Salix babylonica – Weeping Willow

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Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) is an edible and medicinal tree that came from Northern China.
Willows are one of the first trees to bud in early spring. They can be found growing near water in full sun. Willows often form many small trunks due to their salicylic acid content which acts as a natural rooting hormone.
Willow inner bark, leaves, and buds are all edible but considered famine food due to their bitterness. Inner bark from twigs can be collected in early spring to make medicinal teas or tinctures. The inner bark can be dried for year-long use.
Willow contains salicylic acid which can be used in place of aspirin as salicylic acid is a precursor to aspirin. Willow has been used medicinally for pain relief, reducing fevers, and as an anti-inflammatory.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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