Benefits of Cinchona – Peruvian Bark

It has been written that genuine cinchona trees grow wild in So. America, principally in the region of Bogota, Peru, but some are now cultivated in Europe. Many varieties have been found, even one in Georgia and So. Carolina, which was aptly called Cinchona Caroliniana.

Although discovery has been ascribed to the Jesuits, the natives of Peru knew the febrifuge power of cinchona long before the civilized world became acquainted with it.

The Jesuits were sent to Peru as missionaries. It was during this period that tertain ague was a prevalent disorder. They administered an infusion of cinchona and soon ascertained its extraordinary powers.

The Countess of Chinchon, wife of the Spanish Viceroy of Peru, after being cured of fever with this bark, returned to Spain in 1640 and introduced the remedy into Europe. It was then sold by the Jesuits under the name of “Jesuit’s powder,” a name it long retained.

In France it was employed, with great success, in the treatment of intermittents under the name of “English powder.” During this period, the actual remedy was held a secret. In 1679 the secret preparation was sold to Louis XIV, by whom it was divulged.

It is from the BARK of the cinchona tree that quinine is derived. Taking quinine to excess has often resulted in buzzing in the ears and deafness. Quinine should only be taken under the supervision of a physician.

In using the BARK, however, in its natural state, it is most useful.

Types of Cinchona

The most popular types of Cinchona are as follows:

Cinchona Calisaya is the yellow bark.

Cinchona Officinalis is the pale bark.

Cinchona Succirrubra is the red bark.

The red and pale varieties are considered more astringent, but it is claimed that the yellow furnishes the most quinine in proportion to bulk.

In the treatment of intermittents, either the red or the yellow bark is decidedly preferable to the pale. The red is usually considered the most powerful. The pale is considered superior as a tonic.

All of these varieties are stimulating nervines.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

Health Benefits

Cinchona is considered as ranking at the very head of the tonics. But, besides the mere excitation of the ordinary functions of health, it produces other effects upon the system which must be considered peculiar and wholly independent of its mere tonic operation. The power by which, when administered in the intervals between the paroxysms of intermittent disorders, it breaks the chain of morbid association and interrupts the progress of the disease, is something more than what is usually understood by the tonic property; for no other substance belonging to the class, however powerful or permanent the excitement which it produces, exhibits a control over intermittents at all comparable to that of cinchona. From the possession both of the tonic, and of the anti-intermittent property, the bark is capable of being usefully applied in the treatment of a great number of diseases.

It is in the treating of intermittent diseases that the bark displays its most extraordinary powers. It was originally introduced to notice as. a remedy in fever and ague, and the reputation which it acquired at any early period, it has ever since retained. Very few cases of this disease will be found to resist the judicious use of the bark or some of its preparations.

Early employment in SMALL doses (1 or 2 oz.) is recommended, preferably diflFused in water or some aromatic infusion.

Experience has proven that its eflBcacy in the intermittents is often greatly promoted by mixing with powdered Virginia snake root.

The medium dose of bark as taken in intermittents is 1 drachm., to be repeated more or less according to circumstances. When taken as a tonic in chronic complaints, the dose is usually smaller, from 10 to 30 grains, being suflBcient to commence.

Cinchona includes in its range of influence, the entire nervous system; the sympathetic, the cerebral, spinal, and the peripheral as well as the central nerves.

Its tonic properties will be found effective in incontinence of urine.

For an excellent general tonic, boil 1 qt. of water with the following: ?2 oz. each Peruvian bark, gentian root, orange peel, columbo root, and Hqorice and about Vz t. cayenne for 15 min. Cool, strain, and take /2 C. ev. 3 hrs. during the day.

Spasmodic conditions arising from weakness may be quieted by cinchona.

Cinchona is employed with benefit in all morbid conditions of the system providing the stomach, liver, bowels, and circulation are functioning properly. If necessary, add anti-bilious or physic remedies to the cinchona dose.

