As early as 1600 B. C, the Chinese used the ash of seaweed and sponges in the treatment of goiter empirically. The use of iodine in this form continued through ancient, medieval and modern times until the introduction of the pure drug in the treatment of the thyroid gland by Coindet in 1820, which followed closely the isolation of iodine from the ash of burnt sponges and seaweed by Fyfe. Coindet reported excellent results following the administration of from five to twenty drops of the tincture daily. France used iodine extensively in the Department of the Seine about 1853. It was used in the form o.f a powder in the food or as an ointment, which is an interesting example of the popular use of iodine at this time. Baumann discovered that iodine was a normal constituent of the thyroid gland in 1895, and this gave a more reasonable basis
SAGER WW. EXOPHTHALMIC GOITER: PATHOLOGIC CHANGE AS A RESULT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF IODINE (LUGOL'S SOLUTION). Arch Surg. 1927;15(6):878–894. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1927.01130240051004
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