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Quinine

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  • Botanical: Cinchona officinalis
  • Family: Rubiaceae
  • Hits: 610
Quinine

Botanical

Cinchona officinalis

Family

Rubiaceae

Known as

Quinine Bark tree

Old Use

medical

Parts Used

bark

Medicinal

abdominal pain, bowel cleansing, cancer, circulation, constipation, digestion, eczema, eye inflammation, fever, flatulence, flu, gastritis, gastrointestinal, gum bleeding, hair loss, herpes, hemorrhoids, varicose veins

Heart & Circulation

hemorrhoids, varicose veins

Infection & Inflammation

eye inflammation, fever, flu, immunity

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bowel cleansing, cancer, cancer prevention, diarrhea, digestion, gastritis, gastric inflammation, liver weakness

Skin & Hair

hair loss

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic

Description

The Cinchona plants are large shrubs or small trees with evergreen foliage, growing 5–15 m (16–49 ft) in height. The leaves are opposite, rounded to lanceolate and 10–40 cm long. The flowers are white, pink or red, produced in terminal panicles. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous seeds.

Properties & Uses

Cinchona is used for increasing appetite; promoting the release of digestive juices; and treating bloating, fullness, and other stomach problems. It is also used for blood vessel disorders including hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and leg cramps. Some people use cinchona for mild attacks of influenza, swine flu, the common cold, malaria, and fever. Other uses are for cancer, mouth and throat diseases, enlarged spleen, and muscle cramps. Cinchona is used in eye lotions to numb pain, kill germs, and as an astringent. Cinchona extract is also applied to the skin for hemorrhoids, stimulating hair growth, and managing varicose veins.

Cautions

Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Don’t use cinchona if you have ulcers. It might increase the risk of bleeding. Surgery: Cinchona can slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using cinchona at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Distribution

native to the tropical Andes forests of western South America. A few species are reportedly naturalized in Central America, Jamaica, French Polynesia, Sulawesi, Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, and São Tome & Principe off the coast of tropical Africa.

Constituents

The bark of trees in this genus is the source of a variety of alkaloids, the most familiar of which is quinine, an antipyretic (antifever) agent especially useful in treating malaria. Cinchona alkaloids include: cinchonine and cinchonidine, quinine and quinidine, dihydroquinidine and dihydroquinine. They find use in organic chemistry as organocatalysts in asymmetric synthesis. Alongside the alkaloids, many cinchona barks contain cinchotannic acid, a particular tannin, which by oxidation rapidly yields a dark-coloured phlobaphene called red cinchonic, cinchono-fulvic acid or cinchona red.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.