Cinchona / Peruvian Bark

Cinchona officinalis

Cinchona comprises a genus of approximately 38 species belonging to the family Rubiaceae, which is indigenous to the tropical forests of the Andes in the western region of South America. There are healing plants that are distinguished as resources for quinine as well as different other compounds.

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Swedish botanist Carolus 'Carl' Linnaeus is responsible for the name of the genus. In 1742, he named the tree after Countess of Chinchón, the wife of a viceroy of Peru. In 1638, the native healers of Quechua introduced the remedial properties of the cinchona bark to the Countess. There are several stories related to the therapeutic attributes of the cinchona bark and these are possibly documented in journals which date back to as early as 1560s to 1570.

The cinchona is basically a large shrub or akin to small-sized trees having evergreen foliage. It grows up to a height of 5 meters to 15 meters (16 feet to 49 feet). The leaves of this plant appear opposite to each other and their shape vary from curved to lance-like and grow up to a length of 10 cm to 40 cm.

The flowers of cinchona have different hues - white, red or pink, and emerge in the terminal panicles. The fruits are small resembling capsules and enclose numerous seeds.

The bark of cinchona, a tree native to Peru, in South America forms the source of the homeopathic remedy China. The Jesuits carried the bark of this tree to Europe from South America in the 17th century. For homeopaths across the world, the bark of cinchona has great historical importance, as quinine obtained from it was the first homeopathic proving of the German physician Samuel Hahnemann.

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In 1790, Dr. Hahnemann made himself the subject of experimenting quinine and observed that it gave rise to symptoms that are comparable to those of malaria. Later, it became the standard homeopathic remedy for malaria. He used quinine to develop the homeopathic remedy China, which has eventually turned out to be a major cure for malarial symptoms as well as fatigue owing to loss of body fluid or prolonged ailment.

It is believed that the homeopathic remedy China works most excellently for individuals who are idealistic as well as artistic by nature. Regardless of the difficulties experienced by such people, they have a preference for important conversations rather than small talk. However, often their personal passion exhausts them resulting in lethargy, petulance, depression, intolerance or even violence.

Such people can get offended very easily and also feel obsessed and maltreated. They may also harbor the feeling that they have been unlucky since birth, a feeling that the entire world is antagonistic towards them. In some cases, their extremely active thoughts may cause an obsession with their future plans and become self-centered and have heroic fancies that may be reasons for their embarrassment afterward.

China is a useful homeopathic remedy for physical symptoms related to weakness of the digestive system and the liver and it generally includes a loathing for butter as well as other foods containing fats. On the other hand, the patient may have a longing for alcoholic beverages and spicy and sweet foods.

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China is prescribed for treating fatigue following a prolonged ailment or excessive loss of body fluids. It is also given to patients suffering from headaches, fever, gastric problems, and sleeplessness (insomnia).

It is worth mentioning here that China is among the most prominent as well as vital homeopathic remedies in the world of homeopathy. In effect, the fact that this medicine has been developed from quinine, the substance extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree - a native to Peru, is what makes it so important in the world of homeopathy.

Incidentally, quinine was the first discovery in the world of homeopathy, since it was experimented as well as discovered to reveal symptoms that were akin to those of malaria - and later it was prescribed for treating the same medical condition.

The homeopathic world changed eternally following the discovery of quinine and subsequent development of China. It also gave birth to a vital homeopathic remedy. It may be mentioned here that the homeopathic remedy China is prepared using the bark of cinchona, a Peruvian tree, and subsequently steeping it in alcohol for some time - no less than five days.

Then the solution is filtered, watered down and eventually succussed to develop this marvellous homeopathic remedy, which does not retain the slightest trace of the original plant material and is safe for use for treating malaria.

The homeopathic remedy China is very beneficial for individuals who have been suffering from various different types of health problems. Since the 17th century, the Jesuits had used the bark of the cinchona tree, also referred to as the Peruvian bark, to cure malaria as well as other ailments that result in hallucination and fevers.

Although more contemporary derivatives of quinine are available now, people in several parts of the world continue to use this bark in the form of a remedy for protection as well as to cure malaria.

Parts used

All of the plant is used, harvested in the flowering season.


China, as a homeopathic remedy, has numerous uses, but it is primarily employed to cure nervous fatigue arising from ailments that cause weakness, debility owing to breast-feeding and/ or any type of excessive loss of body fluids (dehydration), for instance, owing to perspiration, vomiting or diarrhea.

In addition, this homeopathic remedy is also effective for treating a number of other conditions, such as headaches which improve after applying firm pressure on the throbbing areas, but deteriorate when someone touches those places lightly like combing the hair; convulsions; neuralgia; tinnitus (a ringing sensation inside the ears); dizziness; nosebleeds; hemorrhages; and jerking muscles related to exhaustion.

The homeopathic remedy China is also prescribed to cure copious sweating, trembling and flushing accompanied with or without fever. When an individual sweats profusely, he/ she does not want to drink any fluid, but is thirsty and wants to drink when they are feeling chilly. In such cases, the complexion of the patients becomes shallow and yellowish, and the skin turns out to be extremely sensitive to even light touch.

China is also effective for treating symptoms associated with the mental symptoms, such as lack of concern and unresponsiveness, inability to concentrate, restlessness, and unusual angry flare-ups. Such people may even find it difficult to sleep and are usually restive even when they are sleeping.

It has been observed that people who require this homeopathic remedy most are those who are likely to have distended ankles, suffer from indigestion which is not eased even after burping and have a feeling as if some food has got stuck at the back of their breastbone.

Some of the more important case specific health conditions cured by China are discussed briefly below.


China is an appropriate homeopathic remedy for tremendous fatigue accompanied by feeble, tense muscles; debility owing to diseases; and extremely touchy to touch, sound and noises. Such exhaustion may be attributed to excessive loss of body fluid owing to severe vomiting, diarrhea and perhaps even breast-feeding.

The fatigue may also be owing to anemia, probably related to hemorrhages or profuse menstrual flow and/ or weakening diseases, for instance, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Digestive disorders

People, who are suffering from digestive problems, especially when they have a bloated feeling in the abdomen, may benefit by turning to the homeopathic remedy China. In such cases, it is difficult to expel the gas and it results in pain or the pain may even continue after the gas is let out. Such people may also experience bouts of copious runny, but painless diarrhea.

Their appetite is affected leading to intense desire for food at night or, alternately, may suffer from a total loss of appetite. However, the appetite is somewhat restored after they take a mouthful of food. They always have a bitter taste in their mouth arising from an uncomfortable stomach.

Besides these, the homeopathic remedy China may also be given to cure digestive symptoms resulting from gastroenteritis as well as problems related to the gallbladder.


China, as a homeopathic remedy, is most suitable to cure insomnia or sleeplessness owing to agitated imaginations as well as heroic fancies. People enduring this condition are disturbed even by the slightest noise, while their mind has a tendency to have extremely clear thought during the evening and at night.


This homeopathic remedy is effective for treating headaches that are accompanied with an excruciating pain that is likely to be related to liver problems, nosebleeds and, sometimes, also owing to facial neuralgia.


The homeopathic remedy China is an extract of the bark of cinchona, a tree native to Peru in South America. This tree is found growing in the wild in the tropical forest regions of the continent. Currently, cinchona is also cultivated in various countries of Asia, Africa and in India which have tropical climatic conditions.

This remedy is prepared by slicing the bark of cinchona tree and macerating it in alcohol. The resultant product is the mother tincture, which is used to treat a number of health conditions.


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