Cinchona is also useful in low or typhoid fever, either with or minus inflammation or in the suppurative or gangrenous stage, in typhus gravior, malignant scarlatina, measles, and smallpox, in carbuncle and gangrenous erysipehs, and in all cases in which the system is exhausted under large purulent discharges.

As a tonic, the bark is advantageously employed in chronic diseases connected with debility; as for example, in scrofula, dropsy, passive hemorrhages, certain forms of dyspepsia, obstinate cutaneous affections, amenorrhea, chorea, hysteria; in fact, whenever a strengthening influence is desired. Particularly those of a neuralgic character, migraine and violent pains in the eye, face, and other parts of the body, occurring periodically, are often almost immediately relieved by the use of the bark.

When large doses are deemed necessary, fill the ears with lady’s slipper and lobeHa repeating at intervals as needed. It prevents the presence of the extreme tension upon the auditory nerves.

The simple infusion is made steeping 1 t. bark in 1 C. boiling water for 1/2 hr. Drink 1 C. during the day.

Peruvian bark can be freely used as a mouth wash and gargle.

Benefits of Balmony

Balmony, a native of North America, grows in the damp soils all over the U.S.

Its virtues are imparted to water or alcohol.

Where a torpid liver is involved, babnony is one of our finest tonics. By its influence, it arouses gastric and salivary secretions, and by its effect upon the biliary and fecal discharges and in cleansing the system of morbid secretions of bile, the whole assimilating organism is toned up, stimulating the appetite and toning the stomach. It may be freely used in atonic conditions. In dyspepsia, debility, chronic jaundice, and constipation, it is very useful. Where there is much depression, add balmony to alteratives.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

Combine with butternut in cases of constipation for better results. In dropsical conditions, with chronic hepatic and gastric torpor, combined with diuretics, the tonic properties of balmony will be extended in the direction of the kidneys.

Balmony has long been considered a certain remedy for worms in children and for stomach worms. An infusion of I oz. to 1 pint boiling water can be taken freely in wine-glass doses.

For irritated and itching piles, use an ointment made from fresh balmony leaves.

Benefits of Wood Sanicle (European)

An old Italian proverb says: “He who hath self-heal and sanicle needs no other physician.”

Wood sanicle is a native of England. The taste is bitter, astringent, and subsequently acrid with no odor.

It is an extremely useful remedy and extensively used in blood disorders. It is most effectual in cleansing the system of morbid secretions, thereby leaving the blood stream in a much better condition.

It is considered a specific for scurvy and excellent in scrofulous and catarrh conditions. Also excellent for ulcers in the mouth and throat, for which drink and gargle freely a decoction of 1 oz. to 1 pt. Use this also as a gargle in sore throat, quinsy, and to cleanse the throat of mucus.

In external ulcers and running sores, a wash will be useful.

It is also useful in leucorrhea, diarrhea and dysentery, and in inflammation of the bronchi and pulmonary troubles. This herb alone or combined with a little ginger, sweetened and taken in a strong decoction at the rate of 1 pint a day is used with splendid results in pulmonary consumption.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

In ulceration of the lungs and stomach, use the following: simmer 1 qt. water with 1 oz. sanicle and 1/2 oz. each marshmallow root and mullein herb for 5 min. Cover and allow to stand until warm. Strain and take from 4 to 8 T. every 3 hrs.

A hot infusion may be used to advantage in colds with fever, whether of the head or the respiratory organs, and in the fever stage of the eruptive disease, especially in measles.

In scald head, tetters, and other cases of rashes, either the infusion or the decoction used externally is one of the most effective remedies.

The infusion made of 1 oz. of the ROOT or herb to 1 pt. boiling water is taken in wine-glassful doses.

The American sanicle is Sanicula Marilandica.

Benefits of Santonica

Originating in Russia, santonica is called “Levant wormseed” in Europe.

