Schatzie has bachelor's degrees in animal science and English and a master's in education.
Buffered Aspirin and Aluminum
It started when Michigan researchers published their discovery of the cancer-fighting properties of aspirin.1 News spread quickly, and soon, bottles and bottles of pills were being snatched up by eager consumers.
About the same time, a Vermont-based study was underway, looking for the causes of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.1 Through these experiments, an answer was found: Aluminum, in higher than average amounts, was linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
What Is the Connection Between Aspirin and Aluminum Consumption?
Aluminum is a primary ingredient in the commercially available buffered form of aspirin. While researchers have revealed its tumor-preventing and carcinogen-neutralizing abilities, aspirin has also potentially destroyed the central nervous systems of millions of Americans .1
|Aspirin Benefits||Aspirin Risks|
2-3 daily aspirin prevent tumor formation and neutralize the cancer-causing effects of nicotine, according to a Michigan based study (1)
Two or more aspirin a week increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 58% and 14 or more aspirin a week increases the risk by 86% according to a Massachusetts study (3)
Taking baby aspirin reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes in diabetics (4)
Baby aspirin increases the need for vitamin C (5)
Aspirin reduces lung, rectal, and colon cancer (12)
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and contributes to stomach ulcers. Improper use of these drugs results in 100,000 hospital visits and 16,000 deaths in the US annually (7)
Aspirin use is associated with macular degeneration. An Australian study found macular complications in 2.2% of non-aspirin users, 2.9% of occasional users, and 5.8% of routine users (17)
What About Unbuffered Aspirin?
Before individuals think unbuffered pills are safer because they may not have as high aluminum content, their routine administration still can result in several health-compromising conditions.
Natural Sources of Aspirin
There are natural aspirin-containing alternatives that are safe for daily use and have no link to cancers, vitamin deficiencies, ulcers, or degenerative diseases.
One is the red raspberry.
The typical daily dose of pharmaceutically produced aspirin pills considered safe for adults treating inflammatory conditions, fever, or pain is between 3 and 4 grams of aspirin (with the exception of rheumatic fever, which allows for more).21
Three-quarters of a cup of red raspberries has approximately 5 grams of acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin.20
Raspberries and Aspirin
Raspberries contain acetylsalicylic acid, the natural and organic form of aspirin.1
Being completely natural raspberries are free of harmful side-effects.
Whereas aspirin can damage the intestinal membrane, cause bleeding of the stomach, and elevate the body's aluminum levels, raspberries do none of these things. Raspberries also contain substances such as anthocyanin, ellagic acid, and carotenoids, which have strong anticarcinogenic properties.2
Acetylsalicylic Acid Alternatives to Raspberries
The following foods also have aspirin-like benefits and none of the health complications attributed to pills:
- Wasabi and horseradish inhibit colon, stomach, and lung cancer cells in humans8
- Gingerol, a chemical in ginger, thins the blood without any of the side effects of aspirin. Further, ginger has been proven to reduce tumor growths in the colons of lab animals3
- In addition to berries, apples, cantaloupe, raisins, apricots, dates, grapes, peaches, plums, oranges, cucumbers, peppers, pineapple, and tomatoes also contain natural aspirin13, 16
- Kiwi is a natural alternative blood thinner14, as is garlic15
The History of Aspirin and Willow Bark
Willow bark was used in ancient times for pain and fever relief by the Greek physician Hippocrates. The active component in the bark, salicin, was isolated by Johann Buchner in 1828 and converted to acetylsalicylic acid, a colorless crystal, by Raffaele Piria in 1838.
Because of its bitter flavor and gastric-damaging potency while in this form, Charles Frederic Gerhardt buffered the acid with sodium salicylate and acetyl chloride in 1853. Even though people could then ingest it without complications, Gerhardt made no move to profit from his creation.
