Herb: Chinese Quinine


Latin name: Dichroa febrifuga


Family: Hydrangeaceae



Medicinal use of Chinese Quinine:

This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The leaves are purgative. They are used in the treatment of stomach cancer. The juice of the leaves is used in Nepal to treat coughs, colds and bronchitis. A decoction of the stem bark is used in the treatment of fevers. a decoction of the leaves is used to treat malarial fever. The root is emetic, expectorant, febrifuge and purgative. The juice of the root is used in Nepal to treat fevers and indigestion. This plant is 26 times more powerful than quinine in the treatment of malaria but causes vomiting. Substances in the plant are 100 times more powerful than quinine, but they are poisonous.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Shrubberies and damp places, often gregarious in clearings of oak forests, 900 - 2400 metres, from C. Nepal to China.

Other uses of Chinese Quinine:

The wood is used as a fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in spring and only just covering it. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings. No details are given, we suggest trying in August with almost ripe wood in a frame.

Cultivation of Chinese Quinine:

Shrubberies and damp places, often gregarious in clearings of oak forests, 900 - 2400 metres, from C. Nepal to China.

Known hazards of Dichroa febrifuga:

One report says that the plant is toxic but gives no more details.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.