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May 1952


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School (Herbert Rattner, M.D., Chairman).

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1952;65(5):620-622. doi:10.1001/archderm.1952.01530240112022

The recent introduction of the use of podophyllum in the treatment of condyloma accuminata,1 its possible cancerocidal potentialities, and its usefulness as a tool for cytologic study make it, according to Sullivan,2 a drug of considerable interest. However, the story of podophyllum would not be complete without recalling its humble beginning. John Uri Lloyd3 (1849-1936), the famous pharmaceutical chemist of Cincinnati, gives the following account of the discovery of podophyllum.4

In 1835 Dr. John King accidentally discovered the resin of podophyllum. Its discovery and the serious consequences following the blunder of its initial administration is best told by the discoverer in a letter to John Uri Lloyd:

North Bend, Ohio, June 14, 1887.

My dear Sir,

At your urgent request, I will endeavor to give you a brief account of the discovery of the Resin of Podophyllum Root, more commonly known as ``podophyllin.'' My introduction to

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