Cinchona, or quinine bark, is one of the rainforest’s most famous plants and most important discoveries. Legend has it that the name cinchona came from the countess of Chinchon, the wife of a Peruvian viceroy, who was cured of a malarial type of fever by using the bark of the cinchona tree in 1638. This herb is indigenous to plant life in the Amazon Rainforest, and is celebrated for its wide variety of health advantages and is a member of the Rubiaceae family. The herb is utilized by some herbalists in South America for treating various kinds of liver cancer, breast cancer, mesenteric cancer, and cancer of the other glands and spleen. Besides this, it is also used for treating amoebic infections, dysentery, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, temperature, lumbago, malaria, pneumonia, sciatica, varicose veins, hangovers and even typhoid.
This herb contains analgesic, anaesthetic, antiarrhythmic, anti-bacterial, anti-malarial, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-pyretic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, antiviral, astringent, bactericide, cytotoxic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, nervine, and stomachic therapeutic properties. Cinchona is bitter and works well for reducing fevers and also for back pain. It kills bacteria and also viruses and of course parasites. The liquid extract is useful as a cure for drunkenness. Cinchona extract is also applied to the skin for haemorrhoids, stimulating hair growth, and managing varicose veins.
It is the bark of the tree that is used in herbal medicine and is sourced for drugs. The bark is stripped from the tree, dried, and ground into a powder. In the cinchona bark plantations the trees that are stripped regrow some of their bark and are harvested again before they are felled.
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. Many people use chaparral as a good throat astringent and its powdered form is often used in tooth powders, because of its astringency.
The possible side effects and complications from even moderate use of the two most potent alkaloids of cinchona, quinine and quinidine are as follows: blood disorders such as hypoglycaemia and blood thinning, hepatitis, vertigo, hearing loss, and heart trouble.