The Amateur Chemist at Home

I consider myself to be a chemist. Although I’m only on the amateur level with no actual degree in chemistry, I’ve still performed various experiments. Normally I use whatever I can find around the house or items that can be found in the grocery store, but sometimes I like to do experiments that require products that aren’t so easy to find in stores. Most of the time, the stores that sell these items only sell them to medical professionals and chemists with degrees, but I found a place where anyone can buy research chemicals with 99% purity.

My latest experiment involved making a medicine that works for alleviating cold symptoms. There are already a lot of drugs on the market that do this with great success, but I wanted to make a more affordable alternative that doesn’t produce drowsiness in people. Using the items I ordered from the website, I mixed together a special formula using information that I learned online and from various books about the ingredients found in cold medicines. There is a specific way that the ingredients must be mixed in order for them to actually be effective. Mixing the items incorrectly will only make something that is as effective as a sugar pill.

Once the items were done being mixed, I had to test them to make sure they actually worked. The only way to test a cold medicine is to find someone with a cold. I wasn’t sick, so I had to perform the unfortunate task of making myself sick with the common cold. I had a frozen version of the cold virus stored in my lab for the occasion, so I used a medical grade swab to infect myself with the virus. In a day, I was feeling terrible, which was perfect for the test. I took the medicine and recorded how I felt during the day. My cold symptoms lessened as the day went on.