Aspirin or willow bark tea?

2010. 2. 1. 20:48My-ecoMedicine

[My-ecoMedicine] - 아스피린을 먹을까, 버드나무 차를 마실까? (read in Korean)

Willow bark tea- the forerunner of the medicine of the century, Aspirin

Since christmas holidays 2009, I and my husband couldn't go back home. We are still in Wesel by my parents in law. Because my husband had some problem on his knee and had to go to hospital. It happened so suddenly. His knee was swollen for no reason. Once he got hurt same knee at his previous work.

Willow bark tea▲ Tea of the willow bark- in german pharmacy, you can buy the natural medicines e.g. herbs like other chemical drugs. ⓒ MiSoo Kim

Fortunately, doctor said that his knee looked not so serious than we supposed after MRT(magnetic  resonance tomography- this term is more common than MRI in Germany.). My husband had a slight damage on the meniscus of his knee. That caused the inflammation so that the knee was swollen. Doctor prescribed just a special bandage for a knee, but no other medicine. We were very released that he prescribed no drugs. Because we are those people who are not so willing to take chemical tablets.

Later we looked for some natural medicines against the pain and Inflammation. We found willow bark good for that case. Willow bark tea has similar effects to the Aspirin. Actually the main ingredient of Aspirin, so called the best medicine of the century, derives from the bark of willow.

Willow bark releases the pain, gets rid of the Inflammation, removes the fever and is effective for rheumatism like Aspirin. It's mainly because of the salicin, which metabolizes to salicylic acid- a basic element of Aspirin.
Wikipedia, Weiden (Botanik)- Heilkunde und Medizin)

Willow bark tea▲ Willow bark tea from pharmacy - well made willow bark tea is dark brown colour. ⓒ MiSoo kim

It is so common in Germany to use herbs so that people can buy even medicinal plants from pharmacy. I bought a pack of the willow bark and made some tea from it for my husband. My husband has been taking this tea for more than one week- the first few days every day, and later every other day. He says that the tea is surely helpful because the pain on his knee is released quite much than before.

A cup of willow bark tea is more effective than the dose of salicin in it. It's supposed because of the synergy with other ingredients such as flavonoids in the willow bark. In addition, unlike chemical medicines, natural medicines have almost no side effects.

Natural medicines contain the whole vitality of the Nature and unknown effects. And it distinguishes them to the chemical medicines which are made just from some specific, effective elements.

That's why we prefer natural and alternative herb teas than chemicals

[Good to know]  
1. How to prepare 'Willow bark tea'?

Put 2 teaspoons of finely cut dry barks of the willow into the pot and add 0.5 liter of cold water to them. Heat the pot very slowly(Set the stove at the lowest point) till boiling. Once the tea boils, turn off the stove. 5 minutes later, filter it.

It is recommanded to drink 3-5 cups of tea per day. The willow bark tea should have no side effects, if you keep the dose. But it's not for the pregnant.

Heilpraktiker & Volksheilkunde Nr. 1 / 2000)

2. The ingredients of Willow bark(Salix)

The ingredients of willow bark are Salicylalkoholglykoside(salicin, Salireposid, Salicortin, Fragilin, Picein etc.), flavonoids, phenol carboxylic acids and tannins. The salicin is cleaved in the intestine Salicalalkohol and glucose, and then converted in the liver to salicylic acid (C7 H6 O3, 2-hydroxybenzoic).
(Arne Krüger, Inhaltsstoffe from <WEIDENRINDE ODER ASPIRIN ?>,
Heilpraktiker & Volksheilkunde Nr. 1 / 2000)