Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Magical Aspirin

I find I am often asked for herbal cures for problems which are easily treated by over-the-counter remedies.  As much as I do appreciate the desire to go back to nature and live as the Goddess wills, I've been around long enough to respect the potential dangers of letting every day illnesses and injuries get out of hand.  Open wounds go septic, colds become walking pneumonia.  Herbal medicine is a wonderful thing, but it can be dangerous for the novice to self-medicate. 

If you really need to rationalize the use of over-the-counter medicines, technically it all comes from the Earth.  Many of the medications we take for granted today originated as herbal remedies.  Pharmaceutical companies comb rainforests and primitive cultures for the next superdrug.  The Mother provides.  Bayer, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson simply make it more easily accessible.

Today's magical OTC (over-the-counter) remedy is aspirin.  Modern aspirin is a pure form of acetylsalicylic acid, whose use has been tracked back as far as ancient Sumer.  Originally found in the bark of myrtle or willow trees and in the herb meadowsweet, salicylic acid was used to treat aches and pains and as a fever reducer--much as it is today.  In 1826, German chemist Johann Andreas Buchner isolated the bark's active extract salicin.  From there modern aspirin evolved.  Today, aspirin is used to fight arthritis and heart disease, and has been shown to be effective in the prevention of heart attacks, strokes and, in some cases, even cancer. 

When using aspirin magically, we turn to the magical correspondences of the willow tree.   The willow is used in lunar magic, particularly New Moon magic, as well as in love, fertility, protection and obviously, healing.  It is associated with the element of water.  The goddesses Hecate, Artemis, Astarte, Ceridwen and Rhiannon consider the willow sacred.  In folklore, a witch's broom is bound in willow.

So as you take your aspirin, for whatever ails you, remember to give thanks to the Mother, or to the goddess of your choice for the willow tree which created it, and of course, use only as directed.


  1. Thanks for the post, I had no idea. I just found your blog and I love it.

  2. By the way how can I follow you? Where is the button?

  3. You know, I usually follow others through the admin page on my blog--let me look into it.