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Coca Leaf

(Hayo leaves)

Synonyms: Erythroxylum coca, Erythroxylum novogranatensePatient(s) administered: All

The coca leaf has been chewed and brewed by the indigenous peoples of the Andean mountain region for centuries. Contrary to the popular belief that it is highly toxic and chemically addictive, (perpetuated in no small part by its powdered, synthetically processed counterpart), the plant in its original form is virtually harmless, and provides many health bene ts as a mild stimulant.
The method by which the coca plant is chewed is called acullico and involves packing a number of leaves between the cheek and gums, sometimes together with an organic alkaline substance. The goal is to gradually extract the active ingredients from the leaves into the pores of the mouth. The chewing of these leaves is known to stave of hunger, fatigue, and altitude sickness. Various legends speak of Andean villages surviving solely on coca leaves and water in times of famine. Coca is often credited for the resilience and stamina for which the remote tribes of the Andes are so well-known.

Coca is often used medicinally as an anesthetic and analgesic to
alleviate the pain of headache, rheumatism, wounds and sores.
It has also been used as a painkiller for more extreme physical trauma like broken bones and childbirth, and the plant’s high calcium content makes it very popular for treating weak or damaged teeth. Coca also constricts blood vessels, making it extremely effective in slowing internal or bleeding. Studies have shown coca to be a beneficial treatment for ulcers, asthma, malaria, and over- all longevity.

Coca leaf (Erythroxylum coca) and mambe, (toasted and pulverized coca leaf mixed with the ash of Yarumo leaves), have been used ceremonially in the Andean and Amazonian regions of South America for thousands of years.  The earliest record of ceremonial use of the plant can be traced to Huanca Prieto in northern Peru cerca 2500 BC.  Since then the plant has maintained a central importance in indigenous communities’ offerings to Pachamama, Inti, guardian spirits of the surrounding forests, trees and mountains (apus).
In these communities the plant is also used as a tool for promoting productive conversations amongst community members, and for making decisions that affect the well-being of others.  When taken along with ambil, or a tobacco paste, mambe opens our throat chakra, sweetens our words and lends transparency and directness to our speech.  This tradition of conversing with mambe after sundown for many hours as a community is to mambear andambilear.  During this time, elders pass along their knowledge and wisdom to the younger generations.  Interestingly, women attend these sessions but typically do not consume the plants.  These traditions which connect us to each other and to the land are what we wish to share with participants at ECA retreats.
Preparations and uses of the plant vary from region to region, with highland Andean peoples chewing mouthfuls of entire leaves along with a small amount of an alkaloid, and Amazonian and other lowland groups using the powdered form called mambe.  Where the entire leaf and alkaloid are used, the juices of the plant are swallowed and then the chewed leaves are placed on the land as an offering.  A central role of the plant in highland cultures is also to oxygenate the blood and allow for labor at high altitudes by decreasing the detrimental effects of altitude sickness.  In the lowlands the plant is more often consumed as mambe, which stores better in the humid climate. There the powder is placed in the mouth and eventually swallowed.
In addition to oxygenating the blood and mitigating altitude sickness, coca helps to overcome fatigue, hunger and thirst.  It has also been used for centuries and an anesthetic to alleviate the pain from headaches, rheumatism and wounds.  Its high calcium content explains why it was used for bone fractures, and because coca constricts blood vessels, it also serves to oppose bleeding. Coca has also been reported to treat malaria, ulcers, asthma, and indigestion, and it has been credited with improving longevity. Modern studies support these applications.
Coca leaf contains essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, and nutrients such as protein and fiber.  It said to contain 5 times the protein per gram as red meat.
Lastly, coca is considered by the abuelos, taitas, curanderos and shamans of the Americas to be one of the 7 master plants, along with Ayahuasca (Yagé), San Pedro Cactus (Huachuma), Peyote (Hikuri), Yopo, Psilocybin mushrooms, and tobacco.  When used intentionally these plants connect us with the spiritual realm, open a space for self-reflection in our lives, and heal.

General Information about Coca Leaf:
Cultural Traditions, Legal Issues, and Coca Leaf:
Mambe: De la Maloca a la Universidad, by Carlos Suarez
La Coca, El Dilema Andino: Penalizar el mambeo de la hoja o revisar los convenios internacionales, by Juan Camilo Maldonado T.  El Espectador.
How Coca Cola Obtains its Coca, by Clifford D. May

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Original Coca-Cola was served in 6 oz servings. Each had about 4 milligrams of cocaine. They pulled most of the cocaine out in 1903 and they finally went cocaine free in 1928. The Coca leaf from Peru contained cocaine. Kola nut from Ghana contained caffeine. There ya go.

