Hippocrates an ancient Greek medical nerd suggested the use of substance derived from willow bark during child birth to ease pain. In modern day science we know that whie willow bark contains salicin. The salicin is converted to salycilic acid in boiling water, which we all know is the prime ingredient in aspirin, the most common painkiller.
So my conclusion comes to this: when the water was boiled could it have been possible that willow bark was added to it. Obviously I am not talking about the Western frontier America anymore since the theory Hippocrates dates way back.
I’m just rambling here can anyone do a more thorough investigation on this?
Hi and welcome to the boards, and thanks for including the link!
There’s no way of telling whether people even boiled water for childbirth back in ancient Greece, let alone put willow bark into it, but feel free to ramble, that’s fine with us.
Why do you say that, if you don’t mind my asking?
Mothers, help me out here. Is aspirin strong enough to act as an anesthetic during childbirth?
It probably wouldn’t have been enough, but tell me: Would you rather have a childbirth with aspirin, or with nothing at all? I’m sure that Hellenic mothers took whatever they could get.
Willow bark was used as a fever reducer more than as a painkiller, although I’m sure that Hippocrates noted both effects. But there are two things that make this scenario unlikely:
The salicylates are well-known for eliminating small pains, but scarcely affecting greater pains.
People chewed willow bark. Why would one want to complicate the administration and dilute the effect by boiling it? Salicin is converted in the body to salicylic acid.