Aspirin or acetylsalicylate acid is a compound that is widely used in medicine. The use of aspirin in medicine began long before the active reagent was removed from its natural source. The first documented use of aspirin was found in the writings of Hippocrates, the so called father of medicine. Hippocrates prescribed that willow bark could be used to remedy a wide range of conditions such as pain, fever and inflammation. Scientists began to seek to extract the active compound from willow tree bark. The name of the compound that was first extracted was salicin. Scientist such as Henri Leroux continued to work on salicin, first converting it to a sugar (glucose) and an aromatic compound (salicyaldehyde) and then converting it to an acid (salicylic acid) by oxidation and hydrolysis. This acidic compound was found to be too harsh on the stomach so scientists such as Charles Frederic Gerhardt and Hoffman sought to find a way to buffer it. Finally, acetyl chloride was used to buffer the salicylic acid and that is how aspirin or acetylsalicylate was formed.
Aspirin is used for a wide range of maladies beginning at headaches and ranging from menstrual pains to use in preventing cancerous tumors. Aspirin is used antiplatelet. This means that it is used to stop platelets from congregating and forming blood clots. This helps to prevent heart attack and strokes. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs are medications with analgesic, antipyretic and in higher doses anti-inflammatory effects. An analgesic is a drug that produces temporary pain relief without inducing a stupor and has no drowsy-side effects. Aspirin is said to be antipyretic because it can be used to reduce or to cure fevers and its anti-inflammatory properties allow it to be used to reduce swellings and other bruises (inflammations) in and outside of the body. Non-steroidal means they are not steroids, which often have similar effects.
Aspirin is able to remedy these maladies...
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