Podophyllum peltatum L. - Berberidaceae - mayapple, American mandrake, Gewöhnlicher Maiapfel, Entenfuß
Perennial herb, up to 60cm high, native from atlantic to central North America; leaves nearly opposite, slightly unequal in size; petioles 5-15 cm; leaf blades 5-7(-9)-parted, parts frequently 2-lobed, margins entire or coarsely dentate; flowers solitary, nodding, fragrant; petals white, rarely pink; berries yellow, rarely orange or maroon.
„The ripe fruit of Podophyllum peltatum is considered edible; all other parts of the plant are toxic. Several lignans and their glycosides, present in the resin extracted from rhizomes and roots, exhibit antitumor activity. Etoposide, a semisynthetic derivative of one of the lignans, is currently used in the treatment of small-cell lung cancer and testicular cancer (P. M. Dewick 1983). Native Americans used Podophyllum for a wide variety of medicinal purposes and as an insecticide (D. E. Moerman 1986).“
Podophyllotoxin is used as 0.5% solution or 0.15% cream on the skin as a topical treatment of warts, especially external genital warts.
[Randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of podophyllotoxin solution, podophyllotoxin cream, and podophyllin in the treatment of genital warts., Lacey, C.J.N., Goodall, R.L., Tennvall, G.R., Maw, R., Kinghorn, G.R., Fisk, P.G., Perstorp Pharma Genital Warts Clinical Trial Group., Sexually transmitted infections, 79(4), 2003, 270-275] http://sti.bmj.com/content/79/4/270.full
The dried rhizome with roots (Podophylli rhizoma, Radix Podophylli, podophyllum root, mayapple root, Podophyllwurzel) contains a resin (3-6%) and podophyllotoxin, 4′-demethylpodophyllotoxin, α-peltatin, β-peltatin, and their glucosides. The drug was formerly used to treat obstipation and to to cause vomiting, higher dosages cause gastroenteritis.
[Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, Springer 2010]
Kohl,F.G., Die officinellen Pflanzen der Pharmacopoea Germanica, t.40 (1891-1895)