How to Make Aspirin If You Are Lost in the Woods

The inner bark of the willow tree contains salicin, which is closely related to the active ingredient in aspirin.


  • : People who are allergic or sensitive to salicylates such as aspirin should not use willow bark.
  • Step 1: Find a willow tree Find a tree in the willow family. Examples include quaking aspens, bigtooth aspens, white willows, black willows, crack willows, purple willows, and weeping willows.
  • Step 2: Remove bark Cut into the tree's bark, strip it off, and isolate the inner bark. In spring and summer, the bark can be removed in long continuous strips.
  • TIP: If you cannot peel the bark off, scrape off the inner and outer bark using the edge of a sharp knife.
  • Step 3: Make a tea Simmer 2 teaspoons of the inner bark in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Let it cool before drinking.
  • TIP: If you cannot make a tea, an option is to chew on the bark.
  • Step 4: Avoid overdosing Drink no more than 4 cups of this tea each day. Overdosing has been known to occur.
  • FACT: Aspirin works by reducing the production of pain-triggering hormones called prostaglandins.

You Will Need

  • Willow tree
  • 2 tsp. inner bark
  • 1 c. water
  • Fire
  • Sharp knife (optional)

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