Benjamin Franklin brought colchicine extract to his fellow gout sufferers in America. This 1799 print, titled The Gout, is by James Gillray.
Colchicine c. 70 Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40–90), Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (1788–1842), Joseph Bienaimé Caventou (1795–1877) Descriptions of gout date back almost 5,000 years to ancient Egypt and are included in the Smith and Ebers Papyri. The most prominent symptoms of gout—a type of arthritis—are swelling, redness, and intense joint pain that most commonly affects the big toe and that may persist for days to weeks. In this condition, crystals of uric acid—the normal end-product of purine metabolism—deposit in the joints. In his classic work De Materia Medica (Regarding Medical Matters), written in approximately the year 70, Dioscorides describes the use of Colchicum (meadow saffron) seeds to treat gout. Extracts of the seeds were used well into the nineteenth century. Colchicine, an alkaloid and the active constituent in Colchicum, was extracted and isolated from the seeds in 1820 by the French chemists Pierre-Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou. Colchicine is very selective and effective in its ability to relieve the pain and swelling seen with acute attacks of gout but not with other types of arthritis. It is also used to prevent attacks in individuals afflicted with frequent and recurrent episodes of gout.
Gerald, Michael C.. The Drug Book: From Arsenic to Xanax, 250 Milestones in the History of Drugs (Sterling Milestones) . Sterling. Kindle Edition.