Cinchona

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Cinchona
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Cinchona.pubescens02.jpg
Cinchona pubescnes


Cinchona pubescens - habit
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Gentianales
Family:Rubiaceae
Genus:Cinchona
Species

See text

Cinchona L., is the name of a genus in Rubiaceae family, large evergreens that can grow over 10 metres tall. There are over 40 species in the genus, many of which have spread from their South American center of origin to countries all over the world (especially India).

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Cinchona.pubescens01.jpg
Cinchona pubescens - flowers

The trees in this genus are the source of a variety of alkaloids, the most important of which is quinine, an anti-fever agent especially useful against malaria. The medicinally important part of the tree is the bark, which is stripped from the tree, dried and powdered. As a medicinal, cinchona bark is also known as Peruvian Bark.

The name of the genus is due to Linnaeus, who named the tree in 1742 after a countess of Chinchon, the wife of a viceroy of Peru, who, in 1638, was introduced by natives to the medicinal properties of the bark. Stories of the medicinal properties of this bark, however, are perhaps noted in journals as far back as the 1560s-1570s (see the Ortiz link below). By the 1630s (or 1640s, depending on the reference), the bark was being exported to Europe. In the late 1640s, the method of use of the bark was noted in the Schedula Romana, and in 1677 the use of the bark was noted in the London Pharmacopoeia.

See also

External links

Further reading

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Cinchona.pubescens03.jpg
Cinchona pubescens - fruit

Template:Commons Template:Commonsde:Chinarindenbäume pl:Chinowiec

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