White willow is a deciduous tree native to Europe and some parts of Asia and Africa and is now naturalized in North America. The bark of the tree has a long history of use that spans thousands of years and is still popular with herbalists today.
Historically, white willow bark has been used to ease pain and inflammation. The inner white pith of bark contains various antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids, as well as a glycoside called salicin. Although this chemical was first identified in willow in the mid-1700s, it would be another 134 years before it was used by a German chemist to produce aspirin.
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