As a stomachic or bitter tonic quinine is one of the most valuable remedies known to medicine, promoting appetite, digestion, and assimilation, and raising the general tone of the system after attacks of fever and other diseases, which leave the animal in a state of weakness. In doses of one or two drams no bad consequences are to be feared, but, judging by its indiscreet use in man, it may be supposed that excessive quantities would have a like effect in inducing giddiness, impaired vision, etc. So far as we are aware, no one has entered upon the costly experiment 'of over-dosing horses with quinine, but its value in quantities not exceeding half an ounce at a time is now very generally recognized among veterinary surgeons.
By its action on the blood it arrests fermentation and destroys or inhibits the action of blood-poisons. This is seen after difficult parturition, with rising temperature and threatening dissolution. In purpura hsemor-rhagica it is used with good results in alternation with turpentine and alcoholic stimulants. Its germicidal properties render it useful for certain forms of sore throat due to septic matter. The growth of deleterious organisms is checked by its presence outside the body, and in this connection it may be reasonably assumed that its activity is still continued when introduced into the living organism.
Fig. 427. - Cinchona lancifolia.
1, Flowering branch. 2, Section of flower. 3, Fruit. 4, Older quill of bark (Columbian), soft. 5, Younger, showing patches of cork. 6, Hard bark (Carthagena).
Quinidine, cinchonine, and the other alkaloids of cinchona bark are credited with the same medicinal powers, but not in the same degree. It is possible that the combination of them with quinine in some way exerts a better influence than quinine alone, as there are many good observers who claim to get better therapeutical results from a tincture of the bark, than from the latter given as a powder.