How to Make Willow Bark Tea


Willow bark has long been used to make a tea to reduce fevers and relieve pain. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports the use of willow bark in this way dating to 400 B.C., the time of Hippocrates. Willow bark contains salicin, which the body converts to salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. In addition to tea, willow bark can be used to make tinctures, or the powdered bark may be taken in capsule form.

Step 1

Bring 8 oz. water to a boil.

Step 2

Add 1 to 2 tsp. dried willow bark and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the water and bark from heat and continue to steep for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 4

Strain the bark from the water. Drink three to four cups of this tea per day for pain relief.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not give willow bark to children younger than 16, because aspirin in conjunction with viral infections has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a serious illness that can affect children. Don't use willow bark if you are sensitive to aspirin.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Saucepan
  • Cup or glass


  • University of Maryland Medical Center: Willow Bark
  • University of Michigan Health System: WIllow

Who Can Help

  • Sewanee University: Black WIllow
Keywords: willow bark tea for pain, salicylic acid uses, dried willow bark remedy

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.