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Willow Bark To Replace Aspirin?

Dec 27, 2007
Willow bark is an ancient alternative medicine. We know this from the ancient manuscripts of the Assyrian, the Egyptian and the Greek. The Egyptians used it as a remedy for inflammation. Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Galen the Greek physicians used Willow bark to reduce fever and sooth lower back pain, inflamed joints and other pains. Since 500BC the Chinese have used it to relieve pain and fever. Willow bark was also used by the American natives to control sexual desire.

Willow bark is also known by the names of Salix alba and White willow. This tree is a native of southern and central Europe, and central and western Asia. It is often called nature's aspirin. Aspirin contains an active ingredient called salicylic acid to give pain relief. Willow bark is also found to be rich in this same component.

Willow bark is effective in killing pain associated with of inflammation. Some of these are joint pain, back pain, rheumatism, gout and arthritis. It can give relief to headache, colds and flu and reduce fever. Willow bark can help with weight loss by boosting metabolism. Americans of the colonial days used Willow bark as a treatment for food poisoning, gout, fever and inflammation. It gives relief to heartburn, colic, sour stomach and other gastrointestinal disorders. This herb is an antiseptic and excellent for burns, wounds, cuts, sores, dandruff and tonsillitis.

Usually Willow bark is safe to take with few side effects. However, it is not advisable for pregnant and nursing women. It should also be avoided by those who have a reaction to aspirin. For patients who are going to undergo surgery Willow bark should not be taken two weeks before and after the procedure. There is the possibility that this herb may interfere with wound healing and bleeding disorder. Willow bark is found to interact with certain prescribed drugs.

Sufferers of gastritis and ulcers should avoid using Willow bark. For those who have any liver or kidney conditions Willow bark will aggravate the problem. This herb is not recommended for people with blood clot disorders. Children with chickenpox, viral infection and fever must also not be given this herb. Continual or long term use of Willow bark is not advisable. This could affect sexual desire and damage stomach, kidney and liver.

Willow bark is available as tablets, capsules, tea or tincture. The standard dosage is 400mg 3 times daily. You can make a tea by pouring 250 ml of boiling water over 1000mg of Willow bark leaves. Then let it steep for at least 5 minutes before drinking. Clinical studies have found that for a minority of migraine sufferers, using feverfew and Willow bark together produce better results.

Today herbalists continue to use Willow bark as a remedy for arthritis, fevers, inflammation, headaches, body pain and heart disease. Researchers believed it is more powerful than aspirin. Willow bark contains other active ingredients not found in aspirin. It is also proven to have a longer lasting relief than aspirin and more gentle to the stomach.
About the Author
About the Author: Paulina Jenkins has a blog with information on plants, herbs that are used as alternative medicine. Willow bark kills pain and reduces fever and Willow bark is more powerful than aspirin.
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