For Slavs, willow is not just a tree; ancient traditions, sacraments, and beliefs are associated with it; it is a participant in many tales and songs. The most famous species of the willow family - white willow, growing everywhere, also has healing properties. This is what will be discussed.
Botanical description and distribution of white willow
White willow (Salix alba) has other names - silvery willow, rakita, vetla and willow. The name of the genus in translation from Celtic sounds like "growing near the water", talking about the characteristic place for willow growth. White willow is a tree up to 30 meters high, and its trunk can grow one and a half meters wide. Its dark gray, thick crust is cut with cracks. The crown configuration is oval or round. The leaves are elongated and narrow with a slight edge on the bottom. The shoots are very flexible and long. Earrings appear in mid-spring and attract a large number of pollinating insects. The roots of this tree are lateral, occupy a large area, and the depth of their advancement depends on the nature of the soil. In conditions of high humidity, it reaches three meters.
This species is easy to hybridize, more often - spontaneous, while losing many of the characteristic differences. Grows along water bodies, often forming thickets and large groves. Its neighbors are often poplar, alder, elderberry or other species of willow. White willow is distributed almost throughout Europe (except the north), Asia and northern Africa.
The healing and beneficial properties of white willow
White willow has long been widely used in everyday life:
- The tanning properties of the bark were used in the manufacture of fishing tackle and leather.
- Boats, troughs, and wells were made of wood.
- Bark dyed fabrics and products from them in brown-red color.
- The rods are used for the construction of farm buildings, in particular - cattle pens. They serve as a good foundation for hedges.
- Cellulose is obtained from wood, paper is produced.
- Young branches feed domestic animals, and infusions of bark are used in veterinary medicine (they treat kidney diseases).
- Willow honey is appreciated for its taste and healing properties. This is one of the earliest honey plants. About one and a half hundred kilograms of a medicinal product are obtained per hectare of willow plantings per season. It is also a source of pollen and bee glue.
Properties and treatment of white willow
The healing properties of saliva containing salicin, flavonoids, resins, ascorbic acid and others, used in such cases:
- For rinsing with inflammation of the throat and gums.
- To treat inflammation of the skin, reduce sweating in the legs.
- Its preparations, which have analgesic antipyretic, diaphoretic, hemostatic, antithrombotic, diuretic properties, are useful in the treatment of:
- Gastritis - as improving digestion.
- Gynecological diseases - to relieve inflammation and stop bleeding.
- Tuberculosis and fever.
- Rheumatism, headaches, gout - as an anesthetic.
- Ponosov - as an astringent.
- Hypotension - to increase the tone of the body, etc.
The use of medicinal properties of winds in folk medicine
The unique healing properties of white willow are used in traditional and folk medicine, where bark, leaves, juice and its inflorescences have long been used. Of particular benefit are drugs and products from willow bark.
White Willow Bark
It is difficult to list all of her healing options, here are just a few recipes used. in traditional medicine:
- Recipe number 1. Tea and infusion from fever, rheumatism, diarrhea, hypotension, radiculitis: a teaspoon of raw materials is poured into a glass of boiling water, aged for several minutes. Drink 2 glasses daily. Or insist a triple dose of raw materials in boiling water in a half-liter thermos and take 3 times.
- Recipe number 2. For erysipelas and fungal diseases: pour a glass of dry raw material with boiling water so that it is completely covered with liquid. Soak for half an hour and pour in filtered form into warm water, where to make baths. Or soak a cloth for compresses.
- Recipe number 3. To remove the heat: boil a spoonful of raw materials in a glass of boiling water for 20 minutes, drink in a cold form on a spoon three times a day.
- Recipe number 4. With hyperthyroidism: mix the coals after burning willow branches with a double dose of honey and take three times a day, a quarter cup, half an hour before meals.
- Recipe number 5. For seborrhea and hair loss: cook two tablespoons of willow bark and burdock root in a liter of water for half an hour. Use when washing your hair.
- Recipe number 6. Compress from warts: grinded coals obtained from burning willow branches, pour vinegar to a mushy state. Use several times until they come off.
White willow leaves
- Recipe number 1. With prostatitis: boil a spoonful of chopped branches with leaves for several minutes in half a liter of boiling water. Drink chilled half a cup, a dozen minutes before meals three times a day.
