One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bitter compound present in certain plants. It is used as a fungicide and in the manufacture of aspirin and dyestuffs.
- ‘Aspirin was at first derived from salicylic acid - an extract of willow bark - but in 1899 Bayer developed a way of making it synthetically.’
- ‘Raspberries are a rich source of the pollution-busting supernutrient ellagic acid and salicylic acid, nature's form of aspirin, which may help to deal with any light-headedness.’
- ‘Keratolytic preparations containing salicylic acid in a propylene glycol gel may be used to remove the stratum corneum.’
- ‘To treat seborrheic dermatitis, look for shampoos that contain coal tar, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide or salicylic acid.’
- ‘Anti-acne creams contain compounds such as salicylic acid, sulphur, and triclosan that are effective at killing bacteria and reducing the signs of acne.’
Mid 19th century: salicylic from French salicyle (the radical of the acid), from Latin salix, salic- ‘willow’.
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