Aspirin is one of those things that everyone should have lying around the house. It's great for general aches and pains, and sometimes effective against light fevers as well. It's also been widely established by now that for people with heart problems, a daily aspirin regimen can significantly reduce the chances of having a heart attack, as well reducing blood clot formation in people who are at risk for forming clots.
Aspirin was first derived from the bark of the willow tree, which was known since ancient times for its pain relieving properties. Indeed, the Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates (the father of medicine, after whom the Hippocratic Oath doctors swear by is named), used to prescribe it to his patients for headaches. The active ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid, was first isolated by Felix Hoffman in 1897 while he was a chemist at Bayer. Today, nearly 40,000 tons of aspirin are consumed worldwide annually, making it one of the most widely used medications on the planet.
Although aspirin is clearly one of the heavy-hitters of the medical scene, a lot of people may not know that it can actually be used for several other purposes as well. The active ingredients in aspirin can do a whole lot more beyond just curing headaches and light fevers and inflammation. Read on to find out why aspirin is the one thing your medicine cabinet should never be without.
1. Fight dandruff: The salicylic acid in aspirin is a strong moisturizing agent which can greatly reduce dandruff in your hair. Simply crush 2-3 pills into a powder and mix them with your shampoo. When applying, let your newly-fortified shampoo sit on your scalp for a few minutes before you rinse it out like normal.
2. Clear skin: Salicylic acid also works wonders for the skin, removing dead skin and oils while unclogging pores and reducing swelling and redness. It's especially great if you suffer from acne or psoriasis. Just make a paste of around five crushed aspirin tablets with a quarter cup of water and a teaspoon of honey (optional). Apply and leave on for 10 minutes before washing off. Repeat daily/weekly as needed.
3. Remove sweat stains: Sweat stains are gross, but they can happen to any of us (no judgment). Trying to clean them out of your clothes can be a real hassle, but that's where aspirin comes in! Create the skin paste described above (skip the honey) and, instead of putting it on your face, put it on the stain. Let that sit for a few minutes before rinsing and running through a regular wash cycle.
4. Jumpstart your car: Yeah, this one definitely surprised me. I even looked it up to make sure it's legit, and it seems that it is. If your car battery has died on you, try putting a couple of aspirin tablets (we recommend at least two per cell) into your battery. The salicylic acid reacts with the sulfuric acid in the battery to create just enough charge to get you to the nearest service station.
Please note: using this trick can get you out of a bind, but it's not great for your battery to do it regularly as the reaction creates some harmful byproducts. Only do this in an emergency and then take your car to a mechanic immediately.
5. Protect your plants: Just as it reinvigorates your skin, a little salicylic acid is a nice for plants too. It helps prevent mold and the production of ethylene gas, which causes wilting. Crush an aspirin into the water you put your bouquets in and you should notice they last much longer.
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