Medicinal plants

Aspen – Application & Treatment for Health

Espe

The aspen , also known as the trembling aspen or white poplar , belongs botanically to the willow family. A total of 35 types of poplar are known, but the aspen or aspen is the most widespread in Europe.

Occurrence & Cultivation of the Aspen

The aspen is native to all of Europe, as far as Siberia and Asia Minor. It is not uncommon for the aspen to reach an age of up to 100 years and more. Older specimens are still viable, but mostly heart rotten. An aspen tree can reach a height of up to 35 meters, the trunk has a diameter of up to one meter. Even if black poplar or silver poplar is mentioned, the aspen is meant. From the external appearance the aspen resembles its botanical closest relative, the willow.

Because the flowers of the aspen also form so-called male and female catkins. A well-known characteristic feature of the aspen is that the leaves move clearly audibly and visibly even with a slight draft. This is where the popular phrase “tremble like an aspen leaf” comes from. Quaking aspens grow very quickly like all willow plants. An aspen is considered mature at 60 years of age, so compared to other tree species, the aspen reaches adulthood quickly.

Effect & Application

The trunk of an aspen tree can grow straight or slightly inclined. The tree crown of the aspen can be irregularly multi-parted or conical or broadly rounded. The aspen bark is initially almost completely smooth at the beginning of the growth phase and only develops a typical grey-black, thick and longitudinally fissured bark structure in adulthood. Treatments and preparations from different parts of plants are used for medicinal purposes.

Preparations from the aspen are assigned to the pharmacological group of anti- inflammatory drugs . The best-known herbal anti-rheumatic drug from the willow family is salicylic acid from the willow bark, which is botanically closely related to the aspen. The tree bark, the fresh shoot tips and the leaves of the aspen tree are used for medicinal purposes.

The bioactive pharmacological ingredients remained almost unchanged even when the plant parts were dried or heated. Similar to the bark of the willow, the aspen also contains different chemical compounds with a high content of salicylic acid. This results in the main areas of application of the pharmacological preparations.

Painkilling, fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory effects are clearly documented and proven empirically . A tea brew can be made from the leaves. Other parts of the plant, such as bark or shoot tips, must be boiled in clear, soft water for at least 30 minutes so that the individual salicylic acid compounds can pass into the boiling water. The use of products from the aspen is exclusively naturopathic.

Pain medications do not contain any original components from the aspen, but only chemically based derivatives. It is also known to be used as a rheumatic bath for muscular exhaustion, to help with colds or to relieve pain in the musculoskeletal system. In addition to a full bath with the addition of aspens, partial baths can also be prepared cold, for example for osteoarthritis of the knee or tennis elbow .

In addition, the leaves of the aspen probably also contain tumor-inhibiting substances, because in animal experiments on mice a regression of certain tumors was observed when active ingredients from the aspen were applied. However, the research results cannot be directly transferred to humans, so there is still a long way to go before cytostatic agents from the aspen are ready for the market.

Importance for health, treatment & prevention

The aspen contains highly effective, bioactive substances in all parts of the plant and also in the root system. The trembling aspen therefore rightly has a high phytotherapeutic importance with a high healing potential. Although the main focus is on the salicylate compounds, not all of the valuable ingredients in the aspen are known. There are also doctors who generally warn against using it on their own, because in their opinion the safety and effectiveness of preparations made from aspen have not been sufficiently proven.

Herbal salicylates should never be used on children under the age of 12. Even those who use aspen products and preparations to support their rheumatic symptoms should not do so for a longer period of time and should consult their doctor before using them. Use during pregnancy and lactation should also be avoided. Quite a few people also suffer from hypersensitivity to salicylates. Aspen preparations should also not be used in this group of people and in those with a tendency to allergies or asthma .

Serious, sometimes life-threatening, side effects could occur. Patients with the hereditary disease glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, which rarely occurs in Germany, should never take salicylates orally. In addition to the phytotherapeutic preparation with concentrated doses of the ingredients of the aspen, the homeopathic preparation from plant parts of the aspen has also become established.

The active ingredients are present here in a very diluted form, which is why an application is far less risky. The homeopathic preparation from aspen from the potency D23 can also be used as so-called globules in paediatrics. Abdominal pain with a tendency to cramps caused by psychological factors in particular often responds well to this gentle form of therapy. In addition to salicylic acid as the main active ingredient, aspens also contain essential oil and flavonoids. In naturopathic urology, a therapy attempt is also recommended for benign enlargement of the prostate gland, benign prostate hyperplasia .

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.