- Recipe number 2. To soften corns: foot baths with steamed willow leaves daily until they come down.
- Recipe number 3. To relieve fever and intestinal colic: insist a spoonful of fresh leaves in a glass of boiling water for half an hour and drink in three doses.
- Recipe number 4. For insomnia and rheumatic pains, take a bath before bedtime with the addition of an infusion of leaves.
White Willow Juice Extract
Willow bark juice is used in cosmetology to cleanse the skin of the face, relieve inflammation and smooth out shallow wrinkles. For this purpose, compresses are made from it. A mixture of this juice with pomegranate decoction and rose oil is used in oriental medicine to treat otitis media. It is also useful for hair, when rubbed into the scalp, they grow better, dandruff disappears.
Veta bark extract is included in various drugs used for overweight, cardiac pathologies and diabetes. It heals problem areas of the skin, normalizes the separation of fat and gives the skin a well-groomed appearance. A pharmaceutical preparation is used three times a day for half a teaspoon.
How to plant willow
Harvesting and storage features of willow
For medicinal purposes, barks are collected from veins from specimens that have reached the age of seven. This is done in the spring, when it is especially juicy. The collected raw materials are cut into small pieces so that it is easier to dry them. Then stand in the sun for wilting. The final bringing of raw materials to condition is carried out in electric dryers at a temperature of no higher than 50 degrees. Readiness is determined by the degree of its fragility. Dry bark is stored in cardboard boxes for up to four years.
Contraindications and harm to plants
Vetla preparations cannot be combined with aspirin, as it enhances the action of salicylates present in them. In addition, it is forbidden to use them:
- For allergic reactions to aspirin.
- Ulcers and suffering from gastrointestinal tract pathologies.
- Children under 16 years old.
- Together with anticoagulants to prevent bleeding.
- In the treatment of seizures, the use of certain painkillers.
- With increased blood pressure.
You can not use them uncontrolledly for lactating and pregnant women, patients taking other drugs. These drugs are not compatible with alcohol.
Decorative forms of white willow
White willow has several famous decorative varieties:
- Tristis - a tree with a spreading and high crown, reaching up to two tens of meters. The branches are hanging, with a yellowish bark, the leaves are long and narrow, in the fall - yellow-green. Picturesque yellow earrings appearing at the junction of April and May. Famous honey plant. Grows in open, moist areas.
- Argentea - no less tall tree with silvery, large and oblong leaves. Later, they retain a silver hue only on the underside, and become yellow by autumn. Earrings appear even before the leaves open.
- Limpde - the highest species of willow with a powerful, three-meter trunk. Crohn - cone-shaped with green leaves. Blossoms with already blossoming leaves in late spring. Good honey plant. He loves bright, moist places, but does not tolerate acidic and swampy soils. It tolerates low temperatures.
- Weeping (pendula) - a tree with a drooping crown and the color of the bark of young specimens distinguishing from other varieties. They first have a mustard hue, and in the midst of the summer heat it is reddish-brown on the sunny side. The leaves are long and very narrow, light green in color, resembling a waterfall in the mass.
- Sericea - a relatively low tree of round shape with leaves cast in silver. It reaches its maximum ten-meter growth at only 20 years old.
Silver willow in a garden decor
A fast-growing silver willow is one of the best trees for landscaping problem areas. Its roots reliably strengthen sandy soils and attract water. It perfectly tolerates urban gas pollution, these trees take root on roads purged by dry winds, protecting other plantings from them. therefore plants are often used as a green hedge. In addition, these trees have a decorative crown and leaf color. They look spectacular in windy weather. Good for single and group compositions, indispensable on the shores of artificial lakes and pools.
Trees are malleable, they can be given any shape. For example, as a result of cutting the crown at the required height, you can get a ball, and when cutting it near the ground - the same ball, but lowered to the ground. The plant looks great in the neighborhood with trees of contrasting texture, color and height. For example, in mixed and coniferous compositions next to maple, barberry, juniper, arborvitae and yew.
Willow in landscaping
White willow is one of the best plants for the garden. In addition to numerous medicinal properties, it heals the soil and air, brings aesthetic pleasure in a variety of compositions.