Parts Used: Bark of cultivated trees.

Pharmacy name: cinchona bark – Cinchonae succirubrae cortex (formerly: Cortex Chinae).

Botanical description. The homeland of the cinchona tree is the Andes valley in the northern part of South America, however, it is currently cultivated in Java, India and the Congo. The cinchona tree reaches a height of about 30 m, has a slender trunk and a dense rounded crown. The leaves are large, ovate, petiolate. Dense bunches of red flowers are collected in loose panicles.

Collection and preparation.Interesting cultivation of cinchona trees. Seedlings are obtained from seeds, which are then planted on a plantation. After 6 years, the use of plantations begins: the plantation is thinned out and the bark is taken from the trunks and roots of the removed trees. In subsequent years, such thinnings are regularly carried out, until after 20 years only a quarter of the once planted trees remain. Then they are removed later and the plantation is planted again. Obtaining the bark for medicinal purposes is very laborious. First, ring-shaped incisions are made, which are then connected by longitudinal ones. Carrying out a series of blows on the bark, it is, as it were, separated from the wood, and then torn off with horn spatulas. It is dried first in the sun, and then at about 80 ° C in special dryers. In another version, after 8 years, after planting, the trees are cut off near the ground. growth is formed,

active substances. The most important active ingredients are bitter alkaloids, the content of which in raw materials can vary greatly. The most famous of these are quinine and quinidine. In addition to them, it is worth mentioning tannins, quinic acid and bitter glycosides.

Healing action and application.The cinchona tree became famous thanks to its bark – after it turned out that with its help it was possible to treat malaria (quinine has this effect). Along with this, many galenic products prepared from it (quinine wine, cinchona tincture) were used as a tonic and tonic, especially for babies. Pure quinine (currently made synthetically) and quinidine are found in many flu products that work especially well at high temperatures. These alkaloids are also used as heart remedies. The German National Health Service recognizes the following uses for cinchona bark: for stomach diseases caused by insufficient formation of gastric juice, and for stimulating appetite. During pregnancy, stomach and intestinal ulcers and, of course,

  • Tea from cinchona bark: 1 teaspoon without the top of the bark is poured */4 l of boiling water and allowed to infuse for 10 minutes, then filtered. Daily dose: Approximately 1 cup of freshly prepared tea half an hour before meals.

Use in homeopathy. China – the so-called homeopathic remedy from cinchona bark – is very widely used in homeopathy. Low dilutions of it (D 1 and D 1) is recommended for insufficient secretion of gastric juice, with general weakness and during the recovery period after a debilitating disease. In these dilutions, quinine acts as a real tonic. Slightly higher dilutions (D4 – D6) are used for recurrent headaches, neuralgia, bronchitis and whooping cough, rapid heart rate, stomach diseases, poor digestion, diseases of the biliary system, fever, gout. When studying the action of cinchona bark, Samuel Hahnemann discovered a regularity: he himself (being healthy) after taking cinchona always began to suffer from a strong fever, and cinchona cured those who fell ill with fever. Homeopathic doctors know the so-called cinchona type of people: these are people who are unconventionally weakened, suffering from lack of appetite and increased susceptibility, irritable and unbalanced,

Side effects.Here it is necessary to clearly distinguish between cinchona bark and pure quinine. Cinchona bark in galenical products and in therapeutic doses when taken as a tea does not give side effects, but quinine must be treated with caution. At higher doses, poisoning can be expected in some patients. 10-15 g of quinine are life-threatening. Poisoning begins with nausea and vomiting, agitation, impaired hearing and vision, dizziness and ends with loss of consciousness and death from cardiac and respiratory arrest. In case of poisoning, you will need to immediately call a doctor. Before his arrival, it is imperative to remove the poison from the stomach. The German National Health Service names rather infrequently observed side effects when taking tea from cinchona bark – this is primarily a tendency to bleed due to a decrease in the number of blood platelets, involved in blood clotting. In such cases, you should immediately consult a doctor.

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