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(salicyl alcohol, o-hydroxybenzyl alcohol), a colorless crystalline compound that is sparingly soluble in water but readily soluble in alcohol and ether. Melting point, 86 °C.
Saligenin is found in considerable amounts (up to 75 percent) in the form of the glycoside (called salicin) in the bark of the willow and poplar. It is used to some extent as an antipyretic and was previously the main source for the production of salicylic acid. Saligenin is produced by reduction of salicylalde-hyde or by the reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. A 2 percent solution of salicylic acid in alcohol is produced under the name “salicyl alcohol” and is used topically as an antiseptic.