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Information @ a Glance

  • Salicylic acid is the chemical compound with the formula C6H4(OH)CO2H, where the OH group is adjacent to the carboxyl group. This colorless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone. It is probably best known as a compound that is chemically similar but not identical to the active component of aspirin. The name derives from the Latin word for the willow tree (Salix), from whose bark it can be obtained.
  • Salicylic acid crystallizes in small colourless needles which melt at 1 55 C. It is sparingly soluble in cold water, but readily dissolves in hot. It sublimes, but on rapid heating decomposes into carbon dioxide and phenol. It is volatile in steam. As an antiseptic salicylic acid is somewhat less powerful than carbolic acid, but its insolubility renders it unsuitable for general use. It is much more powerful than carbolic acid.


  • In any synthetic procedure, a chemist must use a series of techniques like carrying out the reaction, isolating the product (perhaps using extraction, crystallization, distillation, etc.), purifying the product (again, perhaps using crystallization, distillation, chromatography, etc.), and characterizing the product and estimating its purity. The types of techniques that are used for each of these steps depend on the energy requirements
    of the reaction and on the physical and chemical properties of both the starting materials and the products.
  • Salicylic acid induces flowering, inhibits K+ and P+ uptake, and inhibits ethylene synthesis.  It is probably antagonistic to jasmonic acid.  SA triggers the systemic acquired response (SAR) and may move as a long-distance component of a signal transduction pathway. SA participates in SAR and in the localized hypersensitive response (HR).  It induces alternative pathway  respiration. SA inhibits ACC synthase, reducing ethylene production, and aconitase.

Application & Technology

  • Salicylic acid is used to treat acne, warts, dandruff, psoriasis, and similar conditions. Salicylic acid reacts with acetic acid to produce acetylsalicylic acid the active ingredient in aspirin. Salicylic acid is common in many plants, such as broccoli, peppers, curry, cucumbers, and raisins, among many others. Salicylic acid reduces inflammation, and can reduce it in arteries to prevent hardening and narrowing.
  • Salicylic acid is used in medicine largely in combination with the alkaline bases, through its action on the neutral salts of these substances, because of their superior solubility. It was advised when the acid first came into general use to dissolve it, by the addition of the phosphate, acetate, carbonate, or other salt of sodium. This, of course, resulted in the formation of the salicylate of sodium with phosphoric, acetic or carbonic acids as the products. The sodium salt is now more universally used than any other compound of the acid.
  • Spectrophotometric techniques were selected to evaluate the effectiveness of salicylic acid quantification. The simplest method for determining total salicylic acid is the Trinder reaction where the acid is quantified at the visible region. In this case, the salicylic acid reacts with ferric ions to form a purple complex in solution read on optical density of 530nm

Market & Report

  • Hydrogen peroxide, commonly produced during the oxidative burst induced the accumulation of free benzoic acid (BA) and salicylic acid (SA) in tobacco (Mcdana tabacwn L. cv Xanthi-nc) leaves.SA is an impottant signaling compound that activates defense responses in infected plants. Our data indicate that SA functions as a scavenger of hydroxyl radicals produced during the hypersensitive response.
  • The most commonly used OTC preparation was salicylic acid the treatments prescribed by a GP, the most cost-effective treatment was SA, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of 2.20 /% cured. The ICERs for cryotherapy varied widely (from 1.95 to 7.06 /% cured) depending on the frequency of applications and the mode of delivery. The most cost-effective mode of delivery was through nurse-led cryotherapy clinics (ICER = 1.95 /% cured) and this could be a cost-effective alternative to GP-prescribed SA.

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