Friday, July 06, 2007

Cinchona Tree

This is the tree that we can thank for quinine, which most importantly was used to ward off malaria or cure those who had it. Today, it is thought to improve circulation and aid in digestion, and still used in hospitals today to help with circulation. The quinine is extracted from the bark of the Cinchona tree, and usually harvested at ten year intervals. It is also used in tonic water, which is used as a mixer for vodka and gin. This use is perceived to have proliferated in the 1800s with the British army in India improving the taste of quinine by adding an alcoholic beverage to it. Today, tonic water has been spoiled by high fructose corn syrup and other cheap ingredients. I'm looking for a tonic water without high fructose corn syrup. Anyone? Anyone?