Willow Tree - Salix alba, Salix fragilis
Ruling planet - Moon
Sign - Pisces
Element - Water
Gender - Feminine
A spreading, fast growing deciduous tree, can grow up to 25 metres (82 ft.) It has grey like, fissured bark, arching branches and silvery - green slender lanceolate leaves. Stalk less, yellow male & female catkins are born in the Spring.
There are several different species of Willow with medicinal properties, including the North American S. Myrsinifolia or Black Willow.
S. alba occurs widely in Europe & Asia, mostly near rivers, waterways or streams.
The Willow craves damp soil & grows well on heavy clay, but not chalk.
Bark is collected from young trees 2-3 years in age, which is then dried for use in decoctions & for other uses - occasionally used in infusions.
Medicinal uses - The Willow contains salicylic compounds, giving it fever reducing, analgesic & anti - rheumatic properties.
Used in herbal medicine for fevers or neuralgic (taken internally) in baths for rheumatic pain & in ointments & compresses for cuts, burns & skin complaints.
Salicyclic acid is where we get Aspirin from. This was synthesised from the willow around 1853.
One of the trees in the Celtic Tree Calendar, running April 15th to May 12th.
It is known as the tree of enchantment.
It is the 5th consonant of the Ogham alphabet - Saille
Folk names - Pussy willow, Saille, Salicyn Willow, Saugh tree, White willow, Witches Aspirin, Withe & Withey.
Magical properties - New moon magic, creativity, fertility, female rites of passage, inspiration, emotion, love, love divination, protection, healing.
Also known as the tree of immortality because it can regrow from a single fallen branch in the moist ground.
A wand made from willow has many uses... Sleep with it for vivid dreams, use it to draw down the moon, for protection when journeying to the underworld.
Write your wish on a piece of willow bark then burn or bury to manifest your desire.
)O( Gypsy Willowmoon Xx
The Kitchen & Garden Book of Herbs - Jessica Houdret & Joanna Farrow