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Aspirin? Leaves of the willow tree!

Aspirin? Leaves of the willow tree!

Fascinating facts about the invention of
Aspirin
by Felix Hoffmann in 1897
.
ASPIRIN
AT A GLANCE: 

Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist, produced a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid, more commonly known as aspirin, in 1897. Hoffmann, was searching for something to relieve his father’s arthritis. He studied French chemist Charles Gergardt’s experiments and “rediscovered” acetylsalicylic acid–or aspirin, as we now know it.

Invention: aspirin in 1897
Image courtesy Bayer Company
Function: noun / as-pi-rin / originally a trademark
Definition: Since 1899, acetylsalicylic acid has attained a leading position world-wide in the prescription-free therapy of painful, feverish and inflammatory states.
Patent: 644,077 (US) issued February 27, 1900
Inventor: Felix Hoffmann
Felix Hoffmann photo courtesy Aspirin Foundation
Criteria: First to patent. First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: January 21 1868 in Ludwigsburg, Germany
Death: February 8 1946 in Switzerland
Nationality: German
Milestones:
BC
400 Hippocrates prescribes the bark and leaves of the willow tree to relieve pain and fever
AD
1832 French chemist named Charles Gergardt experiments with salicin and creates salicylic acid
1897 Felix Hoffmann, studied Gerhardt’s experiments and “rediscovered” acetylsalicylic acid
1899 Bayer distributes aspirin powder to physicians to give to their patients
1900 Bayer introduces aspirin in water-soluble tablets – the first medication to be sold in this form.
1915 Aspirin becomes available without a prescription. Manufactured in tablet form.
1948 Dr. Lawrence Craven, a California notices that aspirin reduced the risk of a heart attack.
1971 John Vane conceived that aspirin might work by inhibiting the generation of prostaglandins.
CAPs: Aspirin, Felix Hoffmann, John Vane, Dr. Lawrence Craven, Hippocrates, Arthur Eichengru, Charles Gergardt, Bayer, German
SIPs: asprin, acetylsalicylic acid, invention, history, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.
The Story:
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 yellow 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 practial, 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.

 

 

Principles of Chemical Science:

How To Make Aspirin If You Are Lost in the Woods

[howcast url=’http://www.howcast.com/videos/324890-How-To-Make-Aspirin-If-You-Are-Lost-in-the-Woods’ height=’240′ width=’360′]

Elvis Presley and the willow Tree…

Elvis Presley Any Way You Want Me (Thats How I Will Be)
Written by Aaron Schroeder and Cliff Owens. Elvis recorded it July 2, 1956 at RCAs New York City studios during the first recording session to include all four of the Jordanaires. Take #12 was the one released by RCA. The single release had a 10-week stay on Billboards Top 100 chart, peaking at #27. It sold over 1,000,000 copies. It was the B-side to Love Me Tender. It is available on Elvis Golden Records, Elvis: Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Vol. 1, The King of Rock n Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, Artist of the Century, Elvis, and Elvis 56.

I’ll be a strong as a mountain,
Or weak as a willow tree,
Anyway you want me,
Well, That’s how I will be.

I’ll be a tame as a baby,
Or wild as the raging sea,
Anyway you want me,
Well, That’s how I will be.

In your hands my heart is clay,
To take and hold as you may.
I’m what you make me, you’ve only to take me,
And in your arms I will stay.

I’ll be a fool or a wise man,
My darling you hold the key,
Yes, anyway you want me,
Well, That’s how I will be,
I will be e e

 

 

In towering splendor once I stood
A regal monarch of the wood,
My branches once reached to the sky
See me now but do not cry.
The Creator’s work has yet to cease
I’ve become a shelter for bird and beast,
And when at last I fall to the Earth
The life I leave will inspire new birth;
A seedling springs forth from the ground
Nature’s cycle goes round and round.
–   S. Edward Palmer, Spirit Tree

 


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