noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A bitter compound present in willow bark. It is a glucoside related to aspirin, and accounts for the ancient use of willow bark as a pain-relieving drug.
- The willow bark contained salicin, the pharmacological ancestor of a family of drugs called salicylates, of which aspirin is probably the most famous.
- It contains at least six compounds that relax muscles, as well as salicin, the pain-relieving compound from which aspirin is derived.
- White Willow bark is often called herbal aspirin because it contains salicin which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Mid 19th century: from French salicine, from Latin salix, salic- 'willow'.
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