Does Natural Aspirin Exist?
Ugh headache, muscle pain, inflammation, or just a general body ache, what do most Americans turn to... more often than not, aspirin.
Aspirin is in most medicine cabinets across the country, heck, across most countries. It is an anti-inflammatory that has been taken from a natural source, redeveloped in laboratories, and put into pill form and sold to the masses. "Aspirin was originally derived from the herbs meadowsweet and willow bark and later synthesized by the pharmaceutical industry to create a patentable product." This might have been done originally with good intentions to help relieve pain, but at this point in aspirin's career it is created more for profit than for good.
"When natural compounds are synthesized in a laboratory and then marketed as drugs, they typically cause side-effects that the food and herb sources do not usually cause."
Since aspirin has been removed from its natural source and scientifically fiddled with, the side effect list is lengthy and this is when the good intentions turn more into profit margin. Depending on how much you rely on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, your reactions can range from nothing to itchy skin to gastrointestinal irritation, or in very severe cases, death. For some people the instant pain relief outweighs the risk, but for others looking for more natural alternatives to pain management, aspirin in its pill form isn't the way to go. If not a man-made pill, then what?
Remember how aspirin originally came from natural sources? Well it can still be found in many plants that you consume!
The active ingredient in aspirin is salicylates or salicylic acid, and lucky for us this is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables that are readily available in your local supermarket or health food store. So, before you jump to the medicine cabinet to relieve that headache think about what is in your fridge first. Hippocrates had it right many many years ago, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Here is a list of foods that contains salicylic acid, and may just encourage your body to rely on a healthy natural alternative to aspirin in pill form.
- Chili peppers
- Currants (including dried currants)
- Licorice (the herb, not the candy)
- Meadowsweet (an herb)
- Plums and prunes
- Turmeric (the spice)
- Willow bark
This list has been circling natural health websites and magazines for a while now, but can be found in its entirety on www.care2.com.
As always be sure to talk to your trusted health professional before making a drastic change to your diet or health plan. Make sure you look into more information about these foods, and why they can help you turn to a more natural approach to pain management.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.