Welcome to the new and improved Princeton Nutrients blog! I’m very excited about the changes we’re making, and I think you will be too. We’re re-creating the blog so it’s more interesting, fun, and useful for you.
With that in mind, we’ll be featuring in-depth looks at the ingredients used in our formulas. The stories behind them can be fascinating – some going back centuries and spanning the globe.
Of course, the articles will also give you the practical information you’re looking for, telling you what an ingredient does, where it comes from, and what benefits it provides. It’s like “one-stop shopping” for your research, so you can easily make more informed decisions about which Princeton Nutrients products will help you achieve the healthy, active life you deserve.
To great days ahead!
You may have heard of a weeping willow tree, but how about a white willow? Turns out, this type of willow has amazing healing properties.
The white willow tree gets its name from the white hue of the undersides of its leaves. White willows are native to areas of North America, Europe, and Asia. Also known as Salix alba, the white willow tree has been used in traditional healing practices since the time of Hippocrates (400 BC). The historic Greek physician prescribed white willow as medicine to ease common aches and pains, inflammation, fever, and even more serious afflictions of the joints and bones. Most of the therapeutic benefits of white willow can be attributed to the content of a unique chemical compound contained in the tree’s bark called salicin. This compound is also found in NSAIDS, or Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. However, white willow also provides chemical components, including antioxidants, antiseptics, and immune-boosters that support optimal health.
White willow is a versatile substance, able to provide numerous health benefits. Here are just five of the most notable:
1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory
White willow bark has been used for centuries for its natural anti-inflammatory properties. Today, numerous clinical studies have shown that white willow extracts are able to reduce chronic lower back pain and help with the pain of osteoarthritis. 1,2
One study, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, noted that subjects with osteoarthritis who took willow bark extract noticed less pain when compared to the placebo group.
The anti-inflammatory ability of white willow has also been demonstrated in periodontitis patients. One study showed that a mouthwash made of white willow extracts was effective, especially in patients with chronic gingivitis – an inflammatory condition of the gums.3,4
2. Pain Reliever
Due to the especially high content of salicylic acid in white willow, it’s extracts offer powerful analgesic effects. Used for centuries for it’s ability to reduce pain of all types, white willow extracts have been clinically confirmed to ease aches and pains.5
In one study, white willow extract was superior to over-the-counter aspirin, as willow bark does not damage the gastrointestinal mucosa of patients like aspirin does. Researchers proposed this could be due to the content of flavonoids and polyphenols of the white willow bark.6
3. Fever Reducer
White willow bark has been used for thousands of years as a natural fever reducer. As an antipyretic, clinical research has validated it’s efficacy in lowering fever brought on by colds, flu, and and other common causes.7
The antioxidant capacity of white willow bark is due to it’s content of polyphenols. This class of phytochemicals is a powerful weapon against free-radicals – molecules in the body that can damage healthy cells. These antioxidant compounds also help to boost the functions of the immune system, playing an important role in preventing common ailments like colds and flu.8,9
5. Skin Care
As an antioxidant, white willow extracts can be applied topically to lessen the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sagging, poor texture, and enlarged pores. Clinical studies have confirmed that topical application of a 0.5 percent salicin formulation derived from white willow bark offered anti-aging capabilities when applied topically to human skin.10
Further, the antibacterial activity of willow bark extract may help to address the pathogenic factors of acne, reducing pimples, blackheads, and other common outbreaks.11
As with any substance, check with your doctor before adding white willow bark to your daily regimen.
Salicylates, including willow bark, are not recommended for use by pregnant or lactating women. Willow bark extract may interact with the following: Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications), beta blockers, diuretics, and NSAIDS.
Willow bark extracts may increase levels of these drugs to toxic levels: methotrexate and phenytoin.
1 Khayyal MT, El-Ghazaly MA, Abdallah DM, Okpanyi SN, Kelber O, Weiser D. Mechanisms involved in the anti-inflammatory effect of a standardized willow bark extract. Arzneimittelforschung. 2005;55(11):677–687.
2 Uehleke B, Müller J. Willow bark extract STW 33-I in the long-term treatment of outpatients with rheumatic pain mainly osteoarthritis or back pain. Phytomedicine. 2013 Aug 15;20(11):980-4. Epub 2013 Jun 2.
3 Chrubasik S, Künzel O. Treatment of low back pain with a herbal or synthetic anti-rheumatic: a randomized controlled study. Willow bark extract for low back pain. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Dec;40(12):1388-93.
4 Mehrdad Radvara, Amir Moeintaghavia.Clinical efficacy of an herbal mouth wash composed of Salix alba, Malva sylvestrais and Althaea officinalis in chronic periodontitis patients. Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, Pages 24-27.
5 Amrit Pal Singh. Salicin – A natural analgesic.
6 Vlachojannis J, Magora F. Willow species and aspirin: different mechanism of actions. Phytother Res. 2011 Jul;25(7):1102-4.
7 J.M. Riddle. Historical data as an aid in pharmaceutical prospecting and drug safety determination. J. Alt. Complement Med., 5 (2) (1999), pp. 195–201
8 Marja P. Ka ̈hko ̈nen, Anu I. Hopia. Antioxidant Activity of Plant Extracts Containing Phenolic Compounds. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1999, 47, 3954−3962
9 Ali Zaitera, Loïc Beckera. Antioxidant and antiacetylcholinesterase activities of different granulometric classes of Salix alba (L.) bark powders. Poweder Technology. Volume 301, November 2016, Pages 649-656.
10 Gopaul R, Knaggs HE, Lephart JF. An evaluation of the effect of a topical product containing salicin on the visible signs of human skin aging. J Cosmet Dermatol.2010 Sep;9(3):196-201.
11 Monfrecola G, Zanardi A. Anti-bacterial activity of Salix alba (willow bark extract) and 1,2-decanediol against Propionibacterium acnes. Poster presented at: EADV; 2015;P0007.