Coca Leaves…Leaf your nose out of it…

By on March 24, 2012

Coca Leaf

The Pronunciation: Coca (ko-ka) comes in plant form.

The Look: There are two species and four types of strains of plant in total. The plant produces thin oval shaped leaves that are an opaque green colour. A single plant can grow anywhere from 7–10 ft in height.

The origin: The plant is grown in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru; and has been consumed for medicinal, religious and health purposes for thousands of years in South America.

The inside: The coca leaf can be chewed or brewed as a tea, also known as mate de coca. The process of producing cocaine is by extracting the alkaloids from the leaf and intricately mixing other compounds. Therefore the coca leaf is not cocaine or comparable to cocaine. An easy way to understand this is to think that charcoal is not gunpowder, but once you mix potassium nitrate and sulfur powder you then create a bang! Another thing to regard is that the leaves do not provide any type of buzz or euphoric feeling to that of cocaine, however; you may feel a tingling sensation when chewed along your gum line or cheek. Aside from that it’s perfectly safe in assisting in health prevention and building immunity.

The Taste: The coca leaf taste is very earthy when chewed and the tea tastes earthy as well however you can add a bit of sweetener.

The Goods: Above we have examined the uses and explained that consumption is actually good for you, now let’s take a look at the composition. A single leaf is jam packed with essential minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.  Micronutrients (vitamins) such as A, B1, B2, C, E, and Beta carotene. The leaves also contain macronutrients such as protein, fiber and carbohydrates.

The Preparation: Ok now you guys are probably wondering how to either consume or chew the leaves, it’s actually a lot easier than you think.

For chewing, follow the steps:

  1. Once you have purchased a package of coca leaves simply open the bag
  2. Remove the leaves and place them into either a mason jar or a vacuum sealed container.
  3. Pick out 10-20 leaves, depending on desired amount to chew
  4. Fold the leaves so they are sandwiched together
  5. Place the leaves in your mouth in between your teeth and cheek
  6. Allow the leaves to soak up the saliva in your mouth
  7. Once leaves have softened up start chewing. Don’t go crazy like how you would chew a stick of gum, the trick is to chew slowly and enjoy.

The leaves will turn into a greenish black paste. The recommended consumption is 2-3 times a day. It is ok to swallow the juice from the leaves; you can go as far as swallowing the leaves or either spitting them out. If you wish to continuously indulge repeat steps 1-7.

For drinking tea: Mate de Coca (Coca Tea)

You can either purchase tea bags or if you have purchased a package of leaves you mix 1 tablespoon or soup spoon per 1 litre of hot water and leave to steep or soak. You can also add sweetener, sugar, stevia or honey for taste.

There are also other forms that coca leaves come in such as in snack bars, capsules, creams, candies and powders. However most common are teas and raw leaves.

The Key Benefits:

  • Promotes weight loss by regulating metabolism
  • Boosts energy and mental focus
  • Improves moods and relieves stress
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Improves ability to destroy toxic compounds in blood stream
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Good for digestion and altitude sickness

The places to get it:

  • Health food stores preferably South American
  • Health food vendors preferably South American
  • Health food trade shows
  • Reliable website that specialize in natural health products, check out




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