Thoughts On Coca, Cannabis, Opium & Tobacco – Gifts Of The Great Spirit

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Effective Treatment Of ME/CFS & IBS With One Specific Probiotic?

I am re-posting this previous post because I have begun receiving so many contacts and comments from people struggling not just with issues that they recognize as emanating from their gut biome, but who are also suffering from issues affecting the mind like severe depression, and who don’t realize the connection between their gut bacteria and their mind. There are no simple answers to anything involving health and the mind, of course, but sometimes there seem to be some very simple things that people can try that sometimes work almost miraculously. Probiotics are one of these simple solutions – but even simple solutions can be a bit complex. For example, getting your mind healthy through probiotics isn’t just a matter of running down to the local grocery store’s vitamin section and grabbing a bottle of probiotics off the shelf, and it certainly isn’t a matter of going for the most expensive pro-biotics you can find on the theory that more expensive has to be better.

This post discusses some excellent research on one particular probiotic that appears to have some very specific positive effects not only on the terrible wasting syndrome ME/CFS but also on the severe depression and fatigue that are part of this thing that is causing so many people so much suffering. My theory about healing myself has always been – research the hell out of the issue, look in all the corners that most doctors never look into, and check out the qualifications of whoever is making a recommendation. I’ve done that with this article, and I think that you can trust the authors at least enough to consider that they might be onto something – one simple pro-biotic that could help you or someone you love at least partially get over the dreadful burdn of ME/CFS and the accompanying mind-fucks.

The Original Post

Readers of PanaceaChronicles may remember a 2014 post where I discussed the potential of Coca Leaf for the treatment of ME/CFS. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.) Along with my interest in the potential therapeutic role of Coca Leaf in treating gut diseases I am also intensely interested in the emerging research on the role of gut bacteria in treating, curing and preventing a range of gut diseases.

So when I came across this research, which suggests that there may be one specific bacteria that could play a major healing role in CFS & IBS I sat up and took notice.

The research is solid (placebo controlled, double-blind etc.) and although studies with a larger “N” have to be conducted it may not be too early for people who suffer from ME/CFS/IBS to begin thinking about this “Can’t hurt; might help” probiotic.

Although the researchers are rightfully cautious, My feeling is that it may not be too early to say that it looks like Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota could be at least a partial answer to treating CFS/IBS effectively.

I have to also wonder, although the research didn’t focus on this, if this little bug might also be helpful in ME.

Moreover, there is also some evidence that this single strain of gut bacteria may have other important therapeutic applications.

For example, a simple Google search for the exact phrase “Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota” turns up statements like “Pancreatic necrosis if left untreated has an almost 100 percent fatality rate due to bacterial translocation. Lactobacillus casei has been found to have a wide spectrum of coverage against pathogenic organisms that translocate from the gastrointestinal tract thereby demonstrating therapeutic benefit in pancreatic necrosis.”

I offer excerpts from this important research article, and the link to the whole article, without extensive comment except to say that anyone affected by these illnesses should take the time to not only read this research but also to follow up on the hyperlinked bibliography at the end of the article.

I hope that this information may be helpful.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome

Key quotes from this study.

“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medically unexplained illness, characterized by persistent and relapsing fatigue. This severe pathological fatigue is worsened by periods of physical and mental exertion. Along with the ongoing fatigue, it has also been noted that 97% of CFS patients report neuropsychological disturbances. This can manifest as cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, headaches, and a variety of symptoms in the emotional realm. Of these emotion-related symptoms, anxiety and depression are the most prevalent, with approximately half or patients meeting the criteria for an anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder. Over 40% of patients report symptoms that are often part of anxiety and depressive disorders, including dizziness, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, sleep disturbances, appetite changes and shortness of breath.”

