Adamia chinensis Gardner & Champ.
Adamia cyanea Wall.
Adamia sylvatica Meisn.
Cianitis chinensis Hook.f. & Thomson
Cianitis versicolor Hook.f. & Thomson
Dichroa cyanea (Wall.) Mottet
Dichroa cyanitis Miq.
Dichroa febrifuga Lour.
Dichroa henryi H.Lév.
Dichroa latifolia Miq.
Dichroa parviflora Schltr.
Dichroa pentandra Schltr.
Dichroa philippinensis Schltr.
Dichroa pubescens Miq.
Dichroa schumanniana Schltr.
Dichroa sylvatica (Reinw.) Mottet
Dichroa yunnanensis S.M.Hwang
Hydrangea pubescens Zipp. ex Miq.
Common Name: Chinese Quinine
Hydrangea febrifuga is an erect, evergreen shrub growing around 1 - 3 metres tall.
An important herb in traditional Chinese medicine, it is commonly harvested from the wild. The plant is cultivated in Russia as an anti-malarial herb[
One report says that the plant is toxic but gives no more details[
E. Asia - China, Japan, northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
Shrubberies, damp places, stream banks, often gregarious in clearings of oak forests; at elevations from 900 - 2,400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Hydrangea febrifuga is a plant of the subtropics and tropics of eastern Asia, it can also be cultivated in some warm of the warmer areas of the temperate zone.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in an open loamy soil[
The flowers vary in colour according to the type of soil they grow in, the best blue colour is formed when plants are in very acid soils[
This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[
The alkaloids febrifugine and isofebrifugine have been isolated from the leaves and roots of the plant. Tests revealed isofebrifugine, administered intravenously, to be as equally effective as quinine in treating malaria, whilst febrifugine was 64 - 100 times more effective[
]. However, the alkaloids are also more toxic than quinine and so should only be used with great care.
Another alkaloid, changrolin, exhibited significant protective and therapeutic effects against experimental arrhythmias induced by aconitine or ouabain[
The roots and leaves are credited with antipyretic, expectorant, cathartic, emetic and diuretic properties[
The leaves are purgative[
]. They are used in the treatment of stomach cancer[
]. The juice of the leaves is used in Nepal to treat coughs, colds and bronchitis[
The leaves are finely ground, combined with Kaempferia galanga rhizomes; red onions; salt; and a little water, and applied as a poultice at the beginning of a fever[
The fresh sap of the leaves and roots causes vomiting and depresses the circulation of blood. According to traditional medicine, these side effects, especially nausea and vomiting, may be controlled by heating the drug with a little vinegar, and by combination with other drugs as indicated in classic formulas[
]. The dried drug should be steeped in alcohol and subsequently heated to achieve the same effect[
The root is diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge and purgative[
]. The juice of the root is used in Nepal to treat fevers and indigestion[
Roots are harvested when 3 - 4 years old and dried for later use[
A decoction of the stem bark is used in the treatment of fevers[
]. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat malarial fever[
The wood is used as a fuel[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in spring and only just covering it. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings. No details are given, we suggest trying in August with almost ripe wood in a frame.