Application Natural versus Synthetic
Prior to the development of organic chemistry as a science, only substances obtained directly from plants and animals were available for treating diseases, dying clothes, cleansing and perfuming our bodies, and so forth. Extracts of the opium poppy, for instance, have been used since the seventeenth century for the relief of pain. The prized purple dye called Tyrian purple, obtained from a Middle Eastern mollusk, has been known since antiquity. Oils distilled from bergamot, sweet bay, rose, and lavender, have been employed for centuries in making perfume.
Many of these naturally occurring substances were first used without any knowledge of their chemical composition. As organic chemistry developed, though, chemists learned how to work out the structures of compounds. The disease-curing properties of limes and other citrus fruits, for example, were known for centuries, but the chemical structure of vitamin C, the active ingredient, was not determined until 1933. Today there is a revival of interest in folk remedies, and a large effort is being made to identify medicinally important chemical compounds found in plants.1 個解答語言1 0 年前