Headaches are among the most common, and most annoying, ailments. There are so many different causes to headaches and migraines that no one thing can aid every cause. But one of the more common causes of headaches come from sinus inflammation and swelling of blood vessels, creating pressure in the head and thus headaches. And aside from the taking of drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve this pressure, there is a natural remedy that may reduce suffering: willow bark.


What Is Willow Bark?

Willow bark comes from the willow tree, a common plant found in the Northern hemisphere. The medicinal use of willow bark dates back to the time of Hippocrates (400 B.C.E.). In ancient times, people would chew the bark to alleviate fever and inflammation. Modern science backs up this ancient usage, and evidence shows that willow bark is helpful when treating pain and swelling.

How Does Willow Bark Help?

The active ingredient in willow bark, the chemical salicin, has been shown to be effective when countering pain and inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that it is as effective as aspirin, and at a much lesser dosage. However, there is also good evidence that willow bark contains antioxidant, antiseptic, and immune-boosting components, and can be part of a healthy routine when taken.

What Else Can Willow Bark Help?

Aside from headaches, willow bark may be useful when countering low back pain on account of its anti-inflammatory properties. Other studies have shown that willow bark is useful against osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, the flu, fevers, tendonitis, and bursitis (inflammation between a tendon and skin). For the healthy, willow bark is a great way to maintain a healthy immune system, and is preventive in nature.

Willow bark can be taken as a powdered herb or in tea, but it also can be found in pill form as a supplement. For those looking to an alternative to drugs like aspirin and the side effects they can cause, taking any form of willow bark just might do the trick.