Monday, March 22, 2010
The Oldest Of The "Modern Medicines"...!
I don't take many medicines....only those the doctor insist I need to still function as a breathing animal.
I'm lucky in the fact that I don't get many aches and pains anymore...but when I do, I only have one pill that I turn to for relief! ASPIRIN!
As far as I'm concerned, this is the best of the so-called "wonder drugs"! I know, I know...I've heard all the stories about bleeding in the stomach and in the mouth, but I have never had a problem with aspirin of any kind...and for me, it works. Period!
Up until just recently, I didn't have much knowledge as to the history of the aspirin...so I thought I would do some research and BOY...what a treasure trove of information I found!
I thought that since I found it so interesting, you might also! So, here is a bit of aspirin history to start your week off right!
The effects of aspirin-like substances have been known since the ancient Romans recorded the use of the willow bark as a fever fighter. The leaves and bark of the willow tree contain a substance called salicin, a naturally occurring compound similar to acetylsalicylic acid, the chemical name for aspirin.
Even as far back as 400 B.C. Hippocrates recommended a tea made from willow leaves. It wasn't until the 1800's that scientists discovered what was in the willow tree that relieved pain and reduced fever. The substance was named salicylic acid. But when people suffering from pain took the salicylic acid, it caused sever stomach and mouth irritation.
In 1832, a thirty-seven-year-old French chemist named Charles Gergardt mixed another chemical with the acid and produced good results, but the procedure was difficult and took a lot of time. Gerhardt decided the new compound wasn't practical, so he set aside.
Sixty-five-years later a German chemist, Felix Hoffmann, was searching for something to relieve his father's arthritis. He studied Gerhardt's experiments and "rediscovered" acetylsalicylic acid--or aspirin, as we now know it.
Dr. Lawrence Craven, a California general practitioner, in 1948, notices that the 400 men he prescribed aspirin to hadn't suffered any heart attacks. He regularly recommends to all patients and colleagues that "an aspirin a day" could dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack.
In 1971 John Vane began his work on aspirin. Over a weekend he conceived the notion that the mysterious drug might work by inhibiting the generation of prostaglandins. He turned again to his bioassay system for the answer and within a few days he had convinced himself and his colleagues that this indeed was the missing mechanism of action.
Here are some additional facts!
# Twice as many people choose aspirin over the personal computer as an invention they couldn't live without in a national survey on inventions conducted by MIT in 1996
# Americans consume over 50 million aspirin tablets every day…. that's over 15 billion tablets a year.
# The Bayer aspirin was originally marketed in loose powder form. In 1900, the company introduced aspirin in tablet form.
# In 1900, Felix Hoffman was issued a U.S. patent for Aspirin (No. 644,077)
# The name "aspirin" is composed of a- (from the acetyl group) -spir- (from the spiraea flower) and -in (a common ending for drugs at the time).
# Today over 70 million pounds of aspirin are produced annually all over the world, making it the world's most widely used drug.
Well, I'm sure that this is more information that you ever wanted to know about this little head-ache helper! You have to just love something like this small pill that produces such big results!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit...no head-aches there!