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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Quinine

Quinine was one of the most effective medicines available to Civil War doctors. Quinine is a drug made from cinchona tree bark, whose active ingredient is the alkaloid “quinine.” Spanish missionaries observed its use in South America in the 1500’s.

 
It was used to treat fevers of all kinds but was especially useful in treating the chills and fever of malaria.
 
Powers and Weightman, a Philadelphia-based firm, was the nation's largest supplier of quinine during the war.
 
When quinine wasn't available, Confederate surgeons substituted turpentine.Turpentine was routinely prescribed for oral and topical use in America and Europe.

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