Malaria Treatment
Biological Activities And Clinical Research

Interestingly enough, natural quinine extracted from quinine bark and the use of natural bark tea and/or bark extracts are making a comeback in the management and treatment of malaria. Malaria strains have evolved which have developed a resistance to the synthesized quinine drugs. It was shown in early studies that an effective dose of natural quinine bark extract elicited the same antimalarial activity as an effective dose of the synthesized quinine drug. Scientists are now finding that these new strains of drug-resistant malaria can be treated effectively with natural quinine and/or quinine bark extracts. As evolving pathogens develop widespread resistance to our standard antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarial drugs, it is of little wonder that the use of the natural medicine in quinine bark is being revisited, even by such giants as the World Health Organization

The South American rainforests benefited from the income generated by harvesting cinchona bark for the extraction of this alkaloid from the bark for the manufacture of quinine drugs. In the middle of the 19th century, though, seeds of Cinchona calisaya and Cinchona pubescens were smuggled out of South America by the British and the Dutch. The calisaya species was planted and cultivated in Java by the Dutch and the pubescens species was cultivated in India and Ceylon by the British. However, the quinine content of these species was too low for high-grade, cost effective, commercial production of quinine. The Dutch then smuggled seeds of Cinchona ledgeriana out of Bolivia, paying $20 for a pound of seeds, and soon established extensive plantations of quinine-rich cinchona trees in Java. They quickly dominated the world production of quinine and, by 1918, the majority of the world's supply of quinine was under the total control of the Dutch "kina bureau" in Amsterdam.

Huge profits were reaped - but Bolivia and Peru, from whence the resource originated, saw none of it.


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