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November 16, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(20):1683. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600460063026

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To the Editor:  —In The Journal, Oct. 5, 1918, Dr. E. S. Lain of Oklahoma has a paper on "Dermatitis Lycopersicum Esculentum (Tomato Plant)." He calls the tomato "one of our most harmless and luscious vegetables." A few years ago there appeared in the Correspondenz-Blatt für schweizer Aerzte an observation of several cases of hematuria following the eating of tomatoes. Dr. Lain cites authors who attribute the dermatitis to individual susceptibility and even "anaphylactic reaction of a sensitized person." Is there not another possibility that would at the same time explain the cases of hematuria? The doctor says that the tomato belongs to the Solanaceae, nightshades, and mentions several other representatives of this group. But he forgot the most important one, the Solanum tuberosum, the potato. This, too, contains a poison in the eyes of the tuber that is removed in boiling. Every farmer knows how sensitive the potatoes are

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