1.- Cocaína. Es el éter metílico de la benzoil egnonina, tiene propiedades anestésicas y analgésicas

2.- Egnonina. Es un derivado carboxilado de la atropina, tiene propiedades de metabolizar grasas, glúcidos y carbohidratos. Adelgaza la sangre.

3.- Atropina. O escopolamina, es anestésico que produce sequedad en el árbol respiratorio.

4.- Pectina. Es absorbente y antidiarreico, junto a la Vitamina E, regula la producción de melanina para la piel.

5.- Papaína. Esta proteasa, que en mayor proporción contiene la papaya, es muy parecida a la catepsina animal, es una especie de fermento que acelera la digestión.

6.- Higrina. Excita las glándulas salivares cuando hay deficiencia de oxígeno en el ambiente.

7.- Globulina. Es un cardiotónico que regula la carencia de oxígeno en el ambiente, mejorando la circulación sanguínea. Evita el sorojche (mal de altura).

8.- Piridina. Acelera la formación y funcionamiento del cerebro, aumenta la irrigación sanguínea a la hipófisis y las glándulas, traduciéndose en una mejoría del cuerpo en general.

9.- Quinolina. Evita la formación de la caries dental junto al fósforo y al calcio.

10.-Conina. Es un anestésico poderoso.

11.- Cocamina. Es un analgésico que junto a la anterior, ayuda a aumentar las propiedades anestésicas y analgésicas de la cocaína natural.

12.- Inulina. Refresca y mejora el funcionamiento del hígado, la secreción de la bilis y su acumulación a la vesícula. Es diurético, ayuda a eliminar las sustancias tóxicas no fisiológicas. Es un polisacárido, muy parecido a las vitaminas B-12, que produce aumento de células de la sangre.

13.- Benzoína. Acelera la formación de células musculares y evita la putrefacción de alimentos, de ahí sus propiedades terapéuticas para gastritis y úlceras.

14.- Reserpina. Regula la presión arterial en hipo e hipertensión y ayuda a la formación de células óseas.

Estos 14 alcaloides, los aminoácidos que contienen, los ácidos y las vitaminas A, B1, C y E, la tiamina, niacina y riboflavina, la convierten en la planta más completa del universo en Nitrógeno No Proteico, que es el que elimina las toxinas y patologías del cuerpo, obteniendo combinaciones óptimas con frutas y plantas medicinales.

Uso Psico – terapéutico:

La hoja de coca, luego de ser chaqchada, se convierte en bolo llamado “hach’o”, que luego de ser secado, puede ser fumado tal cual cigarrillo, aprovechando sus efectos de ansiolítico natural, para controlar afecciones mentales (stress).

Uso Bactericida:

El consumido diariamente (tres tomas de mate) evita el ingreso al organismo de bacterias y virus causantes de enfermedad y prematuro envejecimiento.

La coca tiene cinco caracteres: elemento central de identidad cultural andino-amazónica; cohesivo social y de buenas costumbres; lubricante social y energético para faenas comunales y caminatas; caja chica y de inversión de la economía campesina; materia prima para su transformación-industrialización benéfica; y, materia prima para la producción de drogas. Esto último debe ser controlado, social y estatalmente, para combatir su tráfico ilegal.
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Coca leaves:
Coca awakens the sleepy corners of our cells, and therefore consequently increases consciousness and physical energy. Much has been talked about the nutritional power of coca, but the most meritorious of the discipline of chewing coca leaves is to create a vegetative terrain conducive to reflection and for group sharing, a practice that is equally medicinal.
With coca, thoughts and worries are mitigated, perception of life is done with less words and speeches. Nourished with coca the soul is sensitized, the space occupied by the spirit becomes intuitive and deep, the dialogue becomes sincere and compassionate.
Consumption of the coca leaf instructs us in the philosophy of ayni, reciprocity. When there are problems and discords between couples, it can be put on the table some coca leaves, chew in silence and listen to yourself fully, coca forces us to sincere dialogue and with it only we can speak our honest truth.

Quote from the scientist Von Tschudi:
“Putting aside all the extravagant and visionary notions of coca, I am clearly of the opinion that the moderate use of coca is not only harmless, but conducive to health. To support this conclusion, I can refer to numerous examples of longevity among the native people, the who since childhood have had the habit of chewing coca three times a day, and those who in the course of their life have consumed no less than two thousand seven hundred pounds of coca when they reach the age of 130, having started chewing coca leaves at age 10, one ounce a day, and still thus they enjoy perfect health "

Acullicu (picchar) or ritual of sharing with the coca leaf.
The acullicu is the ceremony of sharing virtues and aspirations. In addition to forming a circle to heal social wounds, it is a therapy. The pijchador, with each puff of leaves, listens to his own quiet and clean it. More than a loud and noisy mouth, in his speech the words come out from below, with a correct word order, and more what words are gestures and good intentions.
With coca the psychic life of the circle is nourished, feelings take on a selective and attentive faculty, a stealthy palpation is given of the invisible, which runs parallel to the conversation, looks at itself without eyes, and heard without ears, all imbued in a collective self-examination of awareness.

