulcers are potentially associated with all compounds containing salicylates. Overdoses of willow bark may cause skin rash, stomach inflammation/irritation, nausea, vomiting, kidney inflammation, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:-
Salicylates are not recommended during pregnancy, so pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take willow bark.

Interactions and Depletions:-
Because willow bark contains salicylates, it has the potential to interact with a number of drugs and herbs. Talk to your doctor before taking willow bark if you take any other medications, herbs, or supplements.

Willow bark may interact with any of the following: –

Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) — Willow bark may strengthen the effects of drugs and herbs with blood-thinning properties.

Beta blockers — including Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA). Willow bark may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.

Diuretics (water pills) –– Willow bark may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs –– including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Taking willow bark with these drugs may increase risk of stomach bleeding.

Methotrexate and phenytoin (Dilantin) — Willow may increase levels of these drugs in the body, resulting in toxic levels.

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Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/willow-bark-000281.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_willow

 

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