The seeds or unexpanded flower buds are used. It has a very strong aromatic odor and a very bitter, disagreeable taste. It contains a volatile oil in which its virtues reside.

From early times, santonica has been used as a remedy for worms. The old Arabic doctor of medicine used it. It can be used for tape, round, or seat worms, especially for round or stomach worms. There seems to be a difference of opinion among herbalists as to which worms santonica would prove effective.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

The vermifuge action is due to the presence of santonine in the flowerheads. When extracted, it becomes a white crystal, almost tasteless, which is largely prescribed for children with worms. A dose of from 1 to 2 grains in 1 spoonful of water, given night and morning for 3 days and, if needed, followed by a cathartic, will frequently bring away the worms as a mass of mucus. Some take a cathartic in the morning after a dose of santonine at night, while others require no cathartic. It is a strong gastric tonic.

An injection made as follows is generally effective in a few days for pin worms: make a solution of 3 or 4 grains of santonine in water and inject once or twice daily.

Enuresis is sometimes caused by stomach or pin worms. Santonine will relieve this condition.

Santonine, in a few hours, might color the urine quite yellow.

Levant wormseed must not be confused with the proper (U.S.) wormseed (Chenopodium Anthelminticum).

Balm of Gilead Benefits

This tree is also known as the Carolina poplar and is used as a shade tree. The BUDS are gathered in the spring before they expand. They are balsamic, somewhat sticky, and exude a resinous substance of a fragrant odor, which, in medicinal properties, somewhat resembles the gum myrrh, with a bitterish, balsamic, and somewhat pungent taste. These buds must be soaked in alcohol to dissolve the resin before they can be used in an infusion, as water alone does not extract all their virtues.

While chiefly influencing the respiratory organs, they are slightly stimulating to the circulation. They have quite a reputation in helping old, long standing coughs, dry asthma, and pulmonic debility. They should NOT BE USED, however, in recent inflammatory conditions.

A useful tincture is made by bruising 2 oz, of the buds and steeping them in 1 quart of medicinal alcohol. This can be added to cough syrups, and is also good for bathing sores.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

An excellent healing ointment is made by boiling the buds in olive oil or leaf lard.

Balm of Gilead is considered the proper turpentine and of greater excellence for sores and ulcers.

The Bible Dictionary says of balm of Gilead: ”An odoriferous resin, highly esteemed in the East for its healing virtues. It was an article of commerce between the Jews and the Tyrians.”

Benefits of Jamacian Sarsaparilla

The native American sarsaparilla is called Smilax Sarsaparilla, It is claimed it does not possess the same properties as the imported.

The name “sarsaparilla” is expressive of the character of the plant, being derived from two Spanish words which signify a small thorny vine. It is called zarzaparilla by the natives. The Jamaica or red sarsaparilla is most commonly used in the U.S. and is considered superior to any of the other kinds.

It is said to derive that name from the Island of Jamaica, which is the channel of its exportation from Honduras to Europe. The reddish color of its epidermis is its chief peculiarity. Sarsaparilla, in its ordinary state, is nearly or quite inodorous, but in decoction it acquires a decided and peculiar smell. To the taste, it is mucilaginous and very slightly bitter and when chewed for some time produces a disagreeable acrid impression which remains long in the mouth and fauces. The ROOT is efficient in proportion as it possesses this acrimony. The bark is more powerful than the interior portions.

The virtues of the ROOT are communicated to water, cold or hot, but are impaired by long boiling. They are also extracted by diluted alcohol. It is an excellent blood purifier, but is rarely taken alone. It is useful in scrofulous cases, rheumatism and chronic rheumatism, gout, skin eruptions. In hot infusion, it gives an outward circulation of the blood. A beer made by fermenting an infusion with molasses is said to be a popular remedy in So. America.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

It is made as follows: 2# bruised sarsaparilla, powdered bark of guaiacum 8 oz., raspings of guaiac wood, anise seed and licorice root of each 4 oz., mezereon (bark of root) 2 oz., molasses 2# and 1 dz. bruised cloves. Pour on these ingredients 4 gal. boiling water and shake 3 times daily. When fermentation has well begun, it is fit for use. May be taken in a dose of a small tumblerful 2 or 3 times daily. The bark of guaiacum may be omitted without materially affecting the virtues of the preparation.

