Quinine: 470 years of history, controversy and science development

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After 470 years, a history of development, international seed smuggling and scientific development that caused deep changes in our society, has reached an end. In 1638, the countess of Chinchón contracted a disease while in the Amazon rain forest and was healed by a potion used by the native inhabitants. In 1856, William H. Perkin while attempting to obtain synthetic quinine, discovered the mauveina, a molecule that changed the world. The synthesis of quinine was also the subject of a bitter controversy among two excellent scientists of the 20th century. During centuries, quinine was the only hope against malaria disease and its exploration almost extinguished the Cinchona tree.




De Oliveira, A. R. M., & Szczerbowski, D. (2009). Quinine: 470 years of history, controversy and science development. Quimica Nova, 32(7), 1971–1974. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0100-40422009000700048

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