John Uri Lloyd (1849-1936) founded Lloyd Brothers Pharmacy in Cincinnati, and was responsible for the formulation of a body of plant extracts called Specific Medicines (following the recommendations of Scudder). The pharmacy closed in the early 1960's, but his legacy is still present as the Lloyd Library, (the largest library of medical plant books in the world), the Lloyd Extractor, his pioneering work in colloidal chemistry, and several bestselling works of fiction, including "Stringtown on the Pike and the mystical "Etidorhpa".

Although perhaps the most famous figure in pharmacy in his day (he was the de facto editor of the first National Formulary and twice the president of the American Pharmaceutical Association), he refused to abandon his love for plant medicine, the Eclectic Movement, and Alchemy. Without formal training, and serving 10 years in self-imposed apprenticeship, he clashed his whole life with the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the "regulars" who ran American pharmacy...those with degrees from Harvard and Yale...and who, he felt, helped diminish the traditional role of the pharmacist from one who PREPARED medicines (and was partner with the physician) to its present status: the pharmacist as simply the legal dispenser of products made by pharmaceutical manufacturers. His enemies prevailed, and his name appears in virtually no histories of American Pharmacy. He was right, of course.
Lloyd Brothers plant drug pamphlets (1897 to 1915)
Aloe succotrina - Aloes Species (Acrobat File) 82K. 16 pages, J.U. Lloyd, 1898
Atropa belladonna - Belladonna (Acrobat File) 175K. 16 pages. J.S. Niederkorn, M.D., J.U.Lloyd, 1905
Cephaelis ipecacuanha - Ipecac (Acrobat File) 68K. 12 pages. J.U.Lloyd, 1897
Chionanthus Virginica - Fringetree (Acrobat File) 890K. 15 pages. J.U. Lloyd, 1904
Citrullus colocynthis - Colocynth, Bitter Cucumber (Acrobat File) 52K. 10 pages J.U.Lloyd, 1898
Copaifera officinalis - Copaiba - (Acrobat File) 36K. 14 pages J.U.Lloyd, 1898
Croton tiglium - Croton Oil - (Acrobat File) 28K. 12 pages J.U.Lloyd, 1898
Dicentra canadensis - Turkey Corn (Acrobat File) 135K. 6 pages. J.U. Lloyd, 1915
Dioscorea villosa - Wild Yam (Acrobat File) 159K. 10 pages. Fyfe and Lloyd, 1905
Gelsemium sempervirens - Yellow Jessamine (Acrobat File) 190K. 14 pages. J.U.Lloyd. 1904
Hydrastis canadensis - Golden Seal (Acrobat File) 176K. 5 pages. J.U.Lloyd. 1898 (?)
Jateorhiza calumba - Columbo (Acrobat File) 56K. 11 pages, J.U.Lloyd. 1898 (11/02)
Medicago sativa - Alfalfa (Acrobat File) 23K. 4 pages. A. L. Blackwood, M. D. 1915
Nux vomica (Acrobat File) 175K. 16 pages. Howes and Lloyd, 1904
Physostigma venenosum - Calabar or Ordeal Bean - (Acrobat File) 44K. 9 pages J.U.Lloyd, 1897
Punica granatum - Pomegranate (Acrobat File) 41K. 8 pages. J.U.Lloyd, 1897
Selenicereus - Night-Blooming Cereus (Acrobat File) 381K. 15 pages. J.U.Lloyd, 1908
Strophanthus - (Acrobat File) 44K. 16 pages J.U.Lloyd, 1897
Turnera - Damiana (Acrobat File) 65K. 6 pages. J.U.Lloyd, 1904
History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P. (1911) 560K, 182 pages, bookmarked acrobat (.pdf) file (2/03)
"The Pharmacopeial Vegetable Materia Medica.-As before stated, the pages that follow carry the titles of every vegetable drug of the Pharmacopeia of the United States, 1900 Revision. Of necessity, only enough is chronicled of each drug's beginning to point to the peoples or the individuals who introduced them to medicine and pharmacy, no attempt being made to follow the details of subsequent manipulation. . . .Nor is the first link in the chain often seen. The beginning of the use of most vegetable remedial agents antedates written history. As a rule, the earliest authorities cited herein base their statements upon those of others, the details being now lost in antiquity, or veiled by tradition."-J.U.Lloyd.
This then, is an account of the Euro-American history of all the plant drugs in the 1900 USP, who first introduced them, and with a bibliography fit for the most perverse info-geek and bibliophile (all references possessed by Lloyd and, therefore, still to be found in the Lloyd Library). Lloyd sensibly presumed that all the plant's uses derived from traditional sources, and was intrigued by the methods and paths that a traditional herb slipped into what we now call Ethnobotany, then into the hands of pharmacists and physicians, finally to become "official" drugs.
The Life and Times of Samuel Thomson. 2.8M, 133 pages, bookmarked acrobat (.pdf) file
