Binomial Name(s): Cinchona Officinalis
Species: C. officinalis
Popular Name(s): Peruvian Bark, Quinine Bark.
Parts Used: Quinine Isolated From Bark.
Habitat: Cultivated in Nilgiri Hills
Quinine is a genus of tropical evergreen trees and shrubs, with rather large laurel-like, entire, opposite leaves, and white or pink fragrant flowers arranged in clusters. Though its common name is quinine, not all species of Cinchona can be used to produce quinine; in fact, many contain virtually no quinine at all. This herb is native to Amazon Rainforest vegetation and is renowned for its innumerous health and therapeutic benefits. It is particularly found in the eastern slopes of the Amazon area of the Andes. Apart from this, quinine is also found in the northern zone of the Andes, towards the eastern slopes of the central and western ranges. Because of its usefulness in the curing diseases and ailments, the herb is now cultivated in many tropical areas, for commercial purpose.
Aricine, caffeic acid, cinchofulvic acid, cincholic acid, cinchonain, cinchonidine, cinchonine, cinchophyllamine, cinchotannic acid, cinchotine, conquinamine, cuscamidine, cuscamine, cusconidine, cusconine, epicatechin, javanine, paricine, proanthocyanidins, quinacimine, quinamine, quinic acid, quinicine, quinine, quininidine, quinovic acid, quinovin, and sucirubine
Uses & Benefits of Quinine
- Quinine is an anti-fever agent and is used for the prevention and cure of malaria.
- Its bark is an important constituent in herbal medicines and is used as a tonic and a digestive stimulant for the cure of conditions like indigestion, gastro-intestinal disorders and also as an appetite stimulant.
- Certain forms of folk medicine in the southern zone of America use the herb for curing different types of cancer, like breast cancer, liver cancer, mesenteric cancer and cancer of the spleen and other glands. Besides this, they also use it for the treatment of common cold, amoebic infections, dysentery, dyspepsia, diarrhea, fever, lumbago, malaria, pneumonia, sciatica, varicose veins, hangovers and even typhoid.
- In the European herbal medicine systems, quinine bark is used as an antispasmodic, antimalarial, antiprotozoal, a bitter tonic and as a fever reducer. It is also used for treating irregular heartbeats, anemia, leg cramps and also as a bactericidal and an anesthetic in some conditions.
- Many people use quinine as a good throat astringent and its powdered form is often used in tooth powders, because of its astringency.
- In general, the herb can classified as an excellent analgesic, anesthetic, antiarrhythmic, antibacterial, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, bactericide, cytotoxic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, nervine, stomachic and a tonic.
- The quinine bark contains certain naturally occurring substances called quinine alkaloids, the consumption of which may lead to numerous side effects. In fact, drugs containing quinine are strictly prescription drugs and should be sold only under the recommendation of a health practitioner.
- Always look for the warning signs and contraindications, while using higher levels of quinine alkaloids.