Last update July 17, 2022
The bark of the willow tree contains salicylic derivatives (salicin) in varying amounts depending on the type of willow tree (1% in Salix alba to 12% in Salix purpurea) and the season of the year in which was collected. There is a good level of evidence regarding its antitermic, anti-inflammatory and anti allergic properties. (Oketch 2019, EMA 2017, Desborough 2017, Cameron 2009, Sagnier 2006, Chrubasik 2002, Blumenthal 1998)
At the date of this last update we did not find published data on its excretion in breast milk.
Due to the high content of salicylic acid, which is excreted in breast milk, there is a theoretical risk (unpublished) of causing Reye syndrome in the infant. (Oketch 2019)
Gastrointestinal hemorrhage has been described in a 4-year-old boy who took a syrup containing meadowsweet and willow bark, both rich in salicylates. (Moro 2011).
Until there is more available and published data regarding this plant and breastfeeding it could be wise to avoid or have low and occasional consumption during lactation, specially during the neonatal period or in the case of prematurity.
Precautions when taking plant preparations (Anderson 2017, Powers 2015, Posadzki 2013, Efferth 2011, Kopec 1999, Hsu 1995):
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.
Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.