The very first proven by homeopathy founder, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. In fact, cinchona would help lay the foundation for homeopathy as a whole.
Hahnemann first developed cinchona as a key treatment for malarial symptoms and exhaustion due to fluid loss. If it wasn’t for cinchona, homeopathy may not be where it is today.
It was later discovered that cinchona would help treat digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, depression, and bleeding disorders. Read on to learn more about the history of homeopathic cinchona, and its many health benefits and uses.
What Is Peruvian Bark?
Homeopathic cinchona is made from bark of the Peruvian cinchona tree, which was taken from South America to Europe by Jesuits in the seventeenth century. Homeopathic cinchona is also often called china. Cinchona, or quinine bark, is native to South American rainforests like the Amazon. It will grow 15 to 20 meters tall, and produce white, yellow, or pink flowers.
The cinchona tree is also found at the northern part of the Andes, and is now widely cultivated throughout many tropical countries.
The name cinchona comes from Countess of Chinchón Ana de Osorio, the wife of a Peruvian viceroy who was reportedly cured of malaria after using cinchona tree bark in 1638.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is typically transmitted through infected mosquitoes carrying the Plasmodium parasite that is released into your bloodstream when the mosquito bites you.
According to legend, Osorio introduced Peruvian bark as medicine in 1640, even before botanists identified and named the tree species. Physicians gave credit to Peruvian bark as a malaria drug in the British Pharmacopoeia in 1677.
Throughout the mid-1600s to mid-1800s, cinchona bark was a primary malaria treatment, and was also used for indigestion, fever, cancer, and mouth and throat diseases. An alkaloid chemical in the plant called quinidine was discovered to produce beneficial cardiac effects.
Other chemicals found in cinchona include
- cincholic acid
- cinchofulvic acid
- caffeic acid
- cinchotannic acid
- quinic acid
- quinovic acid
Later in Spain, the Jesuits would use cinchona bark, and it later became known as Jesuit’s powder. In 1737, when cinchona bark was finally classified, botanists continued to name it after the countess due to her contribution to the tree bark’s history.
History of Homeopathic Cinchona
It is quite the interesting story how cinchona became the foundation for homeopathy. It began when Dr. Hahnemann translated the book A Treatise on Materia Medica by a Scottish physician named William Cullen, from English into German.
At the time, Hahnemann had been translating the widely regarded malaria drug made from cinchona. An isolated alkaloid chemical in the tree bark called quinine is thought to be responsible for the bark’s most effective antimalarial properties.
Hahnemann would ingest large doses of the cinchona drug for a number of days in 1790. He began to notice malaria-like symptoms.
For instance, he became drowsy, his pulse quickened, he experienced trembling in all his limbs, his cheeks appeared red, his heart palpitated, and his feet and fingertips later become cold. The symptoms would only last a few hours, but they happened every time he repeated the dosage.
Hahnemann found that when cinchona was given to a healthy person, it would produce symptoms similar to malaria. In other words, it would cause the same symptoms it was thought to cure.
Homeopathic cinchona is the basis for the homeopathic principle that “like cure like.” This is where substances like cinchona that cause symptoms of a disease in healthy people would also treat symptoms during sickness. Cinchona was the first remedy to prove this theory.
In 1798, Dr. Hahnemann went public with is new ideas on medical assessment and cure, eight years after self-proving the remedy cinchona.
In 1805, Dr. Hahnemann then published his first collection of remedy experiments in Fragments on the Positive Powers of Drugs. It was later described as the first effort toward the reconstruction of Hahnemann’s Materia Medica.
Homeopathic Cinchona Uses
As mentioned, Hahnemann established cinchona as a homeopathic remedy, and it has since been a go-to remedy for malarial symptoms, including headaches, high fever, profuse sweating, fatigue, anemia, diarrhea, vomiting, and moderate to severe shaking shills.
In a study published in the Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine in 2013, researchers found that a combination of Cinchona officinalis 30 and chelidonium 30 displayed significant antimalarial potential against the lethal rodent malaria parasite called Plasmodium berghei.
