Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn


  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_2638-2


English: quinine. French: chinine.

This compound is present in the bark of a group of trees that originally was restricted to South America. Especially species of the genus Cinchona (Family Rubiaceae) were rich in this compound, reaching up to 15 % of the total weight of the bark. Today, such trees are cultivated also in other warm countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, or the Congo region, obtaining up to 500 t of pure extracts from barks, although the chemical synthesis is used since long.

According to fairy tales, the efficacy of the bark powder of the plant Cinchona pubescensto treat malaria was first observed when in 1638 an Inca (Quechua) servant from South America gave this powder to the sick countess of Chinchon – the wife of the vice-king of the Spanish colonies and – cured her from malaria. Since at this time it was dangerous to be involved in “dark and potentially diabolic powers,” she confessed this miraculous cure to her priest, who belonged to the monks of the...
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  1. Rabe P (1932) Über die Reduktion der China-Ketone zu China-Alkoholen und ﺰber die sterische Umlagerung von China-Alkaloiden. Stereochemische Forschungen. Justus Liebig Ann Chem 492: 242–266 (published after patent was granted)Google Scholar
  2. Uskokovic MR, Gutzwiller J, Henderson T (1970) Total synthesis of quinine and quinidine. J Am Chem Soc 92:203–204CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Woodward RB, von Doering WE (1944) Total synthesis of quinine. J Am Chem Soc 66:849–859Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Bayer AG (1988) Milestones. Bayer, Leverkusen. ISBN 3-921349-48-6Google Scholar
  2. Gulliermond V (1857) Ueber die gelbe Chinarinde. Pharm Centralbl 1857:508–510Google Scholar
  3. Jensen J, Mehlhorn H (2010) 75 years Resochin® in the fight against malaria. Düsseldorf University Press, DüsseldorfGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und Parasitologie Universitätsstraße 1DüsseldorfGermany