White Willow Bark with Asthma?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: April 29, 2003

I would like to take a dietary supplement that contains white willow bark. I researched it and it said it may counteract with asthma medication Accolate. Should I steer clear of this natural accelerator, or is there not enough in there to hurt me?

Willow bark contains salicylates, like aspirin. Blood levels of the drug Accolate are increased by taking aspirin, so the same may be true of willow. I recommend that you do not take a supplement containing willow with the drug Accolate.

Many of the potential side effects and contraindications of willow and other salicylate-containing herbs have not been seen in clinical practice. This is likely because willow is a whole plant, which the body knows how to process, while aspirin contains only specific extracted ingredient acetylsalicylic acid (now synthesized). It should be used with caution is asthma, peptic ulcer, diabetes, gout, kidney and liver disease. It should not be taken by those whose blood does not clot properly, by those taking salicylate drugs or those allergic to salicylates. Willow should not be taken with drugs that list drug interactions with salicylates.

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