The homeopathic combination exhibited complete parasite clearance after the 28th day of treatment. The combination would also display significant preventative activity with 89.2% chemo-suppression, which was higher than the standard antimalarial drug pyrimethamine activity of 83.8%.
Additionally, there was complete clearance of parasites in 50% of the surviving mice with an increase in the survival time of the mice.
What are some other uses of homeopathic cinchona? It is thought to work best for artistic and idealistic types of people. Despite having problems articulating their feelings, they prefer meaningful conservations rather than trivial talk.
The person’s own intensity will exhaust them, and cause laziness, irritability, violence, intolerance, or depression. Easily offended, they may feel paranoid and mistreated, or that the world is hostile toward them. A highly active imagination can lead to being preoccupied with future plans and heroic an egocentric fantasies that later cause embarrassment.
Physical symptoms may be linked with weakness in the liver and digestive system, and a general dislike for butter and other fatty foods.
There are also cravings for alcohol, and spicy and sweet foods. Cinchona is also used for digestive disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, depression, and bleeding disorders. It is also used for influenza, swine flu, the common cold, spenomagaly, gout, myalgia and neuralgia, asthma, cholecystitis, kidney function, and anemia.
It is also used for throbbing headaches related to liver disorders, and facial neuralgia. The following is further synopsis regarding the key health benefits of cinchona.
5 Potential Health Benefits of Homeopathic Cinchona
1. Digestive Disorders
Homeopathic cinchona is used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) when weakness has resulted from excessive fluid loss. The remedy is also used for several IBS symptoms, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn. The heartburn will often accompany burping and the sensation that food is stuck behind the breastbone.
The person may experience attacks of watery, profuse, and painless diarrhea. Symptoms will improve from fasting, loose clothing, and pressure; however, they will worsen from touch, jarring, and on alternate days.
Cinchona is also used to treat other digestive relative problems, including inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers, gastritis, parasites, gastroenteritis, motion sickness, food poisoning, and liver and gallbladder disorders.
2. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Cinchona is also used for extreme exhaustion that leaves the muscles feeling very weak. This type of fatigue can result from anemia, blood loss or heavy menstrual flow, or extensive fluid loss caused from diarrhea, severe vomiting, or breastfeeding.
As a result, cinchona is a popular remedy for the debilitating illness known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Lying down will often improve symptoms; however, symptoms worsen from walking, touch, or noise.
Homeopathic cinchona is used for sleeplessness caused by fantasies or excited thoughts. The person will tend to wake up from the slightest noise at night, and overall they have irregular sleeping patterns.
The person’s mind will tend to be very clear during the night. The symptoms will often worsen from cold and drafts, but they will improve from warmth.
About 10% of Americans experience depressive symptoms severe enough for treatment. Cinchona is often used to treat low spirits from neuralgic pain or after menstruation. The person that requires cinchona feels they want to destroy themselves, but they lack courage. They are also low-spirited, gloomy, have no desire to live, and they experience inconsolable anxiety to the point of suicide.
5. Bleeding Disorders
Cinchona is also a popular homeopathic remedy for bleeding conditions, such as nosebleeds, and bleeding from the mouth, rectum, ears, and internal organs. It is also used for heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia) with nervous excitement.
The person may also feel exhausted after blood loss and experience weakness, dizziness, fainting, and tinnitus. The physical symptoms associated with cinchona for heavy periods also include abdominal cramps, pale face, intermittent bleeding, dark clotting blood flow, and headaches.
The person is also irritable, oversensitive, and experiences depression and moodiness. The remedy is also used for blood vessel disorders, such as varicose veins, leg cramps, and hemorrhoids.
Final Thoughts on Cinchona
Homeopathic cinchona can be purchased at most health food stores, and is found in the supplement section. It comes in liquid or pellet form. It is best to consult a qualified homeopath to help determine whether cinchona is best for you based on your physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. Always contact your homeopath when symptoms worsen or fail to improve when using cinchona. For chronic or persistent symptoms, a different dosage protocol may be required for the best results.
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