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n 1  cap  :  a large genus of trees of the madder family native to the Andean region of northwestern So. America and now extensively cultivated both there and in Indonesia  2  :  a tree of the genus Cinchona  3  :  the dried bark of any of several trees of the genus Cinchona (esp. C. ledgeriana and C. succirubra or their hybrids) containing alkaloids (as quinine, cinchonine, quinidine, and cinchonidine) and being used esp. formerly as a specific in malaria, an antipyretic in other fevers, and a tonic and stomachic - called also cinchona bark , Jesuits' bark , Peruvian bark 
Chin•chón, Countess of (Doña Francisca Henriquez de Ribera),
vicereine. According to a legend first given out in 1663 and supposedly based on a now-lost letter, Countess Chinchón, the wife of the viceroy of Peru, fell ill with malaria. The governor of a neighboring province quickly provided a remedy in the form of a certain tree bark. The countess experienced a seemingly miraculous recovery, and word of the bark's extraordinary powers quickly spread. The name of the countess henceforth became associated with the bark. While the story is apocryphal, Linnaeus perpetuated the name of the countess, albeit in misspelled form, by designating the genus of that tree Cinchona in her honor.

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