If you have a problem—philosophical or physical—with over-the-counter pain-management drugs, you may want to try a natural pain reliever: willow bark. According to the February ’11 Bottom Line Health, it’s been used since the Middle Ages in Europe to relieve aches and inflammation. Salicin, a chemical in willow bark, is similar to aspirin, and studies show that it can reduce lower-back pain as well as arthritis twinges. It can also relieve headaches and painful conditions affecting muscles and joints. The appropriate dose is 60 to 240 milligrams of salicin a day.
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