Monday, June 20, 2011

History of Aspirin

From historical perspective, as early as about 3000 BC, aspirin in its crude form was known to the Egyptians, who employed the decoction of salicylates-containing plants like myrtle or willow leaves for joint pain.

Hippocrates of Kos, around 500 BC, recommended extract of willow bark for pain during childbirth. He is known to have commented on the antipyretic and analgesic properties of willow plants.

Although willow bark as a remedy was mentioned in Greek and Roman historic writings, this practice seemed to be lost during the Middle Ages.

In the 1700s, European settlers encountered Native American who used willow bark medicinally.

The modern history of aspirin began on June 2, 1763, when Edward Stone, a clergyman, read a paper to the Royal Society of London entitles An Account of the Success of the Bark of the Willow in the Cure of Agues.

Almost century late, a Scottish physician was to find that extracts of willow bark would also alleviate the symptoms of acute rheumatism.

Felix Hoffman, a German chemist working for Bayer in Germany, independently rediscovered it in 1897 and gave it to his father. His father was suffering from arthritis to and wished to avoid the side effect associated with salicylic acid.

In 1899 Bayer marketed acetylsalicylic acid as a powder under the trademark ‘Aspirin’. It was inexpensive, fast acting, specific and had relatively few serious side effects.

In 1950, aspirin found a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most popular pain killer in the world.
History of Aspirin
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