Download e-book for iPad: Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug by Diarmuid Jeffreys

By Diarmuid Jeffreys

ISBN-10: 1582343861

ISBN-13: 9781582343860

Americans take hundreds of thousands of aspirin every year, little dreaming that the probably traditional capsule is among the so much extraordinary creations in clinical historical past.

Aspirin is a drug so astonishingly flexible that it might relieve your headache, ease your aching limbs, decrease your temperature, and deal with a number of the deadliest human ailments, fighting every thing from center assaults to melanoma to strokes. And the heritage of the drug is simply as surprising.

Rich in dramatic twists and discoveries, the tale of aspirin starts off in old Egypt, and embraces wars, epidemics, espionage, an Oxfordshire vicar, a forgotten Jewish scientist, the commercial Revolution, a standard tree, the Treaty of Versailles, the world's strongest pharmaceutical businesses, Auschwitz, a mercurial advertisements genius, and masses extra. Bringing alive a compelling solid of characters in a stunning trip throughout centuries, the writer finds how likelihood 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 the most commercially profitable items of all time.

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Additional info for Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug

Example text

In actual fact it should have only referred to one: malaria. There were five species of the Anopheles mosquito in eighteenth-century England, which bred wherever there were marshy or brackish waters,†The female of each species was capable of carrying the protozoan plasmodium parasite in its stomach and passing it to humans when it penetrated the skin and sucked blood. The parasite was the cause of malaria, for so long the curse of tropical countries, and, so it has subsequently been discovered, of England's ague too.

They did know of cannabis, however, but seemed to use it only as a salve and emetic. 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.

Egyptologists have argued for years over some of Ebers's terms and because many of its underlying medical concepts are alien to us they are subject to different interpretations. None the less, the three clear references to willow in Ebers all point towards the plant's use as either a general purpose tonic or as some kind of pain reliever and anti-inflammatory therapy. The first of these comes in a section sandwiched between remedies for the regulation of urine and those for treating a cough. Willow is one of the ingredients — others are figs, beer and dates — in a treatment taken orally to 'cause the heart to receive bread'.

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Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug by Diarmuid Jeffreys


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