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See also: Cinchona


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From New Latin cinchona, from Spanish Chinchón. Named by Linnaeus after Ana de Osorio, the 4th Countess of Chinchón and wife of the Spanish Viceroy of Peru, who was cured of a fever by the bark.



cinchona (plural cinchonas)

  1. A tree or shrub of the genus Cinchona, native to the Andes in South America but since widely cultivated in Indonesia and India as well for its medicinal bark.
    • 2001, Leslie Iversen, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2001, p. 8)
      German chemists were the first to isolate pure drug chemicals from herbal medicines, with the isolation of morphine from crude opium in 1803 and quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree in 1820.
  2. The bark of these plants, which yield quinine and other alkaloids useful in reducing fevers and particularly in combatting malaria.
  3. (medicine) Any medicine chiefly composed of the prepared bark of these plants.


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