The cultivated varieties of the prune tree (prunus or prunes) are believed to descend from a wild prune native to Greece, the shores of the Black Sea, and the Caucasus, reaching even into Persia. Pliny (514) records the fact that one of the numerous varieties of the plum tree known in his day afforded a laxative fruit. The pulp of the prune has been used in domestic medicine as well as by the medical profession, parallelling (or following) the efforts of those concerned in early medication. The pulp of the French prune was an ingredient of the once celebrated Lenitive Electuary. History does not record the beginning of the use of this fruit in the confections formerly so popular in domestic medicine.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.