This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Methyl Salicylas. Methyl Salicylate. - Ch3c7h5o3=151.64. Synonym. - Artificial (or Synthetic) Oil of Wintergreen. Methyl Salicylate, produced synthetically by distilling Salicylic Acid, or a Salicylate, with Methyl Alcohol and strong Sulphuric Acid.
A colorless or slightly yellowish liquid, having the characteristic, strongly aromatic odor and the sweetish, warm and aromatic taste of the Oil of Gaultheria, with the essential constituent of which it is identical. It is wholly identical with Volatile Oil of Betula (see Oleum Betulae Volatile). Sp. gr.: 1.183-1.185. Boiling point: 219°-22I° C. (426.2o-429.8° F.). It is optically inactive.
The action of these substances is the same as of salicylic acid. When taken in moderate quantities, they are, like that acid, broken up and eliminated as salicyluric acid. It is asserted that methyl salicylate can be produced of more uniform quality and is more certain and definite in its action than either of the natural oils. The uses of these drugs is the same as of salicylic acid, and they possess the additional advantage that they are not liable to contamination with impurities (ortho- and paracreosotic acids), the former of which is a powerful cardiac depressant; both are found in the artificial salicylic acid.