“Many CFS patients also complain of gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances. Indeed, patients with CFS are more likely to report a previous diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), meet diagnostic criteria for IBS and experience IBS related symptoms. While CFS is neither a gastrointestinal nor psychiatric disorder per se, over 50 percent of patients with CFS meet the diagnostic criteria of IBS, and anxiety itself is often a hallmark symptom in those with IBS. Although the mechanisms behind this frequent overlap with IBS are far from understood, some investigators have documented that there are marked alterations in the intestinal microflora of CFS patients, with lower levels of Bifidobacteria and higher levels of aerobic bacteria.

Recently it was discovered that gut pathogens in the GI tract can communicate with the central nervous system and influence behavior associated with emotion, anxiety in particular, even at extremely low levels and in the absence of an immune response. Researchers have also shown that the administration of certain bacteria found in soil may support resilience and positively alter stress-related emotional behavior in animals under experimental stress. In addition, so-called probiotics, or live microorganisms which confer a health benefit on the host, have the potential to influence mood-regulating systemic inflammatory cytokines, decrease oxidative stress and improve nutritional status when orally consumed.”

“This background led some investigators to hypothesize a possible adjunctive therapeutic role of probiotic bacteria in mood-related psychiatric symptoms. Some hints at the utility of probiotics for mood regulation come from a recent human trial involving the administration of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) or placebo to 132 otherwise healthy adults. In an intriguing finding, the investigators discovered that those with the lowest scores in the depressed/elated dimension at baseline had significant improvement in mood scores after taking the probiotic compared to the placebo group. The probiotic bacteria and placebo were unable to make a difference in those with the highest baseline mood scores. In addition, ongoing experimental studies in this area have recently shown that in the animal model of depression, the oral administration of a probiotic can increase plasma tryptophan levels, decrease serotonin metabolite concentrations in the frontal cortext and dopamine metabolite concentrations in the amygdaloid cortex. With this background, the current investigation was initiated to determine if orally administered probiotics could make a difference in symptoms of depression and anxiety in adult patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.”

“Overall the results suggest that specific strains of probiotic bacteria may have a role to play in mediating some of the emotional symptoms of CFS and other related conditions. However, it is important to note that this is a small pilot study and broad conclusions cannot be drawn at this time. Since we did not evaluate bowel function during the study, it is entirely possible that the decreased anxiety was a consequence of improved bowel function. In an unexplained medical condition such as CFS, where over 70% of patients meet the criteria for IBS, it is possible that regulation of bowel movements made a difference in mental state. Indeed LcS (Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota ) has been shown to regulate bowel function and decrease constipation in a controlled trial. It is also true that LcS (Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota ) has been shown to reduce small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and the subjective reporting of the passage of gas in patients with IBS. This is of significance because SIBO and intestinal permeability often overlap, and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are known to have both increased intestinal permeability and SIBO. Indeed, correction of SIBO and intestinal permeability has been shown to improve symptoms in CFS and depressive disorders. Therefore, it is entirely possible that our results are an artifact of improved gut structure and function via the LcS (Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota ) restoration of a healthy intestinal biofilm. However, a recent study using the same LcS (Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota ) strain in healthy adults suggests that there may be a more direct microbial influence on emotional state. In healthy adults who were reported to be more depressed/less elated in daily functioning at baseline, there was significant improvement in mood scores after taking the probiotic.”

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Not All Probiotics Are Equally Effective For Treating IBD

Long-time readers of Panaceachronicles know that the human gut is one of my passions and that I have been an advocate for the use of probiotics as both preventative and healing medicines. A good understanding of the role of probiotics in controlling, treating and even curing inflammatory gut disease is even more important now that in many states patients have access to medical marijuana for relief of symptoms. Combining the symptomatic relief of Cannabis with the right probiotics to help heal the gut and prevent further colonization by pathogens is without doubt the natural path to effective treatment.

It is well-known that there are significant differences in the effectiveness of different brands of commercial probiotics. A quick glance at the labels will confirm the great discrepancies between brands. Since there are important differences in the species of bacteria they provide, the concentrations of each species, the viability of those bacteria, the methods used to culture the bacteria, the sources of the extraction base, and the matrix in which the bacteria are stabilized for human consumption, being an informed probiotics buyer is a critical part of healing yourself.

