In a recent post “Manufacturing Of Cocaine: Then And Now” I offered readers a look at some of the rather elegant lab methods developed by early synthesizers of Cocaine and compared those methods to the crude and toxic methods used by today’s drug cartels.
I’ve received several emails asking me to offer information on how early doctors created extracts of pure, natural Coca Leaf for their patients, so here is a brief section from my E-Book “The Coca Leaf Papers”.
(Excerpted from) “Erythroxylon Coca: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustion As The Cause Of Disease”, By William Tibbles, MD (1877)
“The simplest form in which these leaves may be administered is the Infusion of Coca:”
Coca Leaf Tea
“Take of Coca leaves, bruised, one ounce; boiling water ten fluid ounces. (Editor’s Note – using pure water heated to 180° F at sea level yields a better tea.) Infuse in a covered vessel for one hour, press slightly, strain; there will be obtained a fluid measuring about eight ounces, having an appearance and odour like unto an infusion of ordinary green tea. (Editor’s Second Note: a widely available coffee brewing device called a “French Press” would be ideal for this method.) Slightly alkaline and bitter in taste. Dose, from half to one and a half fluid ounces, each fluid ounce representing one dram of leaves.”
Aqueous Extract of Coca Leaf
“Take Coca leaves, bruised, or, what is better, in a coarse powder, eight ounces, water a sufficiency. Macerate the coca in two pints of water, at a temperature of 120° F., for a period of two hours. Pack in a conical percolator, and exhaust with water at a temperature of 100° F. Evaporate by water bath, at a temperature not exceeding 140° F., to the required consistence. This extract is brownish in colour, and bitter in taste. Dose, ten to twenty-five grains.”
Alcohol Extract of Coca Leaf
“Crush Coca into a moderately coarse powder; alcohol, 56 over proof, a sufficiency. Moisten the powder with alcohol; pack in a conical percolator. Add more alcohol and continue the percolation until the powder is exhausted. Evaporate the resulting percolate, by means of a water bath at a temperature not exceeding 140° F., until of a proper consistence for forming pills. This is much superior to the aqueous extract, possessing the characteristic taste and odour of coca-leaves in a high degree. It is of a green colour, resinous or waxy in character, due to the presence of coca-wax. Dose, five to fifteen grains in the form of pills. (Editor’s Note – See Mariani’s lozenges – with the addition of flavorings such as mint or licorice, this is how they were produced.)”
Fluid Extract of Coca Leaf
“Crush Coca into coarse powder, eight ounces, and add proof spirit, a sufficiency. Moisten the leaves with proof spirit, pack tightly in a percolator, pour on proof spirit, until six ounces of percolate has been obtained which set aside; then exhaust the leaves with more proof spirit, evaporate, at a temperature of 140° F., to a bulk of two ounces, which add to the first percolate. Dose, forty-five to ninety minims.”
Glycerin Extract of Coca Leaf
“Take Coca leaves, in coarse powder, five ounces; on which pour two ounces of hot water, then add fifteen ounces (by weight) of glycerin. Macerate, in a warm place, for a period of thirty days. At the end of that time press out the fluid portion, using a screw press, strain the resulting fluid product and set aside. Remove the residue from the press, and pour on it about twenty-four ounces of water at a temperature of 150° F., at which temperature let it be kept for a period of two hours; strain, evaporate to such a product that the quantity when added to the glycerin fluid shall measure fifteen fluid ounces. This is a very pleasant and efficient preparation of Erythroxylon coca and is generally admissable in all cases. Dose, one to three drams.”
Tincture of Coca Leaf
“Coca leaves, bruised or in coarse powder, four ounces; proof spirit, one pint. Moisten the leaves, pack in a percolator, and percolate twenty ounces. Dose, four, to six or eight drams. This form is very objectionable, as the amount of alcohol administered in a dose of the tincture will altogether alter the natural effects of the coca-leaf.”