Composition of Willow Bark
When we have a headache or experience any kind of body ache, we open our medicine cabinets and reach for a bottle of aspirin. This pain reliever and heart attack preventer is a “miracle drug” that has been one of the most popular pharmaceutical agents for over a century, but its natural equivalent has been used for thousands of years. Willow bark, also known as “nature’s aspirin,” contains a precursor to aspirin, which essentially provides the same benefits as the tablet.
Health benefits of Willow Bark
The salicin in Willow bark is converted into salicylic acid after it is absorbed by the stomach, therefore, it may not cause stomach irritation like aspirin and can be a great option for treating ailments. Willow Bark has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antiseptic, anti-oxidant, analgesic, and immune boosting capability. It is used to treat ailments such as headache, toothache, backache, osteoarthritis, PMS, menstrual cramps, muscular pains and strains, cardiovascular disorders, cuts, wounds, burns, colds, flu, fever, and rheumatory and inflammatory disorders, bursitis, arthritis, painful articular (joint) conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
History of Willow Bark
The ancient Egyptians used willow bark as a remedy for aches and pains.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician who lived from about 460 to 377 B.C., wrote that willow leaves and bark relieved pain and fevers.
It wasn’t until thousands of years later that people began to isolate the key ingredients of aspirin. An 18th-century clergyman, Edward Stone, rediscovered aspirin, in effect, when he wrote a report about how a preparation of powdered willow bark seemed to benefit 50 patients with ague and other maladies.