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Euphorbia peplus: 18th-Century Insights on a 21st-Century Therapy

Navya S. Nambudiri, MBBS1; Vinod E. Nambudiri, MD, MBA2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Cochin Medical College, Kochi, Kerala, India
2Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(9):1081. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.5118.
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In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new therapeutic agent, ingenol mebutate, for the topical treatment of actinic keratoses. Ingenol mebutate is a diterpene ester with the chemical formula C25H34O6 and is extracted from the sap of the plant species Euphorbia peplus, also known as the petty spurge. Euphorbia peplus extract has been used for centuries as a topical agent for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions in traditional medicine systems from around the world.

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Figure.
Eighteenth-Century Monograph Describing the Dermatologic Use of Euphorbia peplus, the Plant From Which Ingenol Mebutate Is Derived

Reproduced with permission from the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, Oxford, England.

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