Aspirin is derived from an herbal plant that has been used for centuries to treat lower back pain. Willow bark, which dates back to the time of Hippocrates, contains salicin, a chemical compound that reduces pain and inflammation and ancient healers advised patients to chew on the bark for pain relief. In the late 1800s a German company created a synthetic form of salicin called acetylsalicylic acids, which is the active ingredient in aspirin.


Because aspirin use is widespread many people assume that it is harmless. The truth is that prolonged use of aspirin can lead to ulcers as well as gastrointestinal and stomach bleeding.

Related: Headaches and Willow Bark

Willow bark offers the same pain-relieving benefits of aspirin without the harmful side effects. A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that people with lower back pain experienced “significant relief” from willow bark.

Although ancient healers advised patients to chew on willow bark you don’t have to resort to that. Willow bark is available in supplement form online and in natural health stores. It comes in tablet or powdered form and the dosage may vary from person depending on age, gender, weight and overall health.

Many people find lower back pain relief through hydrotherapy, massage and acupuncture. Regular exercise, good posture and stress management are also important tools to relieve lower back pain. A natural approach to back pain relief can keep you healthy and active throughout your life. Work with your holistic practitioner to develop a natural pain relief strategy.