Herbal and Natural Medicine Essay

Herbal and Natural Medicine Essay

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Herbal and natural medicine is becoming increasingly popular in 21st century culture. It may be surprising to some that many of these herbal treatments and medicines have been around for centuries and are the basis for both commercially prepared medications, as well as the chemical manufacture of new pharmaceutical compounds (Phaneuf, 2005). One of these compounds, which has influenced chemistry and medicine for centuries is willow bark, which contains the chemical salicin (Boon, 2009). Its origins and discovery, as well as the historical culture, have influenced its incorporation as the common pharmaceutical preparation known as aspirin.
Historical writings of Hippocrates (460 BC-377 BC) refer to the use of a white powder made from the bark and leaves of willow trees for pain relief and fevers (Bellis). Native American lore also reports the chewing of willow bark and preparation of willow water for ailments such as toothache and headache (Phaneuf, 2005). In the 1700’s Edmund Stone, While trying to find a substitute for cinchona bark used for treating malaria, began experimenting with white willow bark and found it to be highly effective in treating pain and fevers (White Willow Bark). In 1826, a highly impure version of salicin was reported by Brugnatelli and Fontana (Bellis). Johann Buchner, in 1828, in the search for the active ingredient in willow bark, isolated yellow, needle-like crystals which he named salicin (Bellis). Soon after, Henri Leroux improved the extraction procedure, and in 1838, Raffaele Pira was able to split salicin into a sugar and an aromatic compound (Bellis). He converted this aromatic compound by hydrolysis and oxidation to the compound known now as salicylic acid (Bellis). In 1899, the German scienti...

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...LBA BARK EXTRACT EINECS ELINCS No 282-029-0 CAS 084082-82-6 Salicin 138-52-3.MDidea-Extracts Professional.S038. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http://mdidea.com/products/herbextract/salicin/data02.html
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