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Cinchona calisaya - Wedd.

Common Name Peruvian Bark, Quinine
Family Rubiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Care must be taken in the use of this herb since excess can cause a number of side effects including cinchonism, headache, rash, abdominal pain, deafness and blindness[ 238 ]. The herb, especially in the form of the extracted alkaloid quinine, is subject to legal restrictions in some countries[ 238 ].
Habitats Cool, humid, mountain regions[ 200 ]. Andean rainforests[ 418 ].
Range Western S. America - Bolivia, Peru.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cinchona calisaya Peruvian Bark, Quinine


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Cinchona calisaya Peruvian Bark, Quinine
https://edibleplants.org/

 

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Summary

Peruvian Bark or Cinchona calisaya is an evergreen shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall and is a known medicinal plant used as a treatment for fevers and malaria due to quinine contents from the bark. However, consumption in high dosage should be avoided as it can cause various side effects such as headache, rash, abdominal pain, deafness, cinchonism, and blindness.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Cinchona calisaya is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Cinchona ledgeriana (Howard.) Bern.Moens. ex Trimen. Cinchona officinalis Auct.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Inner bark
Edible Uses: Condiment  Drink

Quinine, extracted from the bark of the tree, is used as a bitter flavouring in tonic water and carbonated drinks[ 238 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antispasmodic  Astringent  Bitter  Febrifuge  Malaria  Mouthwash  Tonic

Peruvian bark has a long history of native use, especially as a treatment for fevers and malaria. Modern research has shown it to be a very effective treatment for fevers, and especially as a treatment and preventative of malaria. The bark contains various alkaloids, particularly quinine and quinidine. Up to 70 - 80% of the total alkaloids contained in the bark are quinine[ 418 ]. The bark is a bitter, astringent, tonic herb that lowers fevers, relaxes spasms, is antimalarial (the alkaloid quinine) and slows the heart (the alkaloid quinidine)[ 238 ]. The bark is made into various preparations, such as tablets, liquid extracts, tinctures and powders[ 238 ]. It is used internally in the treatment of malaria, neuralgia, muscle cramps and cardiac fibrillation[ 238 ]. It is an ingredient in various proprietary cold and influenza remedies[ 238 ]. The liquid extract is useful as a cure for drunkenness[ 418 ]. It is also used as a gargle to treat sore throats[ 238 ]. Large and too constant doses must be avoided, as they produce headache, giddiness and deafness[ 418 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Teeth

Other uses rating: Low (2/5). The powdered bark is often used in tooth-powders, owing to its astringency[ 418 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from 400 - 3,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 17 - 24°c, but can tolerate 7 - 28°c[ 418 ]. It can be killed by temperatures of 5°c or lower[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,400 - 3,800mm[ 418 ]. Requires a well-drained, moist soil and a position in full sun or partial shade[ 238 , 418 ]. It grows very poorly or not at all on soils that have been exposed to fire[ 418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 6.5[ 418 ]. Plants start flowering after 3 - 4 years, and are uprooted and harvested after 8 - 12 years[ 418 ]. In commercial plantations, the trees are coppiced when about 6 years old[ 238 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Seed - Nodal softwood cuttings[ 200 ]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a sandy soil[ 200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Peruvian Bark, Quinine or Cinchona calisaya

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Bolivia, Peru.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cinchona micranthaHuanncoTree8.0 10-12 MLMSNM242
Cinchona officinalisLojabarkTree8.0 10-12 MLMSNM252
Cinchona pubescensQuinine tree, Red Bark, Cinchona, Quina, Quinquina, Quinine Bark, Peruvian Bark, Jesuit's BarkTree15.0 10-12 FLMSNM252

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Wedd.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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