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Chaulmoogra Oil and the Treatment of Leprosy
Leprosy is perhaps the most feared, and the most misunderstood, disease in history. Although we have drugs today to control the disease, and we now know that it is one of the least contagious of the infectious diseases, the stigma attached to leprosy has still not been completely erased from the public mind. The connotations associated with the word leprosy have even led to an effort to rename the condition Hansen's disease, after the man who discovered the bacterial cause of the disease in the nineteenth century. Not surprisingly, many different substances were tried in an effort to treat this disease over the centuries, almost all of them worthless before the introduction of the sulfones in the 1940s.