The history of the Quest for Cinchona bark
The quest for Cinchona or Jesuits´ bark for the treatment of malaria is one of the most exciting tales in human history. Cinchona bark is probably the one remedy that has saved more lives and relieved more human suffering than any other remedy in history.
Despite its importance, the discovery of Cinchona bark in Peru in the early part of the 17th century is surrounded by unreliable reports, imperial history, and botanical confusion. Plant hunters brought back seeds that were foundations of plantations by the British Empire, but seeds of a more productive variety came into the hands of the Dutch who soon took over the world market.