A good compound decoction of sarsaparilla is made as follows:

Jamaica sarsaparilla 4 oz., burdock rt. 1 oz., guaiacum chips 1 oz., Clivers 1 oz., fumitory 1 oz., licorice rt. 1 oz. Pour on 3×1/2 qts. water and simmer down to 2 qts. Strain and take % teacupful 3 or 4 times daily before meals. This is a good blood purifier.

For rheumatism, add to the above, when finished and cold, tincture prickly ash 1 oz. and tinct. queen’s delight 1/2 oz. Some add to each pint, 1/2 dr. iodide of potassium. Sarsaparilla may be taken in powder in dose of 1/2 dr. or a dr. 3 or 4 times daily, but it is more conveniently administered in the form of infusion, decoction, syrup, and FE.

Benefits of Senna

Senna grows wild in great abundance on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, in the vicinity of Tripoli. It is known commercially as “Tripoli senna,” receiving the name Tripoli from the place of export.

Senna was first used as a medicine by the Arabians. It was noticed in their writings as early as the 9th century, and the name itself is Arabic.

The odor is faint and sickly; the taste is slightly bitter, sweetish, and nauseous.

Water and alcohol extract its active principle. The ROOTS, LEAVES, and PODS are a prompt, stimulating cathartic, action being brought about in from 2 to 5 hours. While it does not produce the watery evacuations produced by epsom salts, it thoroughly influences peristaltic action. The addition of a little ginger, cloves, coriander seeds, or peppermint will prevent griping in the bowels. Small doses may be continued for some time without tiring the system. It is a prompt, efficient, and safe purgative, especially for fevers and febrile complaints and other cases in which a decided but not violent impression is desired.

An excellent anti-bilious physic is prepared as follows: all in powder, senna 2 oz., jalap 4 oz., ginger 1/4 oz. Mix. May be taken in a little water, either with or without sugar, or in capsule form or in a little jam. If a speedy action is desired, take a fairly large dose and rest. Good alvine action will result in from 2 to 3 hrs., relieving engorgement of the liver and gall ducts. Small doses taken every 3 hrs. will influence the liver more than the alvine canal.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

It stimulates and cleanses the alvine mucous membrane. It is useful in jaundice where the overflow is not from gallstones.

Eruptive diseases will follow a less virulent course and a more favorable termination if the bowels are thoroughly cleansed at the beginning.

In chronic or acute constipation, first take a dose sufficient to procure a complete evacuation, then take smaller doses, gradually decreasing the frequency and quantity. In the meantime, strive for habitual regularity. Can be given in suitable doses to infants.

The anti-bilious physic has been used in the treatment of remittents and intermittents with much success. It will also anticipate and prevent a chill and will frequently do it more permanently than quinine. Senna will prevent the necessity of taking so much quinine as would otherwise be required.

It is excellent to use after an anthelmintic.

For hemorrhoids, the compound should be taken in small doses every 3 hours.

The following can be used if a simple infusion is not strong enough; all in powder, equal parts of senna, mandrake, and cloves. Mix and take 1 or 2 dr. in honey, syrup, or jam, or it may be taken in capsules.

For the Abb

The senna PODS are an old-time remedy. Place 8 or 10 pods in a glass of lukewarm water and allow to soak about 12 hrs. Drink the whole liquid at night before retiring. A little ginger could be added.

A good preparation for children is made as follows: equal parts of senna, pennyroyal, and raspberry leaves.

