Coronavirus & Quinine

The eyes of the world are on the story of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

We closely follow news how it is spreading ,who it is affecting, and how it may be stopped. In the United States, the official “15 Days to Stop the Spread” initiative was extended to April 30, 2020, as reported by President Donald J. Trump at his daily briefing on March 29. The program contains a series of common sense actions which all Americans are asked to embrace. These include remaining at home whenever possible, staying at least 6 feet away from any other person when out in public, and practicing strict hygiene habits such as washing hands frequently and not touching your face or public surfaces. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are discouraged, and the closing of bars, restaurants, and even place of worship is commonplace in this fight.

quinine

The rapid spread of the virus worldwide caused a significant amount of panic in its earlier stages, but there are increasing signs of hope and progress every day. One of the more promising developments includes that of the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug which appears to be very effective when treating COVID-19 patients. Although there are some conflicting opinions, anecdotal evidence from physicians who are currently utilizing the drug with great success are making the rounds on social media.

As of this writing on March 30, the FDA  has issued an emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine to be utilized in the treatment of COVID-19.

Read more at the official U.S. COVID-19 website.

What is Quinine?

As stated, quinine and derivatives have been used to treat malaria for centuries. both as a cure and a preventative. It was famously utilized by the British troops in the 1800s to stave off the disease.

Quinine is sourced from the bark of the Cinchona “fever tree”. It is quite bitter, and so was often mixed with fruit, water and sugar to make it more palatable, creating health tonic the soldiers too every day. With their officer’s permission, the troops added gin to their daily tonic, and a popular drink was born. And although medicines and treatments have advanced over the years, the base for malaria drugs is still quinine.

The hydroxychloroquine drug Plaquenil is in the news this week. Plaquenil and other similar drugs have not only been used for years  to successfully fight malaria, but also lupus and arthritis. Given the drug’s long history, the safety of its use is not in question – simply its effectiveness against this new disease. But as stated, more reports are pouring in of the success rates. President Trump and his COVID-19 task force are expected to reveal the results of the use of hydroxychloroquine on 1,100 NYC patients who were administered the treatment this past week in their daily beefing on Tuesday, March 31.

Hydroxychloroquine drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry have a very similar chemical signature as simple quinine. This would beg the question – can one simply stock up on tonic water in order to stay healthy? While there are no official studies and no research as to how much quinine would need to be ingested to be helpful, many have decided to drink tonic water as a preventative method. Should you decide to add quinine water to your diet, however, be sure to find authentic, natural quinine water – not the synthesized version on most grocery shelves.

It is important to point out that we are not providing a medical recommendation. Those who are showing any signs or symptoms of the coronavirus are urged to speak with their medical practitioner immediately or to go to a testing center as soon as possible. All people in the Sarasota and Tampa area are urged to follow the guidelines set out by the government and to monitor their health closely.

Although the data is still being collected, hydroxychloroquine is offering great hope and promise to a nation and world looking for answers. From our Big Earth Landscape Supply family, we wish you and your family good health.