PODOPHYLLUM consists of the dried rhizome and roots of Podophyllum peltatum Linneé, the May apple or mandrake, a perennial plant of northern and middle United States.1 The extract and active principle of podophyllum is a complex mixture of resinous substances known as podophyllin, resina podophylli or resin of podophyllum2; it is an amorphous powder varying from light brown to greenish yellow and turning darker when exposed to temperatures exceeding 25 C. or when exposed to light. Resin of podophyllum is soluble in normal solutions of potassium and sodium hydroxide. In alcohol it forms a slightly opalescent and faintly acid solution. Undiluted resin of podophyllum is irritating to mucous membrane, especially that of the eye, where it may produce extensive damage.3 In the past resin of podophyllum was frequently prescribed, as it is an ingredient of the erstwhile popular and official vegetable cathartic pill the formula for which
SULLIVAN M, KING LS. EFFECTS OF RESIN OF PODOPHYLLUM ON NORMAL SKIN, CONDYLOMATA ACUMINATA AND VERRUCAE VULGARES. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1947;56(1):30–47. doi:10.1001/archderm.1947.01520070033004
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