By Diarmuid Jeffreys
Aspirin is a drug so astonishingly flexible that it might probably relieve your headache, ease your aching limbs, decrease your temperature, and deal with a few of the deadliest human illnesses, combating every little thing from middle assaults to melanoma to strokes. And the historical past of the drug is simply as surprising.
Rich in dramatic twists and discoveries, the tale of aspirin starts off in historical Egypt, and embraces wars, epidemics, espionage, an Oxfordshire vicar, a forgotten Jewish scientist, the economic Revolution, a typical tree, the Treaty of Versailles, the world's strongest pharmaceutical businesses, Auschwitz, a mercurial ads genius, and lots more and plenty extra. Bringing alive a compelling forged of characters in a stunning trip throughout centuries, the writer finds how probability and layout introduced the drug into being as we all know it on the finish of the 19th century, and the way intrigue, greed, and ambition mixed to make aspirin some of the most commercially winning items of all time.
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Additional info for Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug
From his college days he had also retained an interest in theological, mathematical and astronomical subjects. He had come a long way in his fifty-six years. The only son of a yeoman of modest means, Edward Stone was born on a farm near Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire in 1702. There is no record of his early life, but somewhere along the way - perhaps because it offered possibilities for advancement that would otherwise have been denied to someone from his background - it was decided he should enter the Church.
Or it could have started with mimicry; born from the observation that a sick animal will seek out and eat a particular plant, or roll in a particular patch of grass. One can imagine how useful such knowledge would be to a hunter on the trail of a weak prey, and it could have been remembered and copied when the hunter himself fell ill. Either way, done enough times (and allowing for all the fatal experiments with poisonous plants that there must have been), many trees, herbs, roots and leaves with healing properties would slowly have been identified.
They certainly did not appreciate its narcotic effects. Indeed, their most widely available painkiller seems to have been alcohol; there are various beer- and wine-based remedies quoted in the document, and getting the patient ceremonially drunk seems to have been a favoured solution to quite a few of the problems Egyptian physicians faced. Willow's case is given a further boost by the fact that the Ancient Egyptians also used myrtle — another salicylate-bearing tree — in a very specific remedy to treat rheumatism in pregnant women.