Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Aspirin: More than just your average drug

So you take it as a pain reliever or you give it to your kids if they’re sick – something like a chewable form drug, but  do you know that aspirin has more benefits than you have imagined?  Other than your usual drug for a headache and backache, this new “wonder drug” was discovered to be a good medicine to prevent tougher ailments. 

But first, let us take a brief look of what is an aspirin.

Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is a salicylate drug and it is generally used as an analgesic (which means it relieves pain without producing anesthesia), as an anti-inflammatory drug, and an antipyretic (it reduces fever) drug, it is cheap and you can buy it “over the counter” in any pharmacy – without the need of a doctor’s prescription. It was said that a young German chemist named Felix Hoffmann created aspirin in 1897. The purpose was to cure fever and inflammation and to replace salicytate based medicine since salinic acid has this terrible gastric irritation side effect.

But modern studies have shown aspirin to be more than just your average pain reliever.

Arthritis Relief
Bothered by joints and body pain due to arthritis?  Just a dose of aspirin and fish oil will give you relief. Research has discovered that acetylsalicylic acid and omega-3 fatty acids from fish when taken together can combat the inflammation responsible for arthritis.  The combination trigger the production of molecules called resolvins (or D3) that found to have a long-lasting anti-inflammatory effect.

High Blood Pressure Problems and Heart Attack.
A lot of those suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) have benefited with aspirin, and it also makes you less vulnerable to heart attack and stroke.  The reason for this is that aspirin  limits the production of a substance called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are lipid compounds that help blood to clot. Aspirin suppresses thromboxane (a blood thickener) and prostacyclin (inhibits blood clotting). Now, with regular doses of aspirin, blood don’t clump together, which reduces clogging in the arteries. VIOLA! Less chance to have a heart attack.

It was recently discovered that aspirin can reduce your chance of getting colon, stomach or esophageal cancer. As reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, there are less tumor development from regular aspirin users comparable to those that don’t take the drug. In fact, the aspirin users turned out to have one-half the risk of developing cancer.

Even Cataracts!
Cataracts, that the dreaded clouding of your eye’s lens because of protein build-up making you blind. Well, aspirin reduces these proteins that are related to blood glucose level – therefore low rush of having cataract development.

On Pregnancy
Although the aspirin treatment in not recommended for pregnant women, it is found out that aspirin lowered their high blood pressure, reduced their kidney damage, reduced their need for Caesarean section, and reduced the numbers of births before 37 weeks.

Fountain of Youth
Aspirin can also slow down skin aging and it also prevents acne (pimples) and the reason for this is its inflammation-fighting abilities. It removes oil and dead skin cells just like an exfoliating product. Also, acetylsalicylic acid is good in treating acne. Just simply crush an aspirin and mix it with a few drops of water can make an acne spot treatment.

It can also cure your dandruff problem and hair color loss. Just crush two aspirins and put it on your normal amount of shampoo that you use. Leave it for several minutes. Now if you dissolve 6 to 8 aspirin in water, then apply it into your hair for 10 minutes, you can remove the effect of chlorine on your hair – especially if you take a plunge in a swimming pool. 

Insect Bites? No Problem.
Since aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug, you can use it to relieve you on insect bites and stings. If you got stung by a wasp or bee, just apply a small dab of aspirin paste (by crushing 2 tablets of aspirin and mixing it with water) on the area. 

Gallstone risk no more.
Gallstones are those cholesterol in your bile that turns into stones. Researchers in the United State and Britain discovered that regular use of aspirin reduces the chance of gallstone development to  those who has high-Calcium diet. 

With all that benefits, we still have to bear in mind that excessive use of aspirin can cause ulcers and stomach bleeding. Also, we would like to consider the danger of allergic reaction from aspirin. Therefore, it is still wise to get a doctor’s advice before taking any medicine and let us not forget that proper diet, exercise and a healthy living is still the best alternative. Remember, “ an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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