Quinine: Effects And Application Of The Bitter Substance

What does quinine do in the body? The active ingredient quinine occurs naturally in the cinchona tree’s bark and uses as a drug and bitter substance. It reduces fever, muscle cramps, and malaria.

The active ingredient generally tolerates very well. In rare cases, however, significant side effects occur. 

Here you can read all the essential information on the question What is quinine? Its use and side effects.

What is quinine?

Quinine is a bitter substance that we may add to spirits and soft drinks. Some people, such as pregnant women or people with muscle weakness, should avoid such beverages.

Quinine occurs naturally in the bark of the South American cinchona tree and belongs to the group of so-called alkaloids. Isolated, it is a white, crystalline powder with a very bitter taste.

As a flavoring agent, it may add to non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages in quantities of up to 100 milligrams per liter. For spirits, doses of up to 250 milligrams per liter are permitted. 

For example, the soft drink with the highest quinine content, tonic water, contains an average of about 60 milligrams of quinine per liter. Bitter Lemon values average 30 milligrams of quinine per liter.

Quinine and its effects

The bitter substance quinine has various effects on multiple places and occurring complaints in our body.

Concerning muscle pain or tension, it ensures that the muscles relax for a more extended time. In addition, it improves the distribution of calcium in the muscles.

If an intense fever or general pain develops, the bitter substance also counteracts this. It has been used for these purposes as a medicine for a hundred years.

Until the 1940s, it was the only remedy for malaria. Even today, it uses in the form of an injection solution in the treatment of severe cases of malaria. 

It uses for pregnant women who have an infection with a tropical disease. 

Application of the bitter substance

Surely you ask yourself the question, in which way the treatment with quinine is in use?

In most cases, quinine application uses by taking tablets in case of low muscle tension. The recommendation is a tablet of 200 milligrams. If severe pain occurs, affected persons should take two of the tablets.

Intravenous therapy takes place in malaria cases, according to the severity of the infection. A physician can only help this malaria infection therapy. 

Side effects of quinine

Most patients who treat with quinine tolerate it well. Of course, there are cases in which patients have side effects.

If side effects occur, they usually only happen at very high doses or during therapy over a more extended time. Finish in a quinine treatment, the majority of these side effects disappear.

Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, tinnitus, or impaired vision. In addition, those affected complain of skin rashes, heart problems, low blood pressure, kidney damage, or general hypersensitivity. 


How harmful is quinine?

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment names various risk groups and advises them against consuming beverages containing quinine. Including pregnant women, the damage to the fetus, people with tinnitus, hemolytic anemia (anemia), or damage to the optic nerve doesn’t rule out.

What is quinine in tonic?

In tonic, add of sugar sometimes occurs according to taste fruit acids. The higher the content of quinine, the more bitter the taste.

Why is quinine in beverages?

Today, quinine adds a flavoring component to bitter spirits and some non-alcoholic soft drinks, such as tonic water and the fruit-juice-based sodas bitter orange and bitter Lemon, because of its strong bitter taste.

How healthy is tonic water?

Is tonic water healthy? Due to the lower quinine content, tonic water is safe for healthy people as long as they consume it in average amounts of one liter or less.

How much quinine is in Schweppes?

There is 34 mg of quinine per liter in “Bitter Lemon.” Bitter Lemon, like tonic water, was once used by colonial powers to prevent malaria.

How healthy is gin?

Especially juniper berries provide a strengthening of our immune system. In addition, gin is relatively low in calories: 1cl contains about 23 calories. Gin is also good for the skin, as it is rich in anti-oxidants and neutralizes free radicals, which, among other things, promote rapid aging of the skin.

Is Limptar N dangerous?

There are threatening disruptive effects of the alkaloid. In addition to cardiac arrhythmias, tinnitus, hearing and visual disturbances, potentially fatal immune-allergic thrombocytopenias, and hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Are beverages containing quinine healthy?

High consumption of beverages containing quinine is not entirely harmless to health. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment suggests that pregnant women, in particular, avoid quinine-containing drinks such as tonic water altogether so as not to harm the child.

Is bitter Lemon harmful to health?

Drinks containing quinine are popular thirst quenchers in the summer. Some patients should take care against “Bitter Lemon” because alkaloid quinine uses to treat malaria and nighttime calf cramps.

How does quinine in Bitter Lemon work?

Quinine used in pharmacy as a sulfate, quinine acts directly at the junctions of nerves and muscle fibers, which can be used therapeutically for muscle cramps. This mode of action was recognized as early as 1939 by the American Dr. A. McGehee Harvey.

What is quinine contained in?

Because of its strong bitter taste, quinine adds a flavoring component to non-alcoholic soft drinks such as tonic water and the fruit juice-containing lemonades bitter orange and bitter lemon, among others. It is also getting found in some bitter spirits.

Why not take quinine during pregnancy?

Quinine originates from the bark of the cinchona tree, and it is used in medicine to treat malaria and night cramps in the calves. Pregnancy is considered a contraindication, and the flavoring is getting deemed to induce mildly and, in high doses, can affect the health of both mother and child.

Is quinine in gin?

Whether mixed with gin or neat with Lemon – tonic water has made a name for itself worldwide with its slightly bitter note. The flavor component quinine gives the refreshing drink its taste.

Is tonic water the same as bitter Lemon?

Bitter Lemon is very similar to tonic water. Like a tonic, it contains the quinine responsible for the bitter taste. However, in contrast to tonic water, lemonade, lemon juice, or aroma is added to bitter Lemon.


If you want to drink a glass of tonic water, then treat yourself to the drink. However, dont overdo it because of the quinine it contains. If you prefer to do without it, go for a delicious alcohol-free and quinine-free cocktail. There are plenty of alternatives.


Last Updated on 14/03/2022 by Buzz This Viral