Is there a natural aspirin?
Willow bark has been shown to help relieve some mild discomforts. But more research is needed to fully understand how it differs from aspirin. While it may be an effective alternative to aspirin for some, talk to your doctor before choosing to take willow bark.
The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). In combination with the herb's powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds (called flavonoids), salicin is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb.
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Willow bark might slow blood clotting. Taking willow bark along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Though salicylic acid, the main active ingredient in aspirin, is “ubiquitously present in fruits and vegetables,” the highest concentrations are found in herbs and spices. Red chili powder, paprika, and turmeric contain a lot of salicylates, but cumin is about 1 percent aspirin by weight.
Dosage. The dosage is 240 mg daily of salicin, in divided doses. This is roughly equivalent to 87 mg of aspirin. Willow bark extract may work better if it is started the day before expected symptoms.
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- Grape seed extract.
Daily aspirin use increases the risk of developing a stomach ulcer. If you already have a bleeding ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding, taking aspirin may cause more bleeding. The bleeding may be life-threatening.
- Cayenne peppers.
- Vitamin E.
- Other foods.
The salicin in willow bark converts to salicylic acid. Some believe that this makes it gentler on your stomach than lab-created aspirin. Too much willow bark, however, can cause stomach cramping and bleeding.
Why is willow bark better than aspirin?
The multi-component active principle of willow bark provides a broader mechanism of action than aspirin and is devoid of serious adverse events. In contrast to synthetic aspirin, willow bark does not damage the gastrointestinal mucosa. An extract dose with 240 mg salicin had no major impact on blood clotting.
In extract form, it's typically taken in doses ranging from 120–240 milligrams of salicin for at least six weeks. Although it's generally safe, white willow bark extract taken in high doses can cause side effects, including increased bleeding, skin rashes, itching and an upset stomach.
Apples, avocado, berries, cherries, grapes, peaches, and plums are all foods rich in salicylates. However, it's important to still make sure you're getting the right amount of nutrients that fruit provides. Many herbs and spices contain salicylates.
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a novel organic compound that does not occur in nature, and was first successfully synthesised in 1899. In 1897, scientists at the drug and dye firm Bayer began investigating acetylated organic compounds as possible new medicines, following the success of acetanilide ten years earlier.
One study found that even cooked garlic lost its anti-platelet activity. Do, however, stick with Aspirin (if your doc agrees it's right for you).
In 1828, Johann Andreas Buchner, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Munich purified salicin from willow bark.
Calcium is an essential constituent of teeth, cells and bones. A lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, brittle bones and difficulties with stature and mobility in later life. Drinking 1.5 litres of Willow Water a day will provide you with well over a quarter of your daily calcium requirement.
Did You Know? It is a common misconception that aspirin is found in the bark of the willow tree. A related compound called salicin does indeed occur in willow bark, thereby explaining the use of the bark as a medication since the time of Hippocrates.
How Aspirin Helps you. Taking aspirin helps prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries and may help lower your risk for a stroke or heart attack. Your provider may recommend to take daily aspirin if: You do not have a history of heart disease or stroke, but you are at high risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Adults Age 60 and Over Should Not Start Taking Aspirin
Is ibuprofen as good as aspirin for heart?
Aspirin may be used at a low dose to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke or to prevent blood clotting. Ibuprofen has less of an effect on blood cells or platelets so is not used for this indication. Aspirin is also a salicylate because it is derived from salicylic acid.
Many people take daily aspirin under the mistaken impression it will help their heart. But taking the drug every day can also increase the risk of bleeding and other cardiovascular issues.
As you might expect, low-dose aspirin is a smaller dose of aspirin. A regular strength aspirin is typically 325 milligrams (mg) and a low-dose aspirin is below 100 mg (typically 81 mg).
The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend that low-dose aspirin may be considered for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in people ages 40-70 with increased risk and without elevated risk of bleeding.
Natural Medicine Tip
If you are concerned about the side effects of aspirin or if you are aspirin sensitive, you may want to consider the common spice, ginger, as a healthy alternative. Ginger is derived from a perennial plant that bears narrow green leaves and yellow flowers.