Aspirin has had a long history as a pain reliever—2,000 years of history. But only in the 1970s did scientists begin to uncover its chemical secrets.
Wielding food as medicine, hospitals are focusing on nutrition, sending patients home with prescriptions as well as bags of good food.
We're not saying it's a miracle drug, but it's as close as they come.
Over the years, modern Western medicine has taken many remedies from all kinds of alternative forms of medicine, including witchcraft, according to Smithsonian. Witches used willow bark to treat inflammation; the compound used in aspirin today was developed based on a precursor chemical found in the willow tree.
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WE HAVE known for a while there was something about the willow tree. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, recommended chewing willow bark as a remedy for pain and fever in the 5th century BC, as well as drinking tea brewed with it to relieve pain in childbirth. In 1763, the clergyman Edward Stone from Chipping Norton, UK, wrote a letter to the president of the Royal Society describing his experiments, which showed that powdered willow bark helped treat the “agues”, or fevers, of people living in damp areas.
Willow bark, it turns out, is a rich...
In 1982, the British chemist Sir John Vane shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in part for figuring out how aspirin worked, but some researchers now think that his work may have been only a good beginning.
A study found there were no benefits for healthy elderly adults in taking aspirin daily, and lots of potential risks.
Aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. Its main ingredient comes from a natural product, salicin, found in plants such as willow and myrtle.
Aspirin is also a good example of how myths build up around ancient medicines.
Its origins have been closely linked with Hippocrates, the famous ancient Greek doctor and so-called father of medicine. He’s said to have used willow for pain relief, inspiring the development of aspirin centuries later.
But his writings barely mention willow. So why do we still believe the myth?
Are you a candidate for daily aspirin?