Lloyd recounts the story of Samuel Thomson, the Thomsonian Materia Medica, and the many trials and tribulations of the Patriarch and the Thomsonian Movement. This 1909 publication of the Lloyd Library offers the complete autobiography of Thomson, critical excerpts on his "Course of Medication", the transcripts of the trial of Dr. Frost (a N.Y. Thomsonian), and some insights into the Anti-Masonic and Federalist politics of Thomson's persecution. Thomson's own description of his legal problems is given in flat, understated New England dryness and couched in seeming venal paranoia...resembling a garrulous old fart with a vendetta against a neighbor's fence and boundary lines. After finishing the later material, offering 3rd party perspective, you realize that Thomson's movement had effected a million or more Americans, started a medical reformation that would not peak for another 50 years, and the brightest medical minds of the time were split vehemently both against and for Thomson's right to practice...bitterly divided between Federalists and Republican politics...Populists and Elitists...rural and urban. The tribulations of this former pig farmer rocked the young republic for over a decade and were headlines everywhere. Because of the success of Thomson and his followers, states began, for the first time, regulating medical practice along party and class lines. Messy and fascinating stuff.
The Eclectic Alkaloids. - 580K - 83 pages, bookmarked acrobat (.pdf) file
Imagine this: Herbal medicine has gradually expanded in popularity, partially in response to a Standard Practice Medicine that, at its worst, seems anti-humanistic and brutal. As a small group of reformers seek to modify Medicine from within and without, herbs TAKE OFF! Dozens of exploitative schemes and commercial entities take advantage of the "herb thing" poor quality and sometimes brainless products, capitalizing on the new trend. Concentrates, "extracts" and "standardized" preparations flood the market for two decades, nearly killing the alternative movement before it can mature. This is NOT a warning tale of today, but what happened to Eclectic and Herbal Medicine from 1845 to 1865. We are in the midst of the Second Reform...this is what happened during the First Reform.
Lloyd, in his almost excrutiating Victorian detailing, tells us How It Happened (from the vantange point of 1910). It is happening once again.
Elixirs And Flavoring Extracts:
Their History, Formulae, & Methods of Preparation, by John Uri Lloyd (1892)
Text File (343K) The text (without images, 2 pages of facsimiles and a bit of Arabic and Greek) but with a TOC listing the 300 or so formulae.
Acrobat File (725K) Completely bookmarked, with the facsimiles and some photographs of LLoyd as a youth and an 80-year-old that I added.
Quantity Versus Quality
A series of articles from 1914 written by Lloyd (reprinted by him in 1932) explaining the differences between WHOLE plant preparations and the refined substances used in medicine.
Text File (88K)
Acrobat File (100K)
Plant Pharmacy
(from the American Journal of Pharmacy, April, 1922)
This brief essay by Lloyd deals with the practical, philosophic and spiritual aspects of the use of whole plants in 1922 a dead issue to all but a few readers...akin to the current essays on medical ethics written by Emeriti-types for JAMA, NEJofM and Lancet (that nobody reads either)
Text File (20K)
COCA, The Divine Plant of the Incas
From the "History of the Vegetable Drugs of the Pharmacopeia of the United States", 1911
A history of Coca by John Uri Lloyd, followed by an ethnobotanical photo-essay on the Mombreros (Coca Users) of Columbia, by John Thomas Lloyd. Reprinted 1912
Text, leaf detail, map and 11 photographs.
Acrobat File only (490K)
BY JOHN URI LLOYD AND JOHN THOMAS LLOYD.[Reprinted from the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Vol. XXIV, No. 3. March, 1935.]
Lloyd describes the first-hand history of "Witch Hazel Extract", dating from 1865, when a fellow employee left to join his banking brother in a business venture: manufacturing "Pond's Extract", to 1918, when Lloyd interviewed the last surviving member of the organization originally known as the "Pond's Extract Company." Writing about it in this 1935 article, Lloyd ties together the origins (an Oneida Medicine Man and Mr. Pond, 1848), and the elderly gentleman's recollections of the history of the product...and the birth, from a liquid that was ignored by regular medicine, into the Ponds Company (yes...of Cold Cream fame) A rare glimpse into an unbroken continuum of herb usage...from Native American to current OTC product...and perhaps a bit more than any of us wish to know about a 19th century drug manufacturer
Text File (20K)
Acrobat File with text, title page and three photographs (115K)


