Jesuit's bark; Peruvian bark; cinchona

A bark yielded by the cinchona tree, a native of South America and a genus of the evergreen tree belonging to the madder family. It is the source of five alkaloids, quinidine, cinchonine, cinchonidine, conquinamine, and, most important of all, quinine which is alleviative and preventative of fever, and an invaluable malaria antidote. To meet the demand for medicinal consumption extensive cinchona plantations are cultivated in South America, Java, India, Ceylon, and Burma. Known as Jesuit's bark because its value first became known by a Jesuit missionary in South America who was cured of malaria by a native's use of it. Knowledge of its medicinal-properties and use were extended throughout Europe by the Jesuits.

New Catholic Dictionary

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