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Article
December 7, 1912

THE RELATIVE VALUE OF THE "NATURAL" AND THE SYNTHETIC SALICYLATES: A STUDY OF THE LITERATURE

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK CITY

From the Department of Pharmacology of Cornell University Medical College.

JAMA. 1912;LIX(23):2057-2064. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270120042012
Abstract

There is at present a fairly wide-spread belief that the salicylic acid which is derived from the natural oil of wintergreen or sweet birch, and the sodium salt of this acid are to be preferred to the corresponding synthetic preparations. This preference seems to be founded mainly on two claims. The first is that the "natural" or "true" salicylates are less toxic than the artificial; the second, that they are more active as antirheumatic agents. The adherents of these views are very firm in their convictions, and, what is more, certain manufacturers make very positive statements regarding the relative superiority of the former compounds. On the other side of the question there are many who are equally certain that no such difference exists. A third class of physicians, those who are either neutral or who do not take a positive stand with either side, is probably greater than the two

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