Coca is a plant that grows naturally in South America, especially in Peru and Bolivia. In addition to being part of the sacred rituals of the original peoples of the region, the coca leaf has a large amount of nutrients.
The Andean peoples, for centuries, chew the leaves of this plant (chacchado) and drink coca tea, without this causing them, as some people often think, harm to their health. In fact, coca was, for them, a way to quench thirst, hunger, cold and fatigue; a reality with which they live every day.
That people continue to think in this way has more to do with the taboo that exists on the leaf than with properties in themselves.
The coca leaf in its natural form is a mild and harmless stimulant, like coffee. The World Health Organization pointed out that in this state it is beneficial and has nutritional and healing properties.
Why the taboo then? Because one of the alkaloids that its leaves contain is cocaine. But, the amount it contains is between 0.5 and 1%. This amount, in addition to being minimal, has no relation to the effects caused by the processed drug.
What are the Benefits of Coca?
- It is a mild stimulant
- Helps fight hunger and thirst
- Helps alleviate altitude sickness or soroche
- Strengthens the intestinal flora
- Soothes pain (throat, toothache, rheumatic)
- It can be used to heal wounds due to its antiseptic action
- Contains more fiber than some legumes, vegetables, and fruits
- It is rich in vitamins, iron, protein and calcium
- Increase physical endurance
- It is digestive and diuretic
- Stimulates respiratory function
- Helps to eliminate fat
- Improves liver function
What Effect Does Chewing Coca Leaf Produce?
When chewed, the coca leaf acts as a mild stimulant and helps fight hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue. It also helps to overcome altitude sickness. Every day, millions of people in the Andes chew coca leaves and drink coca tea without experiencing any problems.
What diseases does the coca leaf cure?
It has analgesic properties, so it calms all kinds of pain, such as arthritis or rheumatism. Improves liver function and cleanses the blood of toxins. The consumption of coca leaf helps to eliminate the fat that accumulates in the liver and to convert it into energy.
How to Chew the Coca Leaf?
To ‘chacchar’ the coca, a bolus composed of coca leaves and a paste, llipta or Llucta, made from alkaline ash (Chenopodium quinoa) or from powdered and calcium-rich shells is placed between the cheek and the dental arch. In countries where these things are difficult to obtain, a pinch of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is used.
How Long Does the Effect of the Coca Leaf Last?
Coca leaf metabolites can show up in a blood or saliva test for up to 2 days after the last use. It can be detected in hair for months to years. Its metabolites can be detected in urine for up to 3 days, but can remain detectable for up to 2 weeks by a frequent user.