In this article, I will be showing you how to make a crude form of aspirin from the bark of a willow tree. It is a great remedy for headaches, hangovers, and other minor pain. The use of the willow tree as a mild pain reliever goes back to the Native Americans, who used it in much the same way that I do. Before we go any further, I am going to explain what we are making and how it differs from commercial aspirin. Commercial aspirin is a chemical called acetylsalicylic acid (say that one three times fast!). What we will be making is simply an herbal tea that contains salicylic acid, which is the raw material from which acetylsalicylic acid is made.
So, why do they convert it from the raw salicylic acid into the commercial form?
It increases the shelf life of the medicine.
Salicylic acid becomes dangerous to use if you concentrate it. Pharmaceutical companies are not happy with just picking a leaf or cutting some bark from a tree…they like to concentrate everything and make it as potent as they can. If you do this with salicylic acid, it can cause stomach bleeding. But, as long as you use it in a natural, unconcentrated form (like the willow-bark tea we are going to make), it is perfectly safe. I have used it for years with no ill affects whatsoever.
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