Herbal Pain Relief

What can you do when you have pain, especially on a daily basis, and don’t want to risk the possible side effects of traditional anti-inflammatories? There is something that works quite well, and has been used for centuries.

White willow bark has been used throughout the ages in both China and Europe. Back around 400 B.C., Hippocrates recommended chewing on the bark to his patients in order to reduce fever and inflammation. When selecting a supplement or herb to try, it’s always good to have that kind of history behind it, and that’s why it’s the health tip of the day.

The main ingredient in white willow is salicin, the same ingredient that aspirin was derived from. But being in a natural state, there is a very low chance of side effects with willow bark compared to a chemical derivative. Long-term use of NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) can lead to complications such as gastrointestinal discomfort, stomach bleeding, ulcers etc. Even though with white willow a small potential exists for similar side effects as regular aspirin, it is very low, and will tend to be mild. I’ve experienced some stomach bleeding from NSAIDs (Aleve), but have NEVER had a problem with white willow-I often take it on an empty stomach before breakfast.