The WILLOW is a sacred and symbolic tree in every land in which it is native. Known for its habit of growing close to streams and springs, its presence tells the thirsty traveller where water can be found. WILLOW contains salicylates (a word derived from its Latin name, SALIX) -- natural pain relievers that form the basis for anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. For this reason, WILLOW WATER is an old home remedy used to wash an aching head or tired feet. Additionally, because the tree grows near water and has sickle-shaped leaves, witches bathe with WILLOW WATER and set it out in crystal bowls in honour of Selene, the ancient Goddess of the Watery Moon.
Willow Water is one of the most old-fashioned over-the-counter remedies that is still available in the USA. In addition to its traditional medicinal uses as an analgesic and refreshing wash, it may be added to the water used for rituals of foot-bathing, and it is a beautiful altar offering to any spirits, deities, or angels associated with water or with the moon.
Because of the association of the Weeping Willow with graveyards and the beloved dead, Willow Water makes a fine libation to pour if one is collecting Graveyard Dirt from a spirit for whom an alcohol libation would not be suitable. You may also sprinkle Willow Water to a relaxing and healing bath, or use it as a basis for a honey-sweetened tea to drink on the night of the full moon.
Willow Water is also used by many gardeners for keeping cut flowers fresh longer and for rooting plants from slips.