Probiotics appear to be one of those classes of products where you really do get what you pay for – although a high price is not a guarantee of a more effective medicine. Just because a particular brand is very expensive, or contains an impressive list of species, doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for you. You have to do your homework on your own gut biome, and it is important that the probiotics you choose are tailored to the gaps or weaknesses in your own gut microbes.

If you are serious about getting a hand on an inflammatory gut issue and haven’t yet had your gut biome profiled, you may want to consider participating in the crowd-sourced “American Gut Project”. This project is not limited to people in the US, by the way.

However, this blog post is to alert readers to something new and very important that is emerging in the field of probiotics, specifically that there is now a highly concentrated form of probiotic called “Amanlac probiotics”, that appears to be far more effective against a wide range of inflammatory gut diseases than even the best “commercial” probiotics.

In an article in the June 2012 Journal of Food & Drug Analysis entitled “High Concentrated Probiotics Improve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Better Than Commercial Concentrations”. The article details Korean research into Amanlac probiotics – it seems that Korean and Japanese microbiologists are far ahead of the west in understanding how specific probiotic configurations can be used to treat specific inflammatory gut diseases. Here is how the researcher’s describe their findings in the article abstract:

“Probiotics have been clinically administered to improve intestinal inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In this study we identified that higher concentrations of probiotics called “Amanlac” probiotics protected intestinal tissues with the regulation of cytokine production and the improvement of intestinal injury in mice with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced Colitis much better than commercial probiotics. Amanlac probiotics significantly ameliorated both gross and pathological scores caused by DSS in a concentration-dependent manner, based on the following mechanisms: inflammatory markers such as IL1-β, TNF α, and COX-2 as well as MMPs and ICAM1 were significantly lower in probiotic-treated mice following DSS treatment compared with DSS-treated control mice, but the overall efficacy of “Amanlac” probiotics was significantly improved over conventional concentration of probiotics. In conclusion, administration of higher concentration probiotics helps to successfully maintain intestinal homeostasis while also improving intestinal inflammation.”

While there may be other “Amanlac” probiotics available, the brand that my wife and I have found to be remarkable in its ability to restore normal, healthy, pain-free intestinal functioning is Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Formula. These probiotics are manufactured in Japan using both traditional and state-of-the-art fermentation methods and incorporate a very wide range of traditional Japanese plants in the base mixture from which the probiotics are fermented and extracted.

If you are using a commercial probiotic and are having limited success you may want to read this research paper in its entirety and consider choosing an “Amanlac” probiotic rather than the one you are currently using.


Natural Bolivian Coca Leaf Medicines

Readers of this blog know that I believe in the wisdom of the Indigenous Peoples of the Andes – “La Coca no es La Cocaine”.

This of course is not a clever slogan, but the truth. However since those of us who live in the North have been deprived of any knowledge of medicinal Coca for over a century, we have no way of finding this truth for ourselves. Not so in Peru, Bolivia and now Uruguay.

The Bolivian company IngaCoca is the manufacturer of an extensive line of medicinal tonics and salves that combine the healing power of Coca Leaf extract with the healing power of a wide range of traditional medicinal herbs, many of them also not familiar to us in the North.

Several things stand out about the IngaCoca website and the products that this company produces. First, while the healing power of Coca takes the lead role in all of their preparations, none of the preparations are simply Coca extract. The Indigenous Peoples of the Andes are not mono-maniacs when it comes to the medicinal properties of Coca. They do not see Coca as a stand-alone cure-all – although in some cases this great plant comes as close as anything else in nature’s pharmacy to being a true panacea. So the products of IngaCoca always incorporate other, complementary medicinal herbs to form a complete healing solution for specific diseases and ailments.

Second, not a single one of IngaCoca’s products can possibly get you high – which is the excuse given by the USA and other authoritarian governments for banning trade in Coca Leaf. (By the way, IMO there’s nothing wrong with getting high, but Coca Leaf isn’t going to do it for you.) The products that Ingacoca produces are proof positive that there is a vast range of medicinal applications of Coca Leