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If you use cinchona, you may want to read this.

If you use cinchona, you may want to read this.
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  • If you use cinchona, you may want to read this.

    Post #1 - July 17th, 2015, 5:25 pm
    Post #1 - July 17th, 2015, 5:25 pm Post #1 - July 17th, 2015, 5:25 pm
    Hi,

    This link was embedded in article to homemade tonic water. Doing a search on LTH, I found many people who made homemade bitters used cinchona, which is where quinine originates.

    Potential dangers of homemade tonic water (related to cinchona):

    Tonic water contains quinine as its active, bittering ingredient. Quinine comes from cinchona tree bark. Homemade tonic waters begin with this tree bark either in chunk or powdered form. The powdered form is particularly hard to strain out of the final beverage, and this could lead to an accidental overdose.

    The symptons of cinchonism (from wikipedia):

    Symptoms of mild cinchonism (which may occur from standard therapeutic doses of quinine) include flushed and sweaty skin, ringing of the ears (tinnitus), blurred vision, impaired hearing, confusion, reversible high-frequency hearing loss, headache, abdominal pain, rashes, drug-induced lichenoid reaction (lichenoid photosensitivity),[1] vertigo, dizziness, dysphoria, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

    A scientific paper published in 2007 reported a case of a patient self-medicating for leg cramps with quinine and it turns out he gave himself cinchonism. His systems were intermittent fevers, chills, and tremors for approximately 12 days; general malaise that would begin with a bitter taste in his mouth that wouldn't go away. (On PubMed the article is at PMID: 18004031)


    If you use cinchona, you really should read this article.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #2 - July 17th, 2015, 7:57 pm
    Post #2 - July 17th, 2015, 7:57 pm Post #2 - July 17th, 2015, 7:57 pm
    I used it, as I know a few others did, for the bitters exchange but only in the bark form, easily strained out. I also think it probably depends on amount consumed. Most bitters are consumed in droplets --can't imagine that even if somehow the concentration of cinchona was somehow high, that you'd consume enough of it to hurt yourself. I'm not a big enough tonic fan to try to make that at home but that would almost certainly require more bark and you'd likely drink more of the finished product. So I could see how that could be a problem. But again, seems like as long as you're not consuming the solids, the risk is much less.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #3 - July 18th, 2015, 8:49 am
    Post #3 - July 18th, 2015, 8:49 am Post #3 - July 18th, 2015, 8:49 am
    I've made my own quinine additive and in the small doses never had any percievable health problems but the powder is hard to impossible to eliminate in any mixture.
    Went to this...http://jackrudycocktailco.com
    A very nice change from the ubiquitous Quinine Water!
    I also purchased the Elderflower Tonic additive but haven't tried it yet.-Richard
  • Post #4 - July 18th, 2015, 3:21 pm
    Post #4 - July 18th, 2015, 3:21 pm Post #4 - July 18th, 2015, 3:21 pm
    Whether you're making bitters or tonic syrup with cinchona, you should be responsible and run it through coffee filters 2-3X to ensure you're getting any suspended powder out. That's going to be a big contributor. I'd be less worried about bitters since they're used in such small doses. It's a shame Morgenthaler hasn't deleted that blog post. In his "The Bar Book" he updates his tonic recipe to something that doesn't much resemble the blog post, including a reduction of cinchona and, thankfully, no longer cooking in the lime juice (yuck.)
  • Post #5 - July 18th, 2015, 3:37 pm
    Post #5 - July 18th, 2015, 3:37 pm Post #5 - July 18th, 2015, 3:37 pm
    Also, seems like the Bittermens folks got sick because they were testing products and had a buildup in their system, that was then triggered by a poorly filtered drink they consumed elsewhere with visible cinchona solids. So the moral of this would seem to be to be careful about too much taste testing as you go. If you've actually tasted cinchona (in my case, expressed via grain alcohol), one of the most unpalatable things I've ever tried, it would seem to be nature's way of telling you everything you'd need to know about why you shouldn't consume it. Kinda like Malort lol :mrgreen:
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #6 - July 22nd, 2015, 11:28 am
    Post #6 - July 22nd, 2015, 11:28 am Post #6 - July 22nd, 2015, 11:28 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:So the moral of this would seem to be to be careful about too much taste testing as you go.


    I'm paraphrasing a bit, but in "Liquid Intelligence" Dave Arnold says "If you don't know all about cinchona and the safe levels of its use, and don't own a scale that's accurate to 1/100 of a g, you have no business using cinchona." I think that's largely the moral: don't screw around with something if you don't know what you're screwing around with.

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