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What Is Willow Aspirin?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Willow aspirin, also known as willow bark, contains a natural pain-relieving compound known as salicin. The use of willow aspirin to treat pain and inflammation has been recorded for several centuries and is the predecessor to modern-day aspirin. Salicin was used in the 19th century to create the formulation now known as aspirin. This newer compound is believed to provide better pain relief, although some claim that willow aspirin may actually provide longer-lasting effects. Side effects are similar to those of modern aspirin, and a doctor should be consulted before beginning treatment with this herbal formulation.

Many people use willow aspirin to treat a wide variety of painful or inflammatory conditions, ranging from headaches to the treatment of arthritis. Additional uses include the treatment of menstrual cramps, muscle pain, or fever. Anyone who has exhibited a sensitivity or allergic reaction involving aspirin products should not use this product without consulting a physician, and willow aspirin is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

There are several ways to use willow aspirin, depending on individual preferences. The dried herb can be used to make a tea that is typically consumed three to four times per day. A liquid tincture made with alcohol may be placed under the tongue three times per day. Another option is to purchase capsules, which are available in a variety of strengths and dosages. A medical professional should be consulted in order to choose the most appropriate dosage for the individual situation.

As is the case with modern aspirin products, willow aspirin is not recommended for use by children. Some studies suggest that children less than the age of 12 should not use these products, while others extend this warning to those less than the age of 16. The concern is that aspirin products may increase the risks of developing a potentially serious medical condition known as Reye's syndrome, an illness that causes the brain and liver to become inflamed.

Gastrointestinal disturbances such as stomach upset or the development of ulcers may occur when using willow aspirin. Bleeding involving the digestive tract may occur as well, especially with repeated use. Patients with bleeding disorders or other medical conditions may not be able to safely use this product, and it may also interfere with the effectiveness of some medications. For these reasons, it is important to consult a doctor before beginning treatment with this or similar products.

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