Infuse and give as strong and as frequently as required. The following has been used with most satisfactory results for many years in cases of biliousness and constipation: about 25 rubbed senna leaves (1 t.), powdered ginger 1/4 t., sugar 1 t., a slice of lemon. Pour on 1 C. boiling water. Cover and drink the whole while warm, leaving the powder, of course. This makes a very pleasant drink and can be given to children as ginger wine. When combined with tonics, the effects of senna will be more powerful.

A good infusion is made of 2 oz. senna leaves, 1 dr. ginger in 1 pt. boiling water. Let stand 1 hr. Strain through muslin and take in wine-glassful doses.

The American senna is the Cassia Marilandica. It is often substituted for the European senna, but is less active, 1/3 larger dose must be used to obtain the same results.

Abbreviations and Measurements Units Used in Herbal Medicine

The general methods of preparing herbs are by infusion, decoction, or extraction. An infusion is made by steeping one teaspoonful of leaves or flowers in one cup of boiUng water for 5 to 10 minutes. A decoction is made by boiling the roots and/ or seeds in water for 15 to 20 minutes. The usual dose of either infusion or decoction is one or 2 cups taken daily, sipped slowly. The extract is prepared by a chemist (or pharmacist), and his directions should be followed.

The following is the list of abbreviations that we use in the relevant contents.

Abbreviations of Measurements:

1 t.—1 teaspoonful

1 T.—1 Tablespoonful

1 C.-l Cup

F.E.-Fluid Extract


Apothecaries Liquid Measurement Units

60 minims  – 1 fl. dram
8 fluid drams 1  fl. oz.
16 ” oz. -1 pt.
8 pts. -1 gal.
3 or 4 T. -1 Wine glassful

Apothecaries Weight Measurement Units

20 grains – 1 scruple

3 scruples – 1 dram

8 drams – 1 oz.

12 oz. – 1#approximately.

Benefits of Prickly Ash

Prickly ash is a native of Northern, Middle, and Western America. It should not be confused with the Southern prickly ash, properly called angelica tree (Aralia Spinosa).

The LEAVES and the CAPSULES have an aromatic odor resembling oil of lemon. The BARK is the official portion, boiling water and alcohol extract its medical virtues.

Chewing the bark is said to relieve toothaches, and, because of this, it is often called the “toothache tree.” The taste is warm, aromatic, and slightly bitter.

Prickly ash BARK induces a good, free capillary and arterial circulation, stimulates the stomach, the lymphatics, the serous and mucous membranes and, when chewed, die salivary glands, inducing a free flow of saliva. It is valuable wherever a stimulant is required, as when the skin and extremities are cold, and in many chronic conditions such as rheumatism, neuralgia, and paralysis.

It enjoys a considerable reputation as a remedy for chronic rheumatism. The dose of the powder is from 10 grains to 1/2 drachm, to be repeated 3 or 4 times daily. Or a decoction may be prepared by boiling an ounce of prickly ash bark in 3 pints of water down to 1 quart. One pint may be taken in divided doses during 24 hours.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

A good formula for rheumatism is as follows: prickly ash bark 1/2 oz., bog-bean and guaiacum chips each 1/2 oz., cayenne 1/3 t. Boil in 1/2 pints water for 15 minutes. Strain and take a wine-glassful 3 or 4 times daily.

If the hands and feet are cold as the result of a sluggish circulation, take a simple infusion of 1 t. bark in 1 C. boiling water, drinking 1 C. daily.

The powdered bark applied externally cleans and stimulates old wounds and indolent ulcers to a healthy tone.

The SEEDS or BERRIES are considered slightly more stimulating than the bark. The OIL is considered the best. Fill a bottle full of the berries and add non-poisonous alcohol. Allow to stand a week or more. Evaporate the alcohol and you have the oil.

Prickly ash acts slower than capsicum, but its effects are more permanent when taken in small and frequent doses.

Prickly ash bark is thought to resemble mezereum and guaiacum in its remedial action, and is taken for the same complaints.