Desert willow, is willow-like shrub or small tree, which inhabits the desert washes, and has a very large range.. from 2,000 to 5,500 ft. above sea level, and occurring in at least Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and further south into Mexico.
Although not a true willow, Desert Willow certainly does have visual similarities to actual willows, particularly in the leaf formation..(at least superficially.) Desert willow has long, narrow lancelate leaves which are curved slightly, and are six or seven inches long. Their color is a light to medium green, and the leaves are substantially thick. For several months of the year, the trees appear dead, but are only waiting for the summer heat. Soon after budding and sprouting leaves, Wonderful flowers appear.. which are somewhat trumpet-like, but also resemble Orchids.... They are finely-veined, with a background of white to light pink the veining of a burgandy hue... the throat tinged with soft yellow. They exude one of the most magical fragrances found in the desert.. and are sweet, yet musky.
Internally, Desert Willow is used in a similar manner to Pao d'arco.... (Lapacho).The parts used are the leaves, flowers, and bark from small stems. This herb is one of the best local herbs for use against Candida albicans. Candida is an overgrowth of yeast, which usually occurs in the areas of the mouth/throat or the colon/large intestine. Left unchecked, this bacterial overgrowth, (usually caused by eating or drinking foods and juices high in sugars and starches, or eating too many highly processed foods), overgrows the body's own defensive mechanisms, invading the tissues of the body, and can become a systemic, debilitating, long-term illness. :-(Externally, Desert Willow can be made into an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial tea, which can aid in the healing and prevention of infection in cuts, and scrapes. It can also kill tineas...(fungus infections) of the skin... like ringworm, jock itch, or atheletes' foot. (for which It combines well with Chapparal.) It can also be applied as a poultice.. (either the dried, ground herb, fresh herb, or flowers... or any combination thereof.)
Since yeast is the organism involved in fermentation ,which changes sugars into carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, it becomes clear that this particular disease process could work in several ways to break down not only the body's defense system, but eventually, the structural integrity of body tissues as well. There is Good news, though. By using Desert Willow in the appropriate dosages, over long periods of time, and by avoiding the types of foods on which yeast thrives (refined sugars, and simple sugars), a person can regain control over this bacteria, and recover their health and immune-system functions. It is a valuable herb in many immune-system dysfunctions, and is quite a benefit after treatments (for whatever reason) with anti-biotic drugs, or anti-inflammatory drugs, which interfere with the balance of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract.
A foementation.. (a cloth dipped into the warm tea and applied to affected skin repeatedly)...works very well also. Last, as a foot soak .. (as hot a batch of tea as you can stand.).... feet soaked for a half hour or more... twice/day is best..
Desert Willow can be made into a strong infusion using 1 teaspoon herb/cup water... brought to a boil... left to boil 10 minutes... and then left to steep (covered) for 15 to 20 minutes after removing the heat source. Drink 1/2 cup of this tea twice daily for long term chronic Candidiasis, or rectal aching.. or The extract, taken 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoonful twice daily.
This herb is available in our "Candida Begone" formula. Combination Extracts page