Not only is the willow an extremely useful plant, the medicinal uses of willow are simple and effective.
Some plants or trees seem to be superplants in the bushcraft world. Take the birch tree, for example. Although this tree is non-existent in the prairie where I live, it is touted as one of the most useful trees in America. Especially noted for its bark, birch trees are so often discussed they approach the near idol role in some bushcrafters’ minds. Another plant that has a variety of uses is willow.
Willow is one of the most widely distributed plants in America. Even in dry regions like the Great Plains where I live, willows are able to eke out of living near rivers and creeks. Willow is great for projects like baskets, quivers, and for making arrows. It is also the wood that mountain men would have used to construct bull boats and to hoop their beaver pelts. Although the flexible nature of willow makes it a good plant to build with, it also affords medicinal uses as well.
Watch this video Dave Canterbury put together about the medicinal uses of willow.
Simple and effective would best describe this decoction.
As always, before you begin experimenting with the medicinal uses of willow you need to learn how to properly identify the plant. Most folks already know what willow looks like, but since there are more than 100 varieties of willow in North America there might be some you don’t know about. To identify this tree or shrub you’ll first need to figure out what kinds of willows are most prevalent in your area. Next, seek out a source that helps to identify the different kinds.
The medicinal uses of willow may come in handy and might help to relieve headaches or general aches. If you learn to properly identify and boil the plant you will find this already useful plant offers even more than meets the eye.