Philosophy of the coca leaf.

1. The invisible fabric.
The Ayni or interdependence is the first lesson that the coca leave offers us, with this law we see that the universe is relentlessly encased within a system of interwoven fibers. If we touch one fiber we are going to affect another place near or far in time and space. Our acts and thoughts touch these strands invisibly bound and bouncing they assume cause behavior and effect.

2. Kallpa or Force.
We see the size of this lesson in the famous phrase "ama quella", no be idle. This means that in our life we have to be energetic, indefatigable and diligent like a blessed big man for the energy of chewing coca.
He works because he loves to do it, without expecting any reward, and when proceeding like this they hardly seem like work, the stocky body is inhabited by a ritual vigilante, is to live intensely, be productive and surrender to the community. In a trickle, each act is performed with maximum vigilance and thus the force, like conclusive streams, leaves channeling in great rivers of unshakable will.

3. Truth
Anyone who follows the path of authenticity with or without the help of the coca, will dust off all the inner lie, and as a consequence he will get closer to his own truth, which in time will be intimately ever sweeter. "Ama Lulla", popularly known as don't be a liar, more exact, it will encompass the need to be authentic and true to yourself. In our relationships, at work, coca helps us shake off our inner lie, which is deeply rooted in the uchupacha or sub-world of unconsciousness.
Being in a circle of coca pickers, like invisible vines they weave the warp of feelings, bonds are created, love is expressed in relationships, and at the same time the man and the woman will be flawless with his words. Being flawless with words includes speaking the truth, but sometimes the truth hurts, and for this the coca leaves implant a vegetable mattress of love on which the impact of the truth.
Coca teaches us to speak and be impeccable and implacable with the truth, only the truth sets us free. It is very difficult to speak without bewitching, without victimizing, or threaten, reproach or spread any kind of emotional poison. We have made lying a habit in our communication and this practice we transfer it to our inner communication, and with speech internally, a being full of falsehood is being built, the path to inner truth is permeating with darkness.
With this subtle lie the Consciousness is a jelly of intersecting ideas, idiotic illusions, where it is unlikely to access our truth. However, with coca the death of lies advances rapidly, false paths are discarded, the juice of the leaf warms the soul, courage is filled with impetus, and looking into each other's eyes affection blossoms without delay.

Main therapeutic uses of the coca leaf.
1. As a calcium supplement, of which it is a superior source.
2. As a source of protein, it contains 19.6% protein content.
3. To combat arthritis, osteoarthritis,
4. As a fast-acting antidepressant.
5. As a restorative tonic, in cases of chronic fatigue.
6. As an analgesic in pain conditions.
7. To improve digestive functions, intestinal spasms and colic.

Andean medicine in its magical language it says that coca contains a spirit that knows where and how to heal. Today there is physiological evidence that an isolated alkaloid can have a certain effect, but if accompanied by its alkaloids associated their behavior is different.
Coca has a large amount of chemicals that are acting dynamically, therefore an isolated analysis of each alkaloid is not similar to the effect of consuming it together. Even so, we will observe how.
some alkaloids of the Coca leaf.
1. cocaine 7. ecgnonine
2. benzoin 8. quinonine
3. reserpine 9. papain
4. inulin 10. cocamine
5. globulin 11. pyridine
6. hygrine 12. atropine
7. pectin 13. conin
8. Apparently the coca leaf also contains insulin, but this data
not confirmed yet.

minerals and vitamins of the coca leaf. (100grs)
Nitrogen 20.06 Mg.
Fat 3.68 Mg.
Carbohydrates 47.50 Mg.
Beta carotene 9.40 Mg.
Alpha carotene 2.76 Mg.
Vitamin C 6.47 Mg.
Vitamin E 40.17 Mg.
Thiamine (vitamin B 1) 0.73 Mg.
Riboflavin Vit. B2 0.88 Mg.
Niacin 8.37 Mg.
Calcium 2097.00 Mg.
Phosphorus 412.67 Mg.
Potassium 1739.33 Mg.
Magnesium 299.30 Mg.
Sodium 39.41 Mg.
Aluminum 17.39 Mg.
Barium 6.18 Mg.
Iron 136.64 Mg.
Strontium 12.02 Mg.
Boron 6.75 Mg.
Copper 1.22 Mg.
Zinc 2.21 Mg.
Manganese 9.15 Mg.
Chromium 0.12 Mg.

