Archive for category Cinchona'

Cinchona

Importance, Distribution and Botanical Features The commercial value of Cinchona comes almost entirely from the alkaloids, quinine and quinidine, extracted from the bark: a subsidiary use for the remainder of the tree is as a fuel wood for fires. Quinine has been used for centuries for the suppression and treatment of malaria, being administered as the sulphate, bisulphate, hydrochloride and dihydrochloride (British Pharmacopaeia 1973). The use of quinine for these purposes has decreased with the development since the 1940’s of synthetic anti-malarial drugs (e.g. Chloroquine, Proguanil). Resistance of the malarial parasite to the synthetic antimalarials is widely recorded but much less so to quinine, thus quinine can often still be used either alone or in mixture, in areas where the “synthetics” are ineffective. Further factors in favour of using quinine are its relatively low price (£ 40 per kg in 1985) and wide availability. Additional important uses for quinine are as a treatment for “night cramps”, as a bittering and brightening agent in the soft drinks and food industry and as the starting material for the industrial production of quinidine. Quinidine can also be used to treat malaria, but its main and Read more […]