The Acetylasalicylic Acid in early aspirin was extracted from the active, salicin, which is found good concentrations in White Willow tree bark. Salicin was isolated in crystalline form by a French pharmacist in 1828, and later the acid was separated out by an Italian chemist.
The man known as the "Father of Medicine", Hippocrates knew of the willow barks' ability to relieve pain and reduce fever and used it for this. At first, aspirin was used in powder form, and in the early 1900's was made into a tablet form. There is interesting information available about how the patent and trademarks expired during WWI, and through a series of events, circumstances and purchases, became part of IG Farben, a company that worked together with a number of chemical companies that were at the financial center of the Nazi regime.
After the WWII and the split up of the various companies, Bayer became a separate entity and was purchased by Miles Laboratory as recently as 1978, but long before that, it had become a household name. There is more to the history of this simple but profound product that we will not go into in this post.
Many still appreciate and enjoy using the natural, herbal form of the product, the inner bark of the White Willow tree. I use it myself on occasion. If you would like a fact sheet about any of the items marked in red, please contact me using the comment field, comments are moderated and I don't approve comments that are personal requests directed to me. You may also request references for the various claims in this post until I take the time to connect them with links.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons