So imagine this - you’ve had a long and stressful day, and while all you want to do is head into your nice dark room, your kids or dog insists you go outside and adventure into the woods with them. You don’t have time to stop and grab a Tylenol before you’re back outside, surrounded by sun and sound. Lucky for you, there’s a hack you can try today, and it only takes a little foraging, depending on where you live.
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People worldwide for hundreds of years have turned to herbal remedies to help with the aches and pains of everyday life. It should be no surprise that our ancestors would have quickly figured out how to use what was around them, especially regarding things like ‘what helps headaches.’ One of those things just so happens to be the bark of a willow tree.
You may not know this, but willow trees contain a chemical called salicin, which is very similar to your typical aspirin and can be used similarly. TikToker Dr. Nicole Apelian recommends that, should you have a headache and access to willow trees nearby, you can break off and chew a small piece of the willow itself for quick relief of headache and migraine symptoms. Beware, though, because it WILL taste just like chewing up an Aspirin, so prepare for the medicinal taste.
Of course, commenters do have a few questions. One asked whether there was a difference between a willow ‘tree’ and a willow ‘bush’ (the answer is they’re essentially the same thing). Another commenter wondered if they could take willow even though they were allergic to Aspirin, which isn’t recommended as Aspirin is synthesized from the willow plant itself.
So next time you’re in the woods and have a bit of a headache, maybe look for (and take a bite of) a nice willow tree.