When mixed with sandalwood and burned outside during a waning moon is alleged to summon spirits. Carry on your person, or keep in the home to guard against evil. In Japanese tradition, the willow is associated with ghosts. It is popularly supposed that a ghost will appear where a willow grows. Willow trees are also quite prevalent in folklore and myths. In English folklore, a willow tree is believed to be quite sinister, capable of uprooting itself and stalking travelers.
According to an old Polish legend, many springtimes ago a mother cat was crying at the bank of the river in which her kittens were drowning. The willows at the river’s edge longed to help her, so they swept their long graceful branches into the waters to rescue the tiny kittens who had fallen into the river. The kittens gripped on tightly to their branches and were safely brought to shore. Each spring since, the willow will sprout tiny fur-like buds at their tips where the kittens once clung.
Willow is alleged to give strength and health. The catkins were thought to heal from infertility, protect against fever, restore mental and physical strength, and make it easier to endure the separation from a loved one.
Country folk have been familiar with the healing properties of willow for a long time. They made an infusion from the bitter bark as a remedy for colds and fevers, and to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatism. Young willow twigs were also chewed to relieve pain. In the early nineteenth century modern science isolated the active ingredient responsible, salicylic acid, which was also found in the meadowsweet plant. From this the world’s first synthetic drug, acetylasylic acid, was developed and marketed as Aspirin, named after the old botanical name for meadowsweet, Spirea ulmaria.
Wildcrafted Canadian Grown Herbs