Aspirin was originally made from willow bark, which contains the chemical “salicyclic acid”, also called “salicylate”.
Hippocrates first used salicylic tea to help fevers in the year 400 BC!
In 1853, a chemist named Charles Gerhardt mixed salicylate with another chemical called acetyl chloride, and made “acetylsalicylic acid”, or aspirin as we know it, for the first time.
In 1899, the Bayer company named this mixture “Aspirin”, and began selling it around the world.
Now, 16,000 tons of aspirin tablets are sold a year! Aspirin helps fevers and pain, can help prevent heart attacks, and is even thought to prevent some types of cancer such as colorectal, endometrial (uterine), breast and prostate.
Aspirin was originally made from the bark of the willow: