How aspirin was discovered – Krishna Sudhir

4,000 years ago, the ancient Sumerians
made a surprising discovery. If they scraped the bark
off a particular kind of tree and ate it, their pain disappeared. Little did they know that why they’d found was destined to influence
the future course of medicine. What the Sumerians had discovered was
a precursor to the medicine known today as aspirin. Aspirin’s active ingredient is found
commonly in willow trees and other wild plants, which is how it came to infuse
the medical traditions of Sumer, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and other cultures. Around 400 BC, Hippocrates, thought
of as the father of modern medicine, first recommended chewing willow bark
for pain relief and making willow leaf tea
to ease the pain of childbirth. But it took over 2,000 years for us to
comprehensively investigate its potential. In the mid-18th century, an Englishman named Edward Stone
ran five years of experiments, showing that willow bark crushed
into a powder and eaten could cure a fever. It took nearly another 70 years
for a German pharmacist, Johann Buchner, to finally identify and purify
the substance that made all this possible, a compound called salicin. By then, doctors were routinely
using willow bark and other salicin-rich plants,
like the herb meadowsweet, to ease pain, fever, and inflammation. But identifying the exact compound
suddenly opened up the possibility of manipulating its form. In 1853, a French chemist managed
to chemically synthesize the compound, creating a substance called
acetylsalicylic acid. Then in 1897, the pharmaceutical company
Bayer found a new method and began marketing the compound
as a pain reliever called aspirin. This was widely recognized as one of
the first synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. Originally, aspirin was
just Bayer’s brand name: A for acetyl, and spir for meadowsweet, whose botanical name is
Spiraea ulmaria. Soon, aspirin became synonymous with
acetylsalicylic acid. As its influence grew, aspirin was found
to ease not just pain, but also many
inflammation-related problems, like rheumatoid arthritis, pericarditis, which enflames
the fluid-filled sack around the heart, and Kawasaki disease, where blood vessels become inflamed. Yet, despite aspirin’s medical value, at this point, scientists still didn’t
actually know how it worked. In the 1960s and 70s, Swedish
and British scientists changed that. They showed that the drug interrupts
the production of certain chemicals called prostaglandins, which control the transmission
of pain sensations and inflammation. In 1982, that discovery won
the researchers a Nobel Prize in Medicine. Over time, research has also uncovered
aspirin’s risks. Overconsumption can cause bleeding
in the intestines and the brain. It can also trigger Reye’s Syndrome, a rare but often fatal illness
that affects the brain and liver in children with an infection. And in the late 20th century, aspirin’s success had been overshadowed
by newer pain killers with fewer side effects, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. But in the 1980s, further discoveries
about aspirin’s benefits revived interest in it. In fact, the 1982 Nobel Prize winners
also demonstrated that aspirin slows production
of thromboxanes, chemicals that cause clumping
of platelets, which in turn form blood clots. A landmark clinical trial showed that
aspirin reduced heart attack risk by 44% in participants who took the drug. Today, we prescribe it to people
at risk of heart attack or stroke because it cuts the likelihood of clots
forming in the arteries that supply the heart and brain. Even more intriguingly, there’s a growing body of research
that suggests aspirin reduces the risk of getting
and dying from cancer, especially colorectal cancer. This might be due to aspirin’s
anti-platelet effects. By reducing platelet activity, aspirin may
decrease the levels of a certain protein that helps cancer cells spread. These discoveries have transformed aspirin
from a mere pain reliever to a potentially life-saving treatment. Today, we consume about 100 billion
aspirin tablets each year, and researchers continue searching
for new applications. Already, aspirin’s versatility
has transformed modern medicine, which is astounding considering
its humble beginnings in a scraping of willow bark.

100 thoughts on “How aspirin was discovered – Krishna Sudhir”

  1. Haha Economists-Aspirin is losing interest!! No!
    Those same scientists who won the Nobel prize-we can fix that

  2. eating willow bark is not about curiosity. they know its a cure. do not underestimate the knowledge summerians, they know a lot of things

  3. Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Akkadians are all civilizations that comprise Iraq today. Thanks American politics for destroying it (and other countries as well) .

  4. I figured too many hangovers. Someone helped people to relieve headache, and became very rich. Thanks.😋🇨🇦☮️

  5. USA got the ‘rights’ to aspirin after we kicked Germany’s asses in the war – ‘Following Germany's defeat, Bayer was forced to sell off its U.S. production plants as part of war reparations. An American company, Sterling, acquired the rights to sell aspirin under its own name in the United States.’

  6. How aspirin was discovered
    “Hey, that tree looks nice let me take a piece and eat it"
    – Random Sumerian

  7. When a scientist makes a mistake, it’s a new discovery, and when a ancient person makes a mistake, later it’s a discovery, and when we make a mistake, it’s a mistake.

