Episode 55: The Fever Tree


Where did cinchona, the first medication to cure malaria, come from? This episode explores the murky history of the bark of the fever tree and its derivative chloroquine with mysterious pre-Columbian Pacific crossings of the plasmodium parasite, Jesuit priests and Inca healers, a Chinese Emperor performing a clinical trial to treat his fever, chemistry leading to the first modern pharmaceuticals, and imperialism on a global scale. This episode is the first of a multi-part series exploring how hydroxychloroquine became the great hope for treating COVID-19.

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