Coca Leaves; The uses in the Present and in the Past
Coca leaves have been chewed and brewed for tea traditionally for centuries among its indigenous people in the Andean region – not causing any harm, rather being beneficial to human health.
A traditional method of chewing coca leaf, called chacchar or acullico, consists of keeping a saliva-soaked ball of coca leaves in the mouth together with an alkaline substance that assists in extracting the cocaine substance from the leaves.
When chewed, coca acts as a mild stimulant and suppresses hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue. It also helps overcome altitude sickness and helps ease stomach pain. Therefore coca chewing and drinking of coca tea is carried out daily by millions of people in the Andes without problems, and is considered sacred within indigenous cultures. Coca tea is widely used, even outside the Andean Amazon region. The Coca plant has an established use spread among all social classes, as a result there is an increasing use of coca flour and coca products as a food supplement.
The use of coca leaves is a millennial tradition especially relevant throughout the Andean Region. Coca since ancient times was a mythical and sacred plant, used in rituals for more than 40 centuries. Until modern times it is still an indispensable component of sacred worship.
We can incorporate these wonderful benefits of the coca leaf most often in tea form, however chewing the leaves is also a common practice. When chewed they produce a sense of warmth in the mouth and have a pleasant, pungent taste. In this, its natural form, coca does not produce toxicity or dependence. As mentioned in the introduction, coca leaf is native to certain parts of South America, like Peru, so the best way to take advantage of its unique benefits is to experience it for yourself.
Most notably it contains High levels of Calcium. Potassium, Fiber, Vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3. Proteins, Minerals and Alkaloids are also present.
Coca green leaves 100% pure and natural, no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
Scientific Name: Erythroxylum coca
How to use
Tea: Put water and leaves in a boiling pot, add about 5 gr or equivalent to a handful and boil. Wait until desired flavor and color and than let it sit a few minutes. You can add lemon and/or honey for better taste.
Chewing: 1) Gather a small amount of leaves in your clean hand, to where there is no space in between. 2) Add llipta in the middle (optional). 3) Close it into a ball form. 4) Chew it in the back side of your mouth, using your molars. 5) Slowly chew and suck in the natural juice that comes out of the leaves.
Now you are part of the coca – chewing Andean tradition.