This plant grows in the Andes and from there it reaches the homes of those who trust in its nutritional and medicinal properties. Coca leaves have multiple uses and are part of the culture and tradition of the Andes.
Nutritional and Medicinal Uses of the Coca Leaves
The Erythroxylum coca (scientific name of the plant) has proteins, vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it has become a nutritious option and, in addition, a way to cure various diseases.
Today we will discover the nutritional and medicinal uses of coca leaves.
Nutritional properties of coca leaves
One of the most outstanding characteristics of the coca leaf is linked to the benefits it can bring to the health of the people who consume it.
Whether you opt for the infusion, the powdered coca leaves, our instant mix , capsules, jelly or chew the whole leaves, in all cases, the nutritional properties that can be acquired are:
• Alkaloids. The coca plant has a total of 14 alkaloids: egnonin, cocaine, papain, pectin, globulin, higrin, pyridine, conine, quinoline, cocaine, benzoin, reserpine, inulin and atropine.
• Proteins and vitamins. The coca leaf contains proteins, carbohydrates and omega 3 vegetable fat. On the other hand, it has vitamins A, B-2, B-6, C and E.
• Minerals. The minerals present in powdered or whole coca leaves are: calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, barium, boron, aluminum, copper, chromium and strontium.
• Flavonoids and antioxidants.
Medicinal properties of coca leaves
The medicinal use of the coca leaf is an Andean tradition. As a ritual, it goes back several centuries. The Incas called the coca plant “sacred leaf” due to its healing properties. Since then and until now in regions such as Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and northern Argentina and Chile, this cultural legacy is maintained.
But beyond being an inherited tradition, due to the nutritional properties that have been found in coca leaves through various scientific studies, its medicinal use has spread among the Andean people and the rest of the world.
To this plant are attributed anesthetic, antispasmodic, tonic and digestive properties. On the other hand, coca leaves are used in cases of altitude sickness which is known as “soroche”, and against insect bites. You can also consume the infusion to eliminate tiredness and fatigue.
Medicinal properties of alkaloids
One of the main nutritional properties of the coca leaf are alkaloids. These, in addition, allow the plant to be used to cure ailments and diseases. Among its main medicinal uses, we can highlight:
• Stimulation. The coca plant can be used in cases of depression, thanks to the fact that some of its alkaloids stimulate the body.
• Oxygenation. One of the main uses given to coca leaves is to avoid altitude sickness. This is because its consumption increases the oxygenation capacity of the organism, since it improves the use made by the brain and the oxygen muscles.
• Circulation. Another benefit of the consumption of powdered coca leaves is the possibility of improving the circulation of the organism.
• Liver function. One of the star alkaloids in the coca leaf is inulin. This is the substance responsible for improving the functioning of the liver, the secretion of bile and its accumulation in the gallbladder.
• Elimination of liquids. The consumption of the coca plant improves the diuretic function of the organism, thus helping to eliminate toxic substances from the body.
• Digestion. Also by consuming the coca leaf can greatly improve digestion, so many people drink the infusion after meals.
• Diarrhea. Another medicinal use of the coca plant is related to its ability to stop diarrhea.
• Metabolism. Erythroxylum coca also stimulates the metabolic function of the body.
• Local application. The alkaloids of this plant allow that it can also be used as a local anesthetic, to cure diseases or specific skin ailments.
Propiedades medicinales de flavonoides y antioxidantes.
Another of the main components of the coca plant are flavonoids and antioxidants. These have very valuable medicinal properties for people. Among them, we can see:
• Anti-inflammatory activity: Ideal to treat injuries.
• Estrogenic activity: One of the properties that contribute to treat diseases such as osteoporosis (low calcium)
• Antimicrobial activity. With this function, the coca leaf helps to eliminate or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as parasites, bacteria and fungi.
• Enzymatic inhibition: The enzymatic inhibition in the flavonoids of the coca leaf allows to eliminate harmful agents in the organism and correct metabolic imbalances.
• Oxidation: An important property of the flavonoids present in coca leaves is that which helps to avoid cellular oxidation in tissues.
• Hypertension: In addition to everything exposed so far, thanks to the flavonoids, the consumption of the coca plant can help treat hypertension.
Benefits of consuming coca leaves
We can clearly see that including coca leaves in our daily diet can be very helpful for the organism. The benefits associated with this plant are numerous. In principle, because of its high protein content and because it is a source of vitamins. This makes it possible that it is an ideal complement in the daily diet.
As we have seen so far, being rich in alkaloids, the coca plant offers diverse healing and medicinal effects. In cases of headache, rheumatism, wounds and sores, it can offer very positive results.
In the same way, treating stomach ailments is one of the benefits associated with coca leaves, especially when consumed in infusion. To treat diseases of the respiratory tract, to control diabetes, to prevent cardiovascular diseases, the coca plant may also be helpful.
Because of its stimulating action, consuming the coca leaf can help improve concentration and cognitive function. That is why it is also recommended in cases of depression and anxiety, as well as for long workdays and studies.
Finally, the therapeutic action of the coca plant in altitude sickness is highly recognized. These, of course, are just a sample of all the advantages that the coca plant can offer. Remember that you can chew, drink in infusion or take advantage of coca leaf instant mix to incorporate in the preparation of your projects.