Mausert, was a German Naturopath, a teutonic variation of the more charismatic aspects of the Eclectic and Physiomedicalism populist medical movements of the 19th and early 20th century in North America. This evolved into current Naturopathy, the only surviving face of American Medical Vitalism. He practiced in the San Francisco area before WWII and his formulas were widely sold and used throughout the U.S. in the years before the current "Herbal Rennaisance" that allegedly started in the 1970s (I was there then...and didn't even notice it). These formulas were sold for years by the original owners of Nature's Herb Company on Ellis Street in San Francisco, Herb Products (North Hollywood) and Wide World of Herbs (Montreal). Robust, sometimes even hair-raising, these old-timey formulas still work (even though Mausert's explanations often bordered on overt pseudo-science and genial quackery)

Mausert's Formulas (1932)

Text File (100K)
Acrobat File (315K)


Physician friends have sometimes asked me "What's happening? Why are so many folks seeking alternative treatment? It wasn't that way a few years ago." I tell them as best I can that a few years ago Medicine wasn't nearly as out of touch with the populace as it is these days. The importance of Alternative Medicine has grown in direct relationship to American Standard Practice's own romance with high-tech diagnostics and procedural medicine. It happened before. Here is one of the best early works from the "First Medical Reformation"

Colby was probably the most popular and readable of all the followers of Samuel Thomson (1769-1843). Thomson himself made a living as a practitioner ("Root Doctor" was his preferred term), and by selling, for $50, the "Patent" to practice as he did...this included books and some training. A true populist, he refused to sell "patents" to trained physicians. After his death, his followers wrote books for popular and home use and, as if early Franciscan herbalists, vowed to make Every Man and Woman Their Own Doctor. When George Washington lay dying, the country's best physicians, from Harvard and Yale, proceeded to kill him by draining 3 QUARTS of blood, giving him several doses of Calomel (mercury sub-chloride) and covering his body with blisters. Into this milieu came Thomson, who believed that all health derived from life energy, and nearly all diseases derived from congenital, environmental and life-style compromises to that life energy. Although both he and his early followers were persecuted in a number of highly publicized trials, the Thomsonians flourished everywhere...a sane and radical answer to Medicine Gone Mad. Colby delineated the basic practices and philosophy of Thomsonian Medicine in this widely sold (and pirated) book,


PART I -a discussion of medical history, theory, practice, and the alternatives of Homeopathy, Water Cure and the Thomsonian System.
Text File (78K)
Acrobat File with woodcut and title facsimile. (250K)
PART II -Health and disease prevention: Disease, and the philosophy of it's causes.
Text File (45K)
Acrobat File (65K)
PART III -the Thomsonian Materia Medica (with clarified taxa)
Text File (55K)
Acrobat File with 8 woodcut illustrations of plants (258K)
PART IV -Thomsonian Formulas (with clarified taxa and annotations)
Text File (43K)
Acrobat File with 2 woodcut illustrations of plants (134K)
PART V The Thomsonian System when applied to specific diseases.
Text File (70K)
Acrobat File (88K)
PART VI The Thomsonian System and Midwifery (or Why Birth Isn't a Disease).
Text File (30K)
Acrobat File (43K)

A GUIDE TO HEALTH (1848) The complete manual, with 11 illustrations, bookmarked and thumbnailed
Acrobat File (973K)

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