Discovered to be a great fever reducer, Quinine was first extracted by Quechua Indians of Peru from the bark of cinchona trees to help reduce fevers. They would grind the bark and mix it with water to offset the bitterness of the bark, thereby creating the first tonic water. Jesuit missionaries first arrived in the New World in the early 17th century, and were introduced to the bark and it’s anti-fever properties. The bark became known as the Peruvian bark, and the tree was named Cinchona after the wife of the Viceroy of Peru, the Countess of Chinchón, who was cured of her fever after being treated by the curative properties of the bark. Having seen the anti-fever properties of the Peruvian bark, Jesuit missionaries returned to Europe and introduced the Peruvian bark as an anti-fever compound in the late 17th century. The bark was dried and ground up to a fine powder, and then mixed into a liquid for use. With malaria ravaging Europe, it quickly became one of the most valuable commodities shipped from Peru to Europe as a treatment against malaria, creating a high demand for the cinchona tree. This gave rise to a Spanish-controlled monopoly that dominated the sought after resource and led to the gradual decrease and overharvesting of the natural cinchona forest. Quinine remained elusive until the early 1800s when French Chemist sought the active compound that reduced fevers. In 1820, French pharmacists, Pierre-Joseph Pelletier and Joseph-Bienaimé isolated and extracted the alkaloid, quinine, naming it after the Inca word for the cinchona bark, Quechua.As Europe expanded and colonized into malaria-infested regions, so did the demand for quinine. In order to maintain their monopoly, Peru outlawed the exportation of cinchona seeds and saplings with little avail, as the Dutch cultivated plantations from smuggled seeds, resulted in approximately 97% of the world’s quinine production.During World War II, the allies were cut off from their supply of quinine when the Germans invaded the Netherlands and the Japanese occupied the Philippines and Indonesia. Due to the allies fighting in malaria-infested territory and limited availability of quinine, American scientists eagerly worked to synthetically create quinine. In desperation, the United States opened cinchona plantations in Costa Rica, but were unable to harvest in time leading to thousands of lost American lives due to malaria. Quinine was the anti-malarial of choice up the 1940s in which better anti-malarial were developed. As of 2004, it has been replaced as the primary modality of dealing with malaria according to WHO, but is still used to some in impoverished regions to some extent. To this day, quinine is most profitably harvested from the cinchona tree for the food industry, despite advances in synthesis of quinine, however synthetic quinine and analogues are used ly as they are more effective and have fewer side effects than quinine. In some cases, quinine has been shown to alleviate muscle cramps. Quinine’s biological mechanism of action is still unknown; however the model of a closely related anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine, may provide insight. In treating malaria, once chloroquine is ingested, it accumulates and is trapped in patient’s parasitic red blood cell. The heme molecule, under parasitic influence, causes the heme in the blood cells to crystallize leading to the eventual destruction and propagation of the disease. Chloroquine instead, binds to the excess heme forming a toxic complex that will destroy the cell and the parasitic infection. Ingredients: Water, Phosphoric acid, Ethyl Alcohol, contains Quinine, Natural and Flavors.