Aspirin has been in use for centuries. At first, native peoples around the world used the bark from the willow tree to relieve pain. Then in the 1800’s, a French chemist was able to isolate the active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid. In the 1950’s, the use of aspirin decreased with the discovery of acetaminophen, and again in the 1960’s when Ibuprofen came on the market.
Aspirin played third fiddle in the pain relieving category until it was discovered in clinical trials from the 60’s to the 80’s that it had properties that prevented platelets from sticking together and it also reduces inflammation in the arteries.
My friend Kay found out that she was having a heart attack when taking two aspirins relieved the severe pain that she was having in her chest and shoulders. Aspirin probably saved her life by allowing blood to get to her heart.
Today it is a very popular daily regimen to prevent clotting and heart attacks. The only drawback is that it can cause bleeding in susceptible individuals and may also cause ulcers in some people. As a matter of fact, research has shown that two aspirins taken on an empty stomach will cause you to lose two tablespoons of blood.
Further research has been taking place to discover what other conditions this ancient remedy can help. The latest discovery is that aspirin may help depression.
According to Medical News Today: “A study that appears in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics addresses the association between use of aspirin and statins and the risk of major depression.”
The reason that aspirin helps depression is that there seems to be a link between systemic inflammation and depression. Inflammation is common in the elderly and those who take ant-rejection drugs. Statins, which are used to lower cholesterol, also have anti-inflammation properties. There also seems to be a genetic link between inflammation and depression.
In a major case study it was found that, all other factors aside such as prior depression, taking ant-depressant drugs, and a history of depression in the family, folks who had malfunctioning immune systems that led to inflammation were more likely to be depressed.
Antidepressant prescription drugs are expensive and have many side effects. Some even have been linked to suicide in teenagers. Popping a couple of aspirin instead of taking these drugs could be a boon to those who suffer from depression.