How Aspirin Came Into Being

How Aspirin Came Into Being

Each year we consume more hundred billion aspirin tablets, and many doctors consider it as a primary life saving drug and researchers continue to find its more applications. But little less is know about how aspirin came into being? Aspirin which is widely considered as pain reliever and the drug that can safe its consumer from cancer, heart attack and stroke. It took humanity more than four thousand years to develop this medicine into such a life saver. Each and every pharmaceutical company manufacture aspirin and doctors prescribe their patients who suffer from cardiac problems. Let’s travel back in time to understand how aspirin came into being and how it changed the modern medicines.


Once Upon A Time

In ancient Sumer people made a ground breaking discovery about pain relief. What they discovered was if they eat bark of a tree (of which Sumerians didn’t know at that time was the Willow tree) would ease them relieving pain. What they didn’t knew was that the bark of the willow tree contains salicin which is what makes the bark to help the in relieving the pain. Soon after it’s discovery, medical experts of that time prescribed people suffering from pain to eat willow tree’s bark. The evidence of Medical experts prescribing willow tree’s bark to be eaten is also found in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. In fact Hypocrites who is known as the father of modern medicine told the people suffering from pain to eat willow tree’s bark and drink tea of its leaves who were suffering from pain. It took more two centuries for experts to devise aspirin. Edward Stone an English man from the mid 18th century experimented for more than 5 years that willow bark can cure general fever.


In 1828 German medicinal expert and pharmacist Johann Buchner purified the compound inside the willow tree’s bark Salicin in the mean time doctors used to prescribe willow bark and other salicin rich plants to be eaten for pain relief and fever. In 1853 French chemist Charles Garharde managed to synthesise the bark of willow tree and created the substance known as acetylsalicylic acid which helped the pharmacists to manipulate the form of salicin or Aspirin. Which leads us towards the modern times where numerous pharmaceuticals started manufacturing acetylsalicylic acid.


The Modern Times

In 1897 pharmaceutical company Bayer under Felix Hoffman found a new way to synthesise acetylsalicylic acid and began marketing it as a pain reliever medicine Aspirin. This was the first pharmaceutical synthetic drug. Aspirin has some side effect such as over dosage can cause internal bleeding and kidney damage which caused for the decline of aspirin in the mid 20th century in front of other synthetic pain relievers such as acetaminophen marketed as paracetamol and ibuprofen marketed as brufen. But in the nostalgic 80’s pharmaceuticals devised more advantages of aspirin by proving that aspirin cures from blood clotting and that aspirin saves from the risk of heart attack. The scientists who proved that won the Nobel prize in 1982.


Today doctors prescribe aspirin to the patients who suffer heart attack and or stroke as aspirin helps in relieving blood clotting and both the diseases happen because blood vessels of heart and brain gets blocked by blood clots. With it’s life saving capabilities pharmacists all over the world are still researching for more applications of aspirin. From how aspirin came into being to aspirin being one of the most essential life saving drug mankind is still looking for more of its applications.

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2 comments found

Zeina Nassar 2 years ago

Vry good informative post!

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