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White Willow Bark

What it’s good for
Aspirin was originally formed with salicin, the active ingredient in white willow bark, which relieves pain, especially for the lower back, osteoarthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps and inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis. It takes a little longer than pharmaceutical pain killers, but is believed to be just as effective.

Where to find it

In any major health food store.

How to take it
If you are taking the dried herb form used in tea, boil one to two teaspoons of dried bark in 8 ounces of water and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes; let it steep for half an hour and drink 3 – 4 cups daily.

White willow bark also comes in powdered herb form available in capsules or liquid, take 60 – 240 mg of standardized salicin per day.

If you are taking it in tincture form (1:5, 30% alcohol), 4 to 6 ml should be taken three times per day.

Safety

Due to the salicin in white willow bark, those who are allergic to aspirin should not use this herb. People with asthma, diabetes, gout, gastritis, hemophilia, and stomach ulcers should also avoid it. If you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly or blood-thinning medication, you should also exercise caution and consult your doctor before taking this herb.