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http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/12/22/aspirin.history/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

Every day scientists and regular people like you and me learn more about the world, its plants, its history, and every day we realize how amazing it is.

How can you look at all the amazing things in this world and not see the creator?

If you take aspirin, you’ve got a pain reliever, heart attack preventer and possible cancer preventer rolled into one tablet. You might think that whoever invented aspirin is a genius, but the truth is humans have been using its natural equivalent for thousands of years.

“Aspirin is one of those things that, long before there were ever clinical trials or any kind of scientific knowledge, people figured out, ‘Hey, I feel better when I take this substance,’ ” said Dr. Karol Watson, assistant professor of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The word “aspirin” wasn’t a coincidence. It comes from Spiraea, a biological genus of shrubs that includes natural sources of the drug’s key ingredient: salicylic acid. This acid, resembling what’s in modern-day aspirin, can be found in jasmine, beans, peas, clover and certain grasses and trees.

The ancient Egyptians used willow bark as a remedy for aches and pains, said Diarmuid Jeffreys, author of “Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug.” They didn’t know that what was reducing body temperature and inflammation was the salicylic acid.

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