White Willow Bark Salicin is a phytocompound that's specialty is pain relief. Research shows that salicin helps to inhibit certain prostaglandins through the cyclooxygenase enzyme. Prostaglandins are compounds that are needed in certain amounts, but certain types can easily cause negative effects over time. The anti-inflammatory effects of salicin cause a reduction in certain deleterious pro-inflammatory compounds and mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-α and nuclear factor-kappa beta. (1) This makes willow bark good for conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, lower back pain, and many other types of pain. (2,3) Salicin may also possess antiangiogenic properties. (4)
Results have been mixed for pain relief, and shouldn't be used as a standalone, but rather part of a program. For different types of pain relief, using with boswellia, curcumin, ginger, olive leaf, mountain ant, and other natural pain relievers would likely provide very good relief. Willow bark can be useful for acne, although it is usually used topically as salicylic acid. Willow may also help decrease the chances of a heart attack and stroke, somewhat similar to baby aspirin. More research is needed though. Since salicin can help regulate the production of prostaglandins, it may also help cramps and other menstrual symptoms. It is not quite as effective as Ibuprofen for immediate relief, but is much more benign on the body. (5) Start out at a very low dose to see if you're allergic, some people do have sensitivities to salicylates.
Suggested use 200mg 2 times per day.