In addition to the calcium content in the coca leaf, we have calcium provided by the llipta. The llipta is a two-seeded ash mixed with water, usually quinoa and kañiwa to form a paste that is dried by sun, a pinch of llipta is chewed with the coca leaf to enhance the effect of it. Only the llipta supplies the coca consumer between 200 and 500mgr of calcium per day. The WHO recommends 800 Mg. of calcium daily.
Iron, anemia and the coca leaf
Anemia and cellular asphyxia, being the mother of all diseases, endemic in third world countries, finds an interesting team of remedies in the coca leaf.
1. Very high iron content
2. Globulin alkaloid
3. Ability to thin the blood
4. Ability to alkalize the blood
5. Chlorophyll content of the coca leaf
6. Content of vitamin C and B complex vitamins B1, B2, B3.

First we know that the coca leaf is the quintessential remedy for hypoxia, that is, it facilitates oxygenation in land lacking oxygen, like the highlands. First of all the coca, allows the blood to have higher alkalinity, also thins the blood: a low viscosity of the blood increases the respiratory capacity of red blood cells.

Coca leaf proteins
As a source of protein, coca also surprises us, it has 19.6% protein content. Laboratory studies indicate that Following amino acids are present in the coca leaf. Histidine, Alanine, Arginine, Proline, Valine, Methionine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Cysteine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine and Lysine.
As we know there are 8 essential amino acids in adults and 10 in children, the Essential amino acids in children are arginine and histidine, both present in the coca. The only essential amino acid lacking in the leaf of coca is threonine.

FOOD Proteins (100 gr.)
Coca 19.90
Quinoa 14.00
Wheat 8.60
Corn 8.40
Rice 6.10
Barley 6.90
Kiwicha 12.90
Pope 2.10
Yucca 0.8
Turnip flour 2.90

In short, we can say that coca contains the juice of powerful substances, that, like ants on an infinite cobweb, go through a laborious cleavage of enzymes, coupling of molecular chains, chemical reactions of oxidation and reduction of innumerable biochemical consequences for our cells, different for each case. The set of coca alkaloids readjusts imbalances neurochemicals, remedies depression, coca puts us in marches and wakes us up from the sea of eye mucus, gives us fuel, that is: that produces in us a microscopic cellular revolution.
(W. G. Mortimer)

The deepest and most universal purpose of human existence is to know oneself, another equally noble goal is evenly being able to share human warmth, joy and compassion with the brothers. The coca is an instrument, a bridge that helps us cross the road towards the mystery of man. A pijchador (chewer) of coca goes to the mountains and, While he chews in silence, the leave teaches him, speaking and instructing him on his path and his destiny, reveals to him how nature is woven into a cobweb, Historically the Andean Paqo have used coca to read the messages of the spirit, and this plant is intimately associated with Andean cosmovision, in the same way, the leaf propitiates a breeding ground for ayni or reciprocity, upon entering a house always offers coca leaves, when seeking to solve a difference or conflict, coca leaves are placed on the table and chewing the leaves the man is sensitized, the coca unites the society, it is created an invisible fabric where understanding, forgiveness and understanding is possible

Talking about coca is not knowing coca, it is collecting the dust of those who they really know it, and they know it by chewing it. The knowledge about coca is borrowed, others have experienced it and a third think it must be true, but the wisdom of coca only comes through an own experience with the leave. There are many specialists on coca, have read all about coca, its chemistry, its social problem, but still they have not begun to know it truly. The white man should chew the coca, and only then they can understand and value, and he will have the authority to speak about her, in otherwise it will be in the dark, and how is he going to be able to think or perhaps legislate on something that he does not know? Only when the white man and the Andean man gather to chew in a humble acullicu, from the leaves will spread the message of a sensible handling of coca and social peace for all.

Coca never respects time, when the pijchador starts chewing, live without hurry, the years hide, for some it seems lazy, live calmly. Whoever chews coca is overwhelmed by sensitivity and tenuous experience that the leaf offers him. The modern western world time is of great interest, and above all not wasting time, He lives continually in fear that time will not escape him, and without However, they are the ones who waste time the most. If they have a life of 60 years, 20 years or a third of his life is spent sleeping, 20 years possessed by the internal shock of having to study, primary, high school, university and master's degrees, and 20 years are lost in countless unproductive chores and bustles, housework confuses them, car traffic, bureaucracies and labor sleepwalking, and suddenly life is ending, they notice its parched existence, they warn that not even they have begun to live. He who chews coca never stops living, because reflecting and meditating with coca leads him to live more awake, prayer
channels the blood to warm the heart and thus attends life without ever stop admiring the enigmas of each immense second. No society can prosper and evolve by dragging a social inequality as marked as ours.
external information sources used:
(Anatomía de la Hoja de Coca, by Sacha Barrio Healey)
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