Aspirin for everyone over 50?
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Aspirin (Dosage and administration)
Materia medica, Vegetable (Health aspects)
Plant extracts (Health aspects)
Author: Cowper, Anne
Pub Date: 12/22/2006
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2006 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Winter, 2006 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 4
Product: Product Code: 2834222 Aspirin; 2834225 Aspirin Combinations NAICS Code: 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing SIC Code: 2834 Pharmaceutical preparations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 174817377
Full Text: McMullen M. 2005. Aspirin for everyone over 50? Are we treating a nutritional deficiency? Brit Med J 331;161.

If as many as 80% of men and 50% of women over 50 will benefit from taking aspirin then perhaps a non disease approach should be considered. Could the effects of aspirin be mimicking a nutrient missing in the modern civilised diet? As reported in New Scientist, organically grown vegetable soups contain almost six times more salicylic acid than do non organic vegetable soups. The author suggests that salicylates are essential for good health and could be designated vitamin S.

Many commonly used medicinal herbs contain substances that the body biotransforms to salicylic acid. For example salicin is found in Salix spp, Populus spp, Viola spp, and Viburnum spp; fraxin is found in Fraxinus spp; and both spiraein and salicylaldehyde are found in Filipendula spp. These substances are biotransformed after passage through the stomach and so are not associated with the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding as is aspirin. Salix extracts have several anti-inflammatory targets including effects on both forms of cyclo-oxygenase.

Anne Cowper

PO Box 45, Concord West NSW 2138

Email ajmh@nhaa.org.au
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