Aspirin

We protect aspirin bottles in this country better than we protect guns from accidents by children - Gloria Estefan

Aspirin

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Hippocrates and willow bark? What you know about the history of aspirin is probably wrong

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?

What’s all this about willow?

Practically every history of aspirin tells you Hippocrates prescribed willow to women in labour.…

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Last Updated : Wednesday, October 13, 2021