You Pass by This Plant Everyday Without Knowing How to Use It When SHTF


When doctors do not exist and all pharmacies are closed, how do you cope with pain? Luckily, Mother Nature has sent us a wonderful salicin-shaped analgesic.


Salicin is a compound that occurs naturally found in the bark of Willow trees, most notably the White Willow. Originally, Salicin was used as the starting material in commercial aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid processing. The process today is synthesized on an industrial scale, but the analgesic effects of man-made aspirin can be naturally created. Salicin is metabolized in our bodies to salicylic acid by the liver. It is the salicylic acid, acting in a similar manner to commercial Aspirin.

The use of ‘natural aspirin’ or salicin has many benefits. Firstly, since it does not become ‘active’ until the liver metabolizes it, it is less harmful to the intestine. Secondly, it bypasses the mechanism that prolongs blood clotting by producing acetyl salicylic acid (Aspirin). Thirdly, it may be a little less potent in its analgesic effects, but it lasts longer.

White Willow Bark and Salicin

White Willow Bark

When doctors do not exist and all pharmacies are closed, how do you cope with pain? Luckily, Mother Nature has sent us a wonderful salicin-shaped analgesic.

Salicin can be used as an analgesic at large. This is beneficial for headache and back pain, and when taken in the natural form, from the plant, it also contains natural anti-inflammatory agents called flavonoids and polyphenols, which are useful for inflammation, like arthritis. The ancient doctor, Hippocrates, proposed willow bark as an important gout and rheumatic disease remedy.

Salicylates (of which salicin is a type) are found in willow trees of which there are over 300 species, but each has differing amounts of salicin. In reality, White Willow, which is the willow approved for use, has a low salicylate and salicin concentration. In White Willow bark, it is the mixture of salicin and other active compounds that makes it useful as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. But, say you can use other willow types, like Black Willow, which is an excellent antispasmodic (and also an aphrodisiac).

Oil of Wintergreen and Methyl Salicylate

Methyl salicylate is a further salicylate that can be used for therapy. This is found in the winter-green plant leaves, which occurs in the north-eastern United States. Winter green oil appears to be used topically.

How to Use Natural Aspirin: Salicin

You can get at the active ingredient, Salicin, in a number of ways:

  1. make-aspirin-from-willow-tree.w654As an infusion of tea: Take a handful of white willow bark and cut as thin as possible. Add the water to about 8 ounces per tablespoon of bark. Boil this for about 10 minutes, then leave for 30 minutes to steep. It should go in a color of red. Strain the liquid-your tea. You may want to add some honey or other flavoring, as it has a bitter taste. To get the equivalent of a few generic aspirin pills, you’ll need a couple of cups, just note the results last longer.
  2. Chewing the bark: In the past, people would chew the white willow directly on the bark to get the salicin results.
  3. As a bath: put in a muslin (or similar cloth) bag a handful of chopped bark and place it in a warm bath. Bath in the tub to assist with joint rheumatism. Repeat the baths twice a week until you feel the benefit. Note however; that if you start heart palpitations get out.

Related: 10 Medical Home Emergencies and How to Treat Them

How to Use Natural Aspirin: Topical Oil of Wintergreen

tea out of Wintergreen leaves

You can make a tea from the leaves of Wintergreen by infusing it with hot water (together with Hardtacks). In fact, during the civil war, this used to be served up to the soldiers. However, it can also be dangerous in high doses, so erring on the safe side and using it topically is often the safest way to.

Methyl salicylate can be derived from winter-green plant leaves in two ways:

  1. The hard way: Chop the leaves and add to a small amount of warm water. Then with the use of a mortar and pestle, break the leaf tissues up releasing the chemical. You then have to steam distillate the resultant mixture, so it’s not an easy process to perform at home.
  2. The easier, but less effective way: Chop up the leaves and add to a small jar. Add some alcohol, ideally a tasteless one such as vodka, to the jar and shake. Shake the mix once every two days over the course of a month.
  3. Buy some wintergreen in now in advance: Find a supply of oil of wintergreen before the SHTF and you can then use this to create a balm as shown below.

Oil of Wintergreen Balm Recipe

Oil of Wintergreen Balm RecipeA Wintergreen balm is a good topical remedy for pain and aches. Mixing in a number of oils (including Wintergreen) can make a versatile balm based on petroleum jelly. I have made a few suggestions below, but you can mix them and match them, as long as you like the main active ingredient that contains the analgesic, aka Wintergreen, is added.

Mix the following oils together (amounts are not accurate):

  • Wintergreen – about 45ml
  • Camphor oil – about 10 ml
  • Lemon – about 5 ml or
  • Eucalyptus oil about 5 ml

Other herbs that go well in a pain relieving balm are:

  • CalendulaCayenne pepper (pain killer and – the best natural first aid)
  • St Johns Wort (anti-inflammatory)
  • Calendula (Marigold, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory, I’ve also used this as a balm on infected soft tissue and it worked a treat)

To make the balm: Heat up the petroleum jelly until it has melted very softly or almost. Mix in the herbs and oils, and leave to set.

Related: Similar to Morphine: The Best Natural Painkiller that Grows in Your Backyard

Other Recipes and Uses of Willow

In his book “Medicines Made of English Herbs,” the popular herbalist, Culpepper, writes about the Willow tree and its uses that you can use the seeds, bark, and leaves to stop bleeding. He recommends you use plant decoction in wine. A decoction can be made by mashing leaves or bark from the tree and then boiling for around 15 minutes in water. You then add a few spoons of teas to the wine.

Culpepper also recommends removing warts using willow tree ashes. He says combining ashes with water, and placing them on the wart.

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