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What the heck is White Willow Bark?

November 03, 2012

I clean you goooood.

White Willow Bark, the namesake ingredient of our White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic,  is a pretty amazing panacea of good stuff. (But that’s how we like all our ingredients, right?)

White Willow Bark (Salix alba) is exactly that. The bark of the White Willow tree. Ancient Egyptians (whose medicine cabinets must have looked awesome, what with their Aloe in there too) have been said to use white willow bark as a natural pain reliever since the 5th century BC!

In fact, White Willow Bark is the all natural precursor for Aspirin, our modern-day medicinal must have. It wasn’t until 1829 that scientists figured out what the active, anti-inflammatory ingredient was in the willow bark that made it such a headache-killer, and eventually were able to replicate it synthetically for a fraction of the cost.

Salicin is the active ingredient in the bark, which is converted to salicylic acid. The salicylic acid in white willow bark is what makes this ingredient important to medicine (and hangovers), but is also what makes this ingredient an amazing acne-fighter and all-round skin do-gooder (but! It’s powerful! You don’t want to exactly bathe in the stuff.)

Salicylic acid reduces inflammation in the skin. It is also an acid (duh), therefore helps skin to slough off dead cells, and helps to regenerate new ones. This also helps unclog pores, and kills many forms of acne. It’s also super helpful for psoriasis  eczema and dandruff. Score!