Today I'm going to talk about quinine.
I've been fascinated by this chemical since reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. In that book, the whole family is taken down by a bad case of malaria (an infection caused by a mosquito-carrying parasite). If you ever want to know what it feels like to have malaria, check out the book. The description is pretty spot on.
Their infection is eventually cured by quinine, which is described as a bitter, white powder.
Where is it naturally found? Quinine is found in the bark of the Cinchona calisaya tree, which is native to Peru.
What's it used for now? Nowadays, many types of malaria are resistant to plain quinine. Other forms of quinine are used to treat Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
How can I impress a medical student? Tell them you know what cinchonism is! Cinchonism is caused by an overdose of quinine. Symptoms include ringing ears, flushing and sweating, confusion, dizziness, and nausea and vomiting. Large doses can cause death.
But what about my tonic water! I love my tonic water! And so do I. Tonic water contains small amounts of quinine, which gives it that slight bitter flavor. Drinking normal amounts won't cause cinchonism.
But will it cure my leg cramps? Quinine has been thought to help with leg cramps, but it is no longer FDA approved for this treatment. Sorry!
How can I use quinine in a party trick? Quinine glows under a black light. (It' doesn't glow in the dark, sorry!) Check it out!
So there you go. Quinine! Party drink! Fish-saver! Malaria killer! And great for party tricks!
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All I ask is that you become a follower and post a link on your blog when I post your answer. This is for fictional scenarios, only. Please check out the boring but necessary disclaimer on my sidebar --> Also, don't forget to stop by Laura Diamond's Mental Health Mondays and Sarah Fine's The Strangest Situation for great psychiatric and psychological viewpoints on all things literary. :)
Oh! One last quick note. Please stop by Literary Rambles today. Matthew McNish's (of QQQE fame) daughter Mady is being interviewed for Ask The Expert. Please show your support! Thank you!
I lied! Another quick note. Sheri Larsen snagged an agent, yay! She's having HUMONGOUS giveaway (and I'm donating a sterling silver and onyx necklace to celebrate!) Please check it out at her blog!