YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Aspirin is the most successful pharmaceutical drug ever produced.

We use aspirin to kill pain, reduce swelling and thin the blood to help heart-attack and stroke patients.

About 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates wrote about the healing properties of a tea made from the bark of a willow tree.

By 1828, chemists isolated that ingredient called salicin, and in 1897, chemist Felix Hoffman developed a synthetic form, known as acetylsalicylic acid, at the Bayer factory in Germany.

He called it “Aspirin” for the first time in 1899. Aspirin is a combination of two old German words meaning salicin.

Aspirin went on sale as a powder and was an instant success.

In 1915, Aspirin became available without a prescription. We take 137 million aspirin tablets every day.

The Bayer company produces 50,000 tons of acetylsalicylic acid each year, enough to produce 100 billion tablets.

Place those 100 billion side by side they would reach to the moon and back.