Willow bark contains salicylic acid. It was one of the first pain relievers, noted by Hippocrates for its medicinal uses. It can be harvested from pretty much any willow as far as I know, but don't quote me on that. As always, consult your field guide or an herbalist to ensure that your trees are safe to use.
Willow bark should not be given to children as it can contribute to Reye's syndrome, just like aspirin can.
Here's the tea recipe:
"General dosing guidelines for willow bark are as follows:
* Dried herb (used to make tea): boil 1 to 2 tsp of dried bark in 8 oz of water and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes; let steep for 1 hour; drink 3 to 4 cups daily"
It can also be boiled and used as a poultice by binding it with a cravat bandage against the wound, wart, or affected muscle group.
This is an anti-inflammatory as well as a pain reliever, so it is also good for treating fevers. In that case, take it orally as a tea.
Here's one place I got my info from:
As always, use only when needed, and don't take in excess. Just because it's an herb doesn't mean it's "just food"! My aunt made the mistake of believing that herbs are not drugs, and paid the price. The combination of her stomach cancer and the effects on her kidneys from taking too many herbal remedies ended in her demise. Remember that herbs are what modern drugs are made from in many cases...
I hope you find this useful.
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