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Willow Bark Aspirin
13 August 2012, 03:46, (This post was last modified: 13 August 2012, 03:56 by Nemesis.)
Willow Bark Aspirin

Willow Bark vs. Aspirin

Willow bark and aspirin both have properties that can reduce pain and inflammation. The salicin in willow bark is so close to aspirin that it was used to develop aspirin in the 1800s. If you are experiencing pain or swelling, talk to your doctor about willow bark, aspirin and other herbs or medications that may bring you relief to decide which option is right for you.

Willow bark and aspirin are both effective at treating minor to moderate pain and inflammation. Aspirin is also a fever reducer, and willow bark may help reduce fever and boost the immune system, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Willow bark is effective at relieving pain from headaches, lower back pain and pain from osteoarthritis. Aspirin can prevent heart attacks and strokes in some people, but you should not use it in this matter unless your doctor directs you to do so.


You can take willow bark as a tea or capsule. To make a tea, boil 1 to 2 tsp. of dried willow bark in 8 oz. of water for 10 to 15 minutes and allow it to steep for 30 minutes. You can drink three to four cups of the tea per day. Capsules containing powdered willow bark are available through health food stores and nutritional supplement providers. Take 60 to 240 milligrams per day to relieve pain and inflammation. Aspirin tablets come in different strengths. Follow the dosage instructions on the packaging or your doctor's instructions. Be aware that other products and over-the-counter pain relievers may contain aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid. Do not take willow bark and aspirin at the same time.

Side Effects
While generally safe for most people, both willow bark and aspirin can cause side effects. Side effects of willow bark are usually mild and include gastrointestinal problems and stomach bleeding. Taking more than the recommended amount of willow bark can cause skin rash, vomiting, kidney inflammation and ringing in the ears. Aspirin's side effects are similar to willow bark and include upset stomach, heartburn, drowsiness or headache. Severe side effects of aspirin include bloody or black stools, severe stomach pain, coughing up blood and hearing problems. If you experience any of these side effects while taking aspirin, stop taking aspirin and see your doctor as soon as possible.

Willow bark and aspirin contain salicylates that may interact with other drugs and herbs. Talk to your doctor about any medications, herbs or supplements you currently take before using willow bark or aspirin. Willow bark and aspirin can strengthen the effects of blood-thinning medications and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, in conjunction with willow bark or aspirin can increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems and stomach bleeding. Willow bark and aspirin may make beta blockers and diuretics less effective.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take willow bark or aspirin. Willow bark and aspirin are not recommended for use in children or teenagers due to the potential of Reye's syndrome, a condition that causes fat to build up in the body's major organs and brain. Tell your doctor if you take willow bark or aspirin before surgery. Talk to your doctor before taking willow bark or aspirin if you drink three or more alcoholic beverages per day.

[Image: Willow%20Tree.jpg]

1: Rip some bark off a willow tree.

2: Start a fire.

3: Bring water to a boil.

4: Place willow tree bark into the boiling water. Use 1-2 tsp for every 8 oz of water.

5: Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

6: Steep it as you would tea for 1/2 hour. This is basically aspirin - the chemical that aspirin is made of is found in the bark of willow trees. However, it isn't exactly aspirin, but salicylic acid, which can have more side effects.

13 August 2012, 05:53,
RE: Willow Bark Aspirin
cheers for posting this nemesis, its been a subject of interest for me for a while Big Grin...good to see a nice simple way of extraction Smile as well as some great tidbits of info Smile
13 August 2012, 11:18,
RE: Willow Bark Aspirin
OH's "herbal mentor" who also had a degree in chemistry always said, willow bark is completely natural and will treat the whole person whearas asprin is man made and only treats the symptom. OH has reflux caused by long term pain killer use(15 years) she can take willow bark without side effects which is something you cant say about asprin or other man made medicines(they ALL have side effects).
Some people that prefer to be alone arent anti-social they just have no time for drama, stupidity and false people.
16 December 2013, 16:38,
RE: Willow Bark Aspirin
My post WTSHTF skills set has been increased in the last year by adding herbal medicines. As a former pharmacist [another job from my wide ranging CV] and as someone who suffers from a chronic pain condition I thought I'd better read up on it and get some practice in. I have been taking, since august, a tincture made from anti-inflammatory herbs, this is to replace the prescription anti-inflammatories, which of course won't be available and besides, are quite harmful themselves over a long period of time. The big thing for me to get my head around is to get used to not having an idea/accurate assessment of the active ingredients like you do in pharmaceuticals.
I located a source of young willows and started stripping bark in a careful and sustainable way. [it is actually best don in spring and I will collect enough for a year come next spring] The wood itself is very useful but the bark has the salicin in it. As people know salicin is a pre-cursor to acetyl salicylic acid [aspirin] and salicylates are what it and aspirin are metabolised to when you take them. I located Mugwort and Yarrow too [I took a yarrow cutting and grew some which will go in the herb garden next year]
I made a tincture in the prescribed manner and flavoured it with liquorice and cloves [something I now maintain a stock of] and honey [we have bee hives not far away]. I was intensely curious to see if I could suppress the prostaglandins with natural extracts and was prepared to suffer a little until I got the dosage and concentrations correct -which I believe I have now.
I can say with hand on heart that if it hadn't worked I'd have been curled up in a ball in a corner somewhere as it gets that bad. Only one period of a week did I get a sort of rising breakthrough pain. I experimented and discovered that increasing the dosage substantially increased the effect and succeeded in suppressing the inflammation and the pain it causes. The thing about salicin as you take it, which is totally different to aspirin, and is why you can take it without ANY gastric issues, is that salicin is alkaline in tinctures or teas. Aspirin is of course an acid and this accounts for its negative effect on the gut.
So I'm able to self medicate now.
I've started looking into salves for cuts and abrasions, honey and garlic dip which is great for colds/flu and a hundred other possible locally available and really useful preparations.

By the way this bit "..potential of Reye's syndrome.. " is just another one of those myths. Manufacturers of paracetomol [which is truly toxic] came up with a way of getting rid of a less expensive but wholly more effective rival by inferring/insinuating and associating aspirin with this reversible blood dyscrasia. Aspirin/salicin is much more effective than paracetamol for anti-inflammatory/anti-pyretic properties and about the same for analgesic properties. I believe the best estimate they could give was that 1:80000 children under the age of 12, may have a reversible blood dyscrasia. This was the information that was released as justification back in 1978-80 I think it was, to stop giving aspirin preps to under 12s. Lo and behold Calpol was plastered all over the adverts afterwards.
Post apocalypse, healers will be in demand too I think so I will re-visit my diagnostic and other skills with a view to having herbal options for the problems I'll be able to diagnose.
20 December 2013, 03:34,
RE: Willow Bark Aspirin
Hello M_A, Good to hear of your success with herbs. It's time for you to post some articles on the main site. Your knowledge of Pharmacy will be valuable for Preppers if a Survival situation occurs. I will be adding more articles soon to the main site. I have been very busy of late with other important things. Do some research on Gemmotherapy you will probably find this of value. No it's not about using gems to treat disease. Gemma is the latin word for a bud. I'll say no more, you can find the info on the net. Maybe we will meet up some time, I would like that.

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