Vitamins and Herbal Treatments

Playing it safe with complementary medicines

Some 15 years ago, a Chinese herb, artemisinin, was identified as a possible treatment for malaria. Previously quinine, known as the bitter principle in tonic water, was one of the most widely used antimalarial treatments; and was the drug of choice well into the 1940s. Quinine occurs naturally in the bark of the cinchona tree, the medicinal properties of which were known in South America by at least the 17th century.

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