Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers! We’re going to sing a little ditty about Aspirin, and it’s many uses. Why? Because it is an inexpensive treasure-trove available just about anywhere that can be added to your supplies. It is safe and effective, and has a heck of a long shelf life if you protect it from moisture and the elements. A good supply of it is not hard to build up, and you can always FIFO your supply to utilize it as needed. This simple little prep is highly recommended for your preparedness supplies and can be found at the Dollar Store and most drug stores. For those of you who may not know, FIFO means “first in, first out,” in accordance with inventory: use your oldest bottles first, and rotate your newest replacements to the back of the stack.
The origin of aspirin
Willow, Poplar, and Myrtle trees have a component known as salicin in them. This chemical (a derivative of salicylic acid) has the ability to reduce pain, fever, and relieve small-scale maladies (such as headache and fever). A German chemist (the Germans have always been great chemists and are world-leaders, FYI, in the field of Herbalism) named Felix Hoffman in 1895 first successfully employed salicylic acid to help his father. Felix did this at the ripe old age of 29.
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was a synthetic version of this salicylic acid, and that had been discovered by a French chemist in 1853 by the name of Charles von Gerhardt (OK, he was a French citizen, but he was of German descent!). Not much was done with this synthesized version of the natural acid taken from the trees.
But Hoffman learned about it. One of the problems with the salicylic acid he gave to his dad was that it upset the elder man’s stomach. When Hoffman expounded on von Gerhardt’s discovery, however, he found that ASA (yes, aspirin) was a lot less harsh on the stomach, and Hoffman is credited with giving Aspirin its name. But that company Felix worked for (a dye and pharmaceutical firm) took the young man’s discovery a step further. They patented it and developed a process for manufacturing it in 1899.
That company was Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co. Yep, you guessed it: Bayer, as in Bayer Aspirin!
Here is how aspirin can help
In your body are prostaglandins, a twenty-dollar word for substances that work in your body to do all sorts of functions, from regulating your body temperature to helping your blood clot. Aspirin works by reducing these prostaglandins. This has the effect of reducing pain and inflammation, and also thins the blood to reduce clotting. It does this by disabling an enzyme called COX (cyclooxygenase) that turns acids found in your cells into prostaglandins. Pretty intricate, huh? The primary effect is to lower inflammation, and thereby pain is lowered.
Regarding the circulation, aspirin also helps fight against coronary artery disease and does it by lowering the amount of platelets that can attach themselves to the arterial walls and preventing clotting. In the event of a heart attack, the Mayo Clinic advises taking 162 mg of aspirin and chewing it up, enabling it to be broken down and more readily absorbed and transferred by the bloodstream, after calling 911. It also helps with angina pectoris.
Aspirin has been found useful in the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancers, osteoporosis, dementia and other forms of Alzheimer’s disease, prostate cancer, and to neutralize viruses.
Looking for a more natural approach?
From an herbal perspective and naturopathic viewpoint, white willow bark is a healthy and natural alternative to synthesized ASA. White Willow (Salix spp.) is also interchangeable with the American Willow (Salix nigra). The only ones contraindicated for its use are pregnant or nursing mothers, very young children, or people with allergies to salicylates. It comes in a liquid or powder in your better health food stores. Follow the directions on the package, as the manufacturer, hence formulating the correct dosage, knows the exact salicin content.
The standard for powder is 1-2 grams several times a day as needed. This is not denigrating the manufactured aspirin by any means. As I wrote earlier, aspirin is a safe and cost-effective supply for you to have in your preps. In addition, if you stock up on some extra? Post SHTF, it can be more valuable than gold for barter and trade.
Another thing: if you have a battery that you suspect of being dead (maybe you left your lights on) pop a couple of aspirin into the battery, and wait a few minutes. The aspirin will react with the nitric acid in the battery and produce a weak charge, enough to start up the engine with. And if it doesn’t work, you can take two more yourself for any headaches you may suffer while you’re awaiting triple-A and a tow truck.
To summarize, aspirin does many wonderful things. It is an affordable asset that you can store up in large quantities in your preps and not come anywhere near to hurting your billfold. It has a high degree of safety, and helps with many different ailments. Because of all of these things, it will be highly valuable, both for your family and as a bartering commodity when the bottom drops out and our society comes crashing down. On that happy note, hope I didn’t give you a headache, and you have a great day! JJ out!