Aspirin is a non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) similar to ibuprofen. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is a derivative of salicylate, which can be found in plants such as willow trees and myrtle, according to The benefits of willow were first discovered in 3,000 B. C. in Mesopotamia. In the following centuries, willow bark was continuously recommended for pain relief throughout the world.

According to, more than 40,000 metric tons of the drug are consumed annually. Aspirin is typically used to relieve minor aches and pains, to reduce fever and as an anti-inflammatory drug. It is also commonly used for cardiac health as an antiplatelet to prevent blood clot formation in people at risk for, or who have just had, a heart attack or stroke.

Some side effects of aspirin include stomach bleeding and severe asthma attacks, according to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, director of the Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Practitioners Network. “Unfortunately, the side effects from aspirin and NSAIDS have been found to be daunting,” said Teitelbaum. “NSAIDS cause more than 30,000 deaths a year, 16,000 from bleeding ulcer deaths, and a doubling to tripling of heart attack and stroke risk.”

Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives that are far more effective, he said. One such remedy is a mix of a highly absorbable form of curcumin (called BCM 95) plus boswellia. This mixture was found to be more effective than Celebrex in treating arthritis in a recent head-on study, according to Teitelbaum. And, going back to the original source, willow bark has been shown in comparison studies with Motrin to be more effective, and also gentler on the stomach.

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