Cinchona caloptera Miq.
Cinchona chomeliana Wedd.
Cinchona colorata Laubert ex B.D.Jacks.
Cinchona cordifolia Mutis
Cinchona coronulata Miq.
Cinchona decurrentifolia Pav.
Cinchona elliptica Wedd.
Cinchona goudotiana Klotzsch ex Triana
Cinchona govana Miq.
Cinchona howardiana Kuntze
Cinchona lechleriana Schltdl.
Cinchona lutea Pav.
Cinchona morado Ruiz
Cinchona obovata Pav. ex Howard
Cinchona ovata Ruiz & Pav.
Cinchona palescens Vell.
Cinchona pallescens Ruiz ex Vitman
Cinchona pelalba Pav. ex DC.
Cinchona pelletieriana Wedd.
Cinchona platyphylla Wedd.
Cinchona purpurascens Wedd.
Cinchona purpurea Ruiz & Pav.
Cinchona purpurea Vell.
Cinchona rosulenta Howard ex Wedd.
Cinchona rotundifolia Pav. ex Lamb.
Cinchona rubicunda Tafalla ex Wedd.
Cinchona rufinervis Wedd.
Cinchona rugosa Pav. ex DC.
Cinchona subsessilis Miq.
Cinchona succirubra Pav. ex Klotzsch.
Cinchona tucujensis H.Karst.
Quinquina obovata (Pav. ex Howard) Kuntze
Quinquina ovata (Ruiz & Pav.) Kuntze
Quinquina pubescens (Vahl) Kuntze
Quinquina succirubra (Pav. ex Klotzsch) Kuntze
Common Name: Red Bark
Photograph by: Dick Culbert
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Red bark is a small evergreen tree that can grow 9 - 30 metres tall[
The plant has long been used medicinally by the native people of S. America to treat fevers and a range of other conditions. The bark of this species, and several related species, has been shown to contain quinine, an effective antimalarial and febrifuge[
]. In the early 17th century, the Europeans became aware of the effectiveness of the bark of this tree in treating malaria and, over the next 200 years, the trees were greatly overexploited in the wild until commercial plantations were finally established in Java[
]. Largely replaced by synthetic drugs in the latter half of the 20th century, quinine has again become very important in treating malaria because various strains of malaria have developed resistance to the synthetics[
]. It is now grown in many tropical areas[
S. America - Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica.
Cool, humid, mountain regions at elevations of 1,000 - 3,700 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of moderate elevations in the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from 800 - 3,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 17 - 25Â°c, but can tolerate 9 - 28Â°c[
]. It can be killed by temperatures of 5Â°c or lower[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,500 - 3,500mm, but tolerates 1,400 - 4,000mm[
Requires a well-drained, moist soil and a position in full sun or partial shade[
]. It grows very poorly or not at all on soils that have been exposed to fire[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 6.5[
A fast-growing tree, the plants start flowering after 2 - 3 years, and are uprooted and harvested after 8 - 12 years[
In commercial plantations, the trees are coppiced when about 6 years old[
Quinine, extracted from the bark of the tree, is used as a bitter flavouring in tonic waters, some liqueurs, carbonated drinks, baked goods, candy etc[
Red bark has a long history of native use, especially as a treatment for fevers and malaria. Modern research has shown it to be a very effective treatment for fevers, and especially as a treatment and preventative of malaria.
The bark contains various alkaloids, particularly quinine and quinidine. Up to 70 - 80% of the total alkaloids contained in the bark are quinine[
The bark is a bitter, astringent, tonic herb that lowers fevers, relaxes spasms, is antimalarial (the alkaloid quinine) and slows the heart (the alkaloid quinidine)[
The bark is made into various preparations, such as tablets, liquid extracts, tinctures and powders[
]. It is used internally in the treatment of malaria, neuralgia, muscle cramps and cardiac fibrillation[
]. It is an ingredient in various proprietary cold and influenza remedies[
]. The liquid extract is useful as a cure for drunkenness[
]. It is also used as a gargle to treat sore throats[
Care must be taken in the use of this herb since excess can cause a number of side effects including cinchonism, headache, rash, abdominal pain, deafness and blindness[
]. The herb, especially in the form of the extracted alkaloid quinine, is subject to legal restrictions in some countries[
The alkaloid quinine, extracted from the bark, is used in products like hair oils and shampoo, sun-tan oil, insecticides, as a vulcanizing agent in the rubber industry, and in the preparation of certain metals[
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