Just as today, medical breakthroughs are top secret until a patent is obtained, so it was during the Middle Ages for the powerful medicines obtained from natural sources. Historical records show that an Indian man was imprisoned for providing to the Dutch, seeds from the cinchona tree (the source of quinine). After the Dutch obtained the secret seeds they were eventually able to successfully create cinchona plantations in Java giving the Dutch a worldwide monopoly over quinine.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the historical series, The Lion’s Trace Available here:
The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)
The Guild (Book 2)
The Last Quadroon (Book 3)
eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords: