Cinchona in the British Empire


    THE value of the cinchona tree (Cinchona Ledgeriana) as a source of quinine is common knowledge, but the considerable work undertaken by British medical officers in the past in making use of the product of this tree as a preventive against malaria is not so well known. The cinchona tree was introduced into both India and Java between the years 1854 and 1864. Prior to about 1880, the world's supply of cinchora bark was obtained from the native forests in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. It was only after the export of bark from these regions could no longer be relied upon that attempts were made to grow cinchona elsewhere. The British were amongst the first to succeed in bringing the tree under cultivation. The pioneers were such men as Weddell, Hasskarl, Markham, Ledger, and others, and it was by their efforts that the establishment of important supplies of the drug became a practical proposition.

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    Cinchona in the British Empire. Nature 124, 881–882 (1929).

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