  8. This is nonsense because no knows who discovered what it could have been a Neanderthal. They are more likely to live where willows grow.

  9. "CANNABIS can be 30x more powerful than Aspirin for inflammation, says New Study…" University of Guelph. July 2019
    I just fond this article wile I searcht for what I will post next (not about cannabis but NEW (2019) recommendations against daily aspirin such..Anyway, first this about Cannabis first):

  10. "Widespread aspirin use despite few benefits, HIGH RISKS"…
    July 22, 2019;
    "Nearly half of Americans more than 70 years of age without cardiovascular disease, an estimate of nearly 10 million people, take aspirin daily — despite current guidelines against this practice."…

  11. There's no way anyone would take such a risk to randomly try and eat different parts of plants (especially the bark of a tree) — there are so many poisonous parts to so many plants, even the fruit of many plants are poisonous. There had to be something cosmic going on for humanity to know which plants had various beneficial properties in the millennia before chemical analysis.

  12. I can't take Aspirin for pain anymore because it upsets my stomach way too much, so I now use Ibuprofen instead. I wonder if the fully natural herbal source of this drug has no side effects? (My stomach can handle the small-dose Aspirin tabs/caps for prevention of heart-attacks & strokes.)

  13. Hippocrates was not the father of modern medicine. He is the father of medicine. There was a different person who was called 'The father of modern medicine'

  14. Hippocrates was not the father of modern medicine. He was the father of medicine. There was a different person who was called 'The father of modern medicine'

  15. Thank you very interesting and educational video…👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  16. Trees plants herbs flowers have all been known to benefit mankind…its the chemicals/syntheics that harm us.

  17. The question is what if 🤔 ?

    What If the first Sumerian guy who ate the bark of the Willow tree did not eat it on random ? What if he was led to it by someone or….. ….something to try out the Willow bark ?

    I strongly think there was a presence of certain unknown mysterious agencies in the ancient past that actually helped and taught humans their knowledge….who probably wanted a slow and steady development of the human scientific progress through the ages…

  18. The european learned of willow bark following interactions with North American Indians…how many were reading sumerian iconography in 1492…


    Among adults without established cardiovascular disease, aspirin was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of all-cause mortality; however, it was associated with an increased incidence of major bleeding. The routine use of aspirin for primary prevention needs to be reconsidered.

  20. Aspirin is old. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen is better than aspirin for pain and fever. Aspirin is used for its antiplatelet effects now.

  21. That is big lies for Caucasians that thinks they everything but yet they know non.if all this were true.then what about the real african that was healings them self trees way before,after this so call ancient Egypt and Greece.

  22. WRONG VIDEO! The word Aspirin comes from "asp", the Egyptian snake and was an antivenin. The recipe was disvovered in the walls of Egyptian tombs where the serpent symbol of medicine was first seen. Pharaohs wore serpent symbols on their foreheads, and Moses used the symbol as a warning against the disobedience of the Israelites in the desert when the Israelites leaving Egypt got bitten overnight by desert asps, and begged to return to Egypt. The recipe in this video is incorrect. The recipe is Egyptian and is simply natron salts with vinegar. Nothing else. Every African household knew of this recipe from the Nile Valley. And it was NOT Jewish either. Even today the other recipe for curing cobra bight is being used to cure HIV in the Oriental countries that have outlawed UNAIDS because HIV is a hoax (Hyper-Insulin-Volume) in police forensics code. Go to www.cobra-antidote(dot)com fir exact information. The EU and USA are in oil trading trouble. The UNAIDS will be tossed out of Russia!!!

  23. I love how they attribute everything to European researchers/scientists; who's to say these discoveries were not made by other people previously or in the interim. Almost as if the Europeans have a monopoly on competent study/knowledge/research on anything that's groundbreaking. Sheesh!

  24. Now all we need is endo Pharmaceutical to sponsor a video how someone curious ate a poppy plant,that turned into the codeine, Percocets, morphine,herion and magically we have an opioid epidemic.

  25. The salicylins, e.g. Aspirin, are derived from the Willow.
    What would I do without Salicylic acid? (acne treatment) and other salicylates?

  26. I was a massive stroke victim due to a car accident. I was on Baby Aspirin for two years. Now, I am a Stroke Warrior.

  27. Salicin wasn't patentable because it is a natural product. So that was when modifying its structure was done. The purpose of the acetyl group was to make it unique, thus patentable.

  28. so humans ate everything… some people felt better… some people felt worse.. some people felt nothing, and some people died… and that is how we discover stuff.

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