Have you ever heard of Aspirin? Those tiny little white pills in your cabinet may not seem like much now, but when they were discovered they were considered a miracle drug! So then, I’m sure you’re wondering, how exactly do you discover a miracle?
For thousands of years, it has been known that certain plants have special effects on human health. In the ancient Egyptian times, it was known that ingesting the Willow tree does an excellent job at reducing fevers and fighting pain. Even the first doctor, Hippocrates of Greece, noted the same thing, and published manuscripts articulating the power of the willow tree.
These pain relief benefits weren’t only found in the willow tree. Plants in the Spiraea genus all seemed to have powerful pain relief properties exactly like the willow tree. Scientists in the late 1800’s noticed this and isolated the chemical common to both of these plants. Salicylic acid had been discovered–– the same drug you’ll see in many facial topicals! Unfortunately, salicylic acid isn’t quite as gentle to the stomach as it is to the face. Ingesting a concentrated form from the plant would often lead to serious illness. Biochemists decided to attach a more absorbable acetyl group onto the salicylic acid molecule––creating acetylsalicylic acid. The modern-day Aspirin was born!
Aspirin was humanity’s first drug. Across the world, aspirin was considered a miracle and was given to anyone with any illness to help cope with the pain. You can only imagine the profit this drug was bringing in for those who sold it!
The Adaptogen Experts at Kare~N~Herbs
Watch for Part 2 of this Chemical Miracle blog next week!