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Mil Med. 2007 Jun;172(6):650-5.

Quinine substitutes in the confederate army.

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Publications and Drug Information Systems Office, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


During the Civil War, the unreliable supply and high cost of quinine forced the Confederate Army to use alternative treatments for malaria. Many quinine substitutes were mentioned in the literature of the time, but relatively few were advocated by Confederate officials and even fewer are described in surviving records. Medical supply officers often issued substitute remedies when quinine was requisitioned. Most alternative treatments were made from indigenous plants such as dogwood, willow (a constituent of which gave rise to aspirin), and tulip tree. High hopes were held for Georgia bark, which was thought to be closely related to cinchona, from which quinine was derived. Documentation of the effectiveness of quinine substitutes is scanty but is most plentiful for the external application of turpentine. The quinine substitutes were generally considered useful but not as effective as quinine. The Confederate Surgeon General's Office was active in seeking out and supplying troops with quinine substitutes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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