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European Colonists Gin Drinking


Why do European colonists like to drink gin? 

Because the wine contains quinine for malaria: After the discovery of the New World by Columbus, the Europeans began the colonization process, and the footprint of the hunter appeared on land that had never been involved before. One of the most important discoveries was a bark called Chinchona in the jungles of Bolivia and western Peru. Quechua indigenous people drink this bark tea to prevent malaria. 
Gin Drinking by Europeans
The Spanish conquerors quickly took the bark as their own. An Augustin monk wrote in 1633: "They called this tree an" antipyretic tree. "The bark is cinnamon-colored and ground into powder. Afterwards, the weight of about two silver coins was dissolved in water and used to treat fever and daytime fever. "
European Colonists Gin Drinking

Cinchona bark

In the 15th century, intersexual fever refers to recurrent recurrent fever, with body temperature rising and falling. This is the most common symptom of malaria. After getting malaria, the body temperature will rise and fall because the malaria parasite replicates itself in the host's red blood cells.

After a round of replication ends, the red blood cells rupture, and all parasites rush out of the cells to attack new cells at the same time. When chemical fragments that rupture cells enter the blood circulation, they cause fever (debris is a toxic substance produced during the degradation of hemoglobin).

When the parasite invades new cells, the symptoms of high fever ease, and a new round of infection begins. It is rumored that cinchona bark cured malaria of the Countess Anna del Chinchón in 1638, the wife of the then Governor of Peru.

"The father of contemporary taxonomy" Cal Linnaeus named this quinine-producing plant as Cinchona, in honor of the Governor's wife, because he believed the Governor's wife was the first European to be cured by Cinchona. After the miraculous recovery of the governor's wife, cinchona was introduced to Spain as a medicine for malaria in 1639. For a long time, everyone called this bark "Countess powder".

The governor did bring a lot of cinchona back to Spain, but whether his wife has ever had malaria and has not taken cinchona can not confirm, it may just be a marketing strategy devised by the governor in order to hurry the mountain of cinchona sell away. Jesuit missionaries in South America soon became European importers and distributors of Cinchona, which also became the most valuable commodity brought back from Peru to the old world. Yet this new world drug is not without controversy. At that time, traditional doctors, also known as dogmatism, did not believe in the efficacy of this bark, because it was not consistent with the "four body fluid theories" of the ancient Greek doctor Galen. According to Galin's theory, Malaria (ie, forced excretion) should be treated by purifying the intestines.

Empirical doctors believe that medical treatment should be improved through observation and experimentation. They oppose dogmatic doctors. This controversy has swept Europe for decades, and support for and opposition to tree bark continues.

Many rivers, lakes, and villagers have used this uncertainty to profit, most notably the British pharmacist Robert Talbor. Talbol has come up with his own malaria treatment. In 1672, he published a book entitled "Pyretologia: A Rational Accout of the Cause and Cure of Agues", which looked like a scientific work, but actually a marketing book Manual to sell your own medicine.

Showing European Colonists Penchant for Gin Drinking

He described in detail the method of taking medicine in the manual, but regarding the composition of the medicine, there was only a simple sentence "consisting of four plants, two from abroad and two from China". While marketing his medicine, he also warned everyone not to take cinchona bark: Be careful of those drugs that treat the symptoms but not the root cause, especially cinchona. Some quack doctors prescribe drugs in a random way. It is dangerous to take them incorrectly. .

Talbol is a profitable villain

When other doctors asked him to disclose the formula of the medicine, he asked for money to make it public: I plan to describe my medicine and treatment in more detail, and I don’t want to keep it confidential, but only if I had to get monetary compensation myself. I knew that I had to pay a lot for developing this treatment.

Later, Talbol healed the son of Louis XIV, and finally gained the wealth he dreamed of. The King of France gave him "3,000 gold crowns and a lifetime annuity." Despite repeated calls for him to disclose the formula of the medicine, he never did so. One year after Talbol's death, several pharmacists finally identified the main ingredient of the drug: cinchona bark.

More than two centuries later, in 1820, two French pharmacists successfully separated the effective chemical constituents from cinchona, which they called "Quinine".


Quinine has had a major impact on human civilization:

The land that was once malaria-ridden opened the door to Western colonists, including large lands in South America, North America, and Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, which were too dangerous to colonize.


Europeans often take quinine

Europeans often take quinine and even invent a gin supplement that is still very popular today, a mixture of gin and quinine. The following scenes were common in the 19th century: officials of the British Empire reclined on a balcony with mosquito nets in a remote colony, drinking gin tonic from a local servant, while watching the sunset Beautiful view. Gin supplements contain quinine water. To cover the bitter taste of quinine water, gin was added. Quinine is difficult to dissolve in water. After adding alcohol, the drug is more soluble.


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