White Willow is the oldest recorded analgesic, or painkiller, in human history.
Chinese physicians have used white willow since 500 b.c. to relieve pain and lower fevers.
White willow was also used in ancient Assyrian, Egyptian, and Greek medicine as well.
The Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen recommended white willow to remedy fevers and pain.
Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Blackfoot, Iroquois, and Eskimo peoples, created a tea from closely related species of the bark to relieve headaches, fever, sore muscles, chills, rheumatism, and general aches and pains.
European chemists extracted the constituent salicin from white willow bark and converted it to salicylic acid.
Due to the cheap and easy production of synthetic aspirin, white willow eventually lost its popularity as a pain and fever reliever.