John Uri Lloyd

Oct 20, 2023

Remembering John Uri Lloyd

A Pioneer in Botanical Medicine


The herb world is bright with influential figures, but few shine as brightly as John Uri Lloyd. Born in New York in 1849, Lloyd's innovations and dedication to the plant kingdom significantly advanced the field of herbs and scientific research. From early on, Lloyd's fascination with plants was evident and this passion drove him to pursue a degree in pharmacy, graduating from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1869. He applied this pharmaceutical knowledge to the world of plants and made contributions to the fields of medicine, pharmacy, literature, and botany.

IContributions to the Eclectic Movement

John Uri Lloyd is well known for being a pivotal figure in the Eclectic medical movement during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Eclectic physicians were a group of medical doctors who challenged the dominant medical practices of their era which included practices such as bloodletting and the use of toxic compounds like mercury and instead advocated for the use of botanical remedies. They sought to bridge traditional botanical remedies with modern scientific approaches, and Lloyd’s background as a pharmacist, herbalist, and educator with a passion for plants was deeply aligned with the principles of the Eclectic movement.

IThe Lloyd Library:

As one of the pioneers of the Eclectic medical movement, Lloyd founded the Lloyd Library in Cincinnati, Ohio to preserve herbal information and make it accessible to all. This library houses rare plant books, manuscripts, and botanical specimens and served as an invaluable resource for Eclectic physicians, herbalists, and scholars of plants, pharmacy, and natural history. It is still in operation today and still draws researchers and herbalists globally.

ILiterary Contributions

As well as preserving botanical literature, Lloyd was a prolific author who made many literary contributions to the plant world. His co-authorship of "King's American Dispensatory" with Dr. Harvey Wickes Felter represented one of the most comprehensive and influential works on botanical medicines of the time and laid the framework for the application of science to the use of herbs for health.

ILloyd Brothers Inc.

Lloyd’s botanical company named Lloyd Brothers, Pharmacists, Inc. was established in 1885 by Lloyd and his brothers, Nelson Ashley Lloyd and Curtis Gates Lloyd. The company played a significant role in the production and promotion of botanical preparations during this era and was the primary source of herbal supplements during the later 19th century, supplying the Eclectic physicians and other practitioners of the time. This pioneering venture not only showcased Lloyd's entrepreneurial spirit but also his dedication to producing high-quality botanical preparations. Rapidly gaining a reputation, it emerged as the leading source for herbal products in the late 19th century, significantly advancing the popularity of natural remedies.

IThe Lloyd Extractor

Lloyd was also an innovator, continuously striving to enhance the manufacturing processes of herbal products. Among his many inventions was the "Lloyd Extractor", a groundbreaking cold distillation apparatus that transformed the way herbal extracts were produced, ensuring a higher integrity of the beneficial components. Designed with precision, it revolutionized the industry by allowing the concentration and preservation of the plant's full benefits without any heat exposure.


Today, as we reflect on John Uri Lloyd's life, his impact is evident in the resurgence of herbal medicine in modern times. A pioneer, educator, and innovator, Lloyd's dedication has left an indelible mark on the field, reminding us of the rich history of herbal medicine and its continuing importance in the contemporary world. As we continue to uncover and harness the healing powers of herb, Lloyd's legacy stands as a beacon, guiding and inspiring generations of herbalists, researchers, and physicians.

I have no imagination. I only remember. I write of things in the distance, from the standpoint of time.
- John Uri Lloyd


Eclectic Herb has a collection of Eclectic Era curios and antiquities, gathered over the years by our founder Ed Alstat.

Etidorpha by John Uri Lloyd

Antique botanical preparations

LLoyd Brother's Podophyllum

Rare botanical texts

Lloyd Brother's herbal preparation

King's American Dispensatory