115 years of ASPIRIN®

The effects of ASA-like substances have been known since the ancient Romans recorded the use of willow bark to fight fevers. Why the willow? Because this tree’s bark and leaves contain a substance called salicin, a natural compound similar to acetylsalicylic acid (also known as ASA), the chemical name for ASPIRIN®.

In 1897, a German chemist working for Friedrich Bayer and Company was looking for a way to help his father, who was suffering from arthritis. His work led him to ASA, and its effectiveness led to the development of a product called ASPIRIN®. By 1899, Bayer was providing ASPIRIN® to doctors to help their patients.

Where does the name “ASPIRIN” come from?
The “A” is from acetyl, “SPIR” from the spirea plant (the type of plant that produces salicin), and “IN” is a common suffix for medications.