Make your own Aspirin

natural healing

Making your own Aspirin naturally

It is all in the salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is the active ingredient in Aspirin. This all natural remedy has been traced all the way back to Hippocrates when he would advise people to chew on the bark of willow tree to help reduce inflammation, pain and fevers. There are many plants that contain salicylic acid but the willow contains this element in a higher concentration. Below is a list of many plants and trees that contain salicylic acid but for this guide I will be referring the the willow for how to harvest and use this amazing medicinal remedy and make your own Aspirin.

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Benefits of salicylic acid and salicin

  • Reduces inflammation and redness.
  • Alleviates acne and redness
  • Pain reduction
  • Reduce mensural cramps
  • Help bring down fevers
  • combating joint pain
  • relieve lower back pain
  • Stroke prevention
  • High blood pressure
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Salicylic acid containing plants and trees

  • Aspen (Populus tremula) Black
  • haw (Viburnum prunifolium)
  • White willow (Salix alba)
  • Meadowsweet (Spiraea ulmaria)

How to identify a White Willow (Salix alba)

The white willow is the largest species of willow, with mature trees growing up to 80 ft. They often have an irregular, leaning crown. The bark is grey-brown and develops deep fissures with age, and twigs are slender, flexible and grey-brown.

Check for: the leaves which are hairy all over at first then, as they age, remain downy underneath and sparsely hairy on the top.

To identify in winter: green to yellow-brown, hairy, narrow buds which are pressed close to the twig.

White willow leaves from the tree that you will use to make your own aspirin green on top and downy on bottom
White Willow leaves


The slender, oval leaves are paler than most other willows due to a felty covering of fine, silky white hairs on the underside.

white willow catkins in early spring about two inches long this well help identify the tree used to make your own aspirin
White Willow Flowers


White willow is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers grow on separate trees. Catkins appear in early spring – male catkins are 1.5–2 in long and female catkins 1-2 in long.

Willow habitat

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Willows can be found in wetlands and near rivers and streams.

Making your own Aspirin

Start by locating the correct willow tree. Once this has been done start to harvest the bark. It is much easier to harvest the bark off of the smaller branches so I would recommend starting there. The next step is very easy, all you have to do is peel the bark from the branch. After harvesting the bark it can be used right away for its local anesthetic benefits as well as systemic ones, especially if you have a toothache. You can also make a tea, tincture, or powder from it.

Making a tea out of your aspirin

Willow Bark Tea

To make the tea, let the bark dry for a few hours if you can. You don’t have to, but it’s recommended for best results.

Bring at least 2 cups of water to a boil. Put the bark in and continue to simmer. This serves two purposes – you’re making the tea and purifying the water at the same time.

If you’re using heat to purify the water, make sure to boil it for at least 10 minutes, with or without the bark. Use about 1 tablespoon of bark for each cup of water. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from heat.

After removing your tea from the heat, let it steep for 10-20 minutes. By that time, it will have cooled enough to drink. Drink a cup of the tea every few hours.

You can also make a decoction by boiling for a bit longer – 15-20 min – and letting it steep as directed for the tea.

Making a powder form of Aspirin

The powder form of willow bark is the best and easiest to carry with you. With it you can quickly make a tea. To dry the willow bark, simply separate out the paper parts and allow them to dry completely and grind. Add a teaspoon to a cup of boiling water and make your tea as described above. Store excess in a dry, airtight container.

I highly recommend using a sharp knife when harvesting willow to make your own aspirin. For a great and easy way to sharpen that knife please click here to check out one of my other blogs.