This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Salicin. A glucoside derived from several species of willow and poplar trees and from other plants.
This agent is allied to salicylic acid, q. v.; but it is not antiseptic unless decomposed into its constituents, glucose and saligenin. This latter is further decomposed into salicylic acid, salicylic aldehyde, and salicyluric acid.
Similar to that of the salicylates. Adequate dosage - double that of sodium salicylate - gives, in the main, the same results. It is less likely to disturb the stomach than is the synthetic salicylic salt. The drug has, however, been separately recommended in the treatment of lupus erythematosus, and in the acute stage of poliomyelitis, to relieve the pain. In my experience, salicin is too slow in action ever to take the place of the salicylates in acute or urgent conditions. Natural - not synthetic - salicylates do not disturb digestion to any appreciable extent; so the natural products are usually to be preferred to salicin.
Salicin is given in doses of from 10 to 30 grains.