Cinchona (Peruvian Bark)
Posted by P. Bingham on September 01, 1998 at 20:43:57:
In response to fevers, written by P. Bingham on August 29, 1998 at 22:17:54
There is another treatment for fevers which a doctor always carried in his medicine bag, cinchona officinalis (Peruvian Bark). But it was generally for severe fever conditions, especially and most renowned for malaria. It could be used in all fevers but was not a specific treatment (I mean that it was not used specifically for bringing a temperature down) but as part of a wider treatment as a bitter. Bitters (herbs that taste bitter) stimulate the digestive system through a reflex set off by the taste buds, which in turn would aid the whole process of the body healing itself. The main ingredient in cinchona (which in this day was also called bark) is quinine and quinidine which were bitters. This drug, along with stimulating the digestive system, also relaxed the heart. A patient with a fever from a common cold or perhaps an infection would probably not be treated with cinchona. And I don't believe it was an item the housekeeper would have in her medicines.
- Peruvian Bark Caroline 12:59:10 9/02/98 (4)
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