Molecule Advent Day 11: Quinine

“To Heal disease with the ingredients”

 

A very intriguing drug is the molecule of the day today, it comes from a tree and it glows! Can you guess what it is? Jonnie Jenkins has the answer below:

quinine

What is it?

This fluorescing stuff is Quinine! It is still isolated from the bark of Cinchona trees as and the chemical synthesis is too expensive.

History of Quinine

Before the 1500’s the Quechua people in South America used the bark for its medicinal properties and it was probably first used in Europe to treat malaria in 1631 .

Quinine and Malaria

Quinine was the most effective treatment for malaria up until  the 1940’s when more effective drugs like chloroquine came to market. Quinine is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

Glowing molecules

An exciting property of the conjugated election system of quinine is that it fluoresces highly efficiently under ultra violet (UV) light, perfect for some Christmas lighting!