Back to the list of Challenges ... Next Challenge

Challenge #25

Salicyclic acid [C6H4(OCOCH3)COOH] is the essential ingredient in one of today's most widely used medications throughout the world. It is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, an analgesic, an antipyretic, and topically as a keratolytic agent, an antiseptic and a fungicide. Originally derived from salicin, a glycoside found as a natural ingredient of several common plants, it is now prepared synthetically as acetylsalicyclic acid.

Question #1 - From what natural source growing in thickets along river banks would native California Indians have obtained this useful medicine?

Question #2 - In which modern over-the-counter medication commonly used for pain relief and fever reduction is synthetic salicyclic acid the active ingredient?


Back to the list of Challenges

Send feedback to
Explorit Science Center
P.O. Box 1288, Davis, CA 95617, USA
Phone: (530)756-0191     Fax: (530)756-1227