The Mass Manufacture of Aspirin
Instead, Felix Hoffmann came upon Gerhardt’s formulation nearly 50 years later and brought it to the attention of the German company Bayer. Bayer patented it in February of 1900 and sold it as tablets by 1915. However, after World War I the Treaty of Versailles demanded Bayer give up its aspirin trademark.
Willow bark is still used to treat pain and inflammation around the world, though it's not as well known as its synthetic form. In many ways, it remains a superior option. Although willow bark's effects take longer to kick in, they last longer at a considerably lower dose. Other substances in the bark have the additional benefits of containing antioxidant, fever lowering, and immune-strengthening components, as well as antiseptic properties.
Willow Species Diversity and Aspirin
Different willow species contain varying amounts of salicin and the bark sold therapeutically in the U.S. and Europe is often from white, or European, willows, purple willows, and crack willows. Those suffering from back and arthritis pain, flu symptoms, tendinitis, menstrual cramps, or bursitis claim to find relief after consuming willow capsules, dried teas, or tinctures.
Though most individuals do not have strong reactions to willow bark, as an herb, it can cause undesirable side effects in some individuals and when over-consumed. While it is a natural alternative to laboratory-synthesized products, fruits and vegetables remain a superior choice for those seeking aspirin-type benefits.
- Mikhail Tombak, Cure the Incurable
- Laurie Deutsch Mozian, MS, RD Foods That Fight Disease: A Simple Guide to Using and Understanding Phytonutrients to Protect and Enhance Your Health
- Andreas Moritz, Cancer Is Not A Disease - It's A Survival Mechanism
- Michael T. Murray, Beat Diabetes Naturally: The Best Foods, Herbs, Supplements, and Lifestyle Strategies to Optimize Your Diabetes Care
- James Scala, The New Eating Right for a Bad Gut: The Complete Nutritional Guide to Ileitis, Colitis, Crohn's Disease, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps
- David W. Grotto, RD, LDN, 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life!
- Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, FRCP (C) and Dr. Harold D. Foster, PhD, Feel Better, Live Longer with Vitamin B-3
- Dan Labriola, Complementary Cancer Therapies: Combining Traditional and Alternative Approaches for the Best Possible Outcome
- J. Robert Hatherill, Eat To Beat Cancer: A Research Scientist Explains How You and Your Family Can Avoid Up to 90% of All Cancers
- Adam Leith Gollne, The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession
- Erica Wickham, M.S, R.D., List of Blood-Thinning Foods
- Get the Benefits of Aspirin in the Foods You Eat by FCA Publishing
- Aspirin Use Linked to Macular Degeneration by Nancy Walsh
- History of Aspirin by Mary Bellis
- Berry Health Benefits Network
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
justin on January 09, 2015:
The quote "A 3/4 cup of red raspberries has approximately 5 grams of salicylic acid" (20) is not correct. The source states 5 milligrams not 5 grams!
anne on August 21, 2014:
I hope you do not mind, I posted this on Facebook. I think everyone should have this knowledge.
Insane Mundane from Earth on July 21, 2013:
There are loads of foods with salicylates, especially fruits. Tea and Clover Honey also contain high amounts, which is where I probably get most of mine. If you search online, it is amazing how much stuff is written about people being sensitive to this particular substance. Just search about salicylate intolerance, and you'll see what I mean. The point is, I guess it isn't good for everyone - especially in high amounts.
Schatzie Speaks (author) on February 21, 2012:
Thank you for reading and commenting, naturman!
Michael Roberts from UK on December 11, 2011:
I like raspberries but had no idea they had so many health benefits. Great blog, thank you.
Schatzie Speaks (author) on May 25, 2011:
That IS good news! They are one of my absolute favorite berries, I especially love them made into a fresh sauce for topping cheesecake. Though that is a far less healthy way of consuming them then by themselves or in a smoothie!
Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on May 24, 2011:
I have taken a lot of aspirin, over the years, but did not know about the pancreatic cancer link. Worrying!
I love raspberries, though!
That's good news!