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Cinchona bark

The cinchona tree (also cascarilla, hoja de lucma, quina) is a shrub native to Central America and South America. The name has nothing to do with China and probably comes from the Quechua word "kina-kina" = "bark of the barks". The alkaloids and bitter substances contained in the bark have a beneficial effect on gastric secretion and are therefore mainly used today as a remedy to stimulate the appetite and for digestive complaints. In the past, the quinine extracted from it was used as the most important medicine in the treatment of malaria. Products made from cinchona bark, such as spices or tea, have a characteristically extremely bitter taste. Cinchona bark spices are used in many refreshing (e.g. Schweppes tonic) and alcoholic drinks for flavouring. These are Bitter Soda, Bitter Vino, Byrrh, Marsala, as well as aperitif, liqueur (e.g. Lillet) and vermouth brands (e.g. Martini Chinato).

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