Is quinine healthy? Nmami Agarwal Celebrity Nutritionist and Dietitian helps us in understanding the health benefits of quinine that s found in tonic water. Real use of quinine: Quinine is a bitter compound that comes from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine s primary benefit is for the treatment of malaria. It s not used to prevent malaria but rather to kill the organism responsible for the disease. When used to treat malaria quinine is given in a pill form. But yes it is recommended not to take more or less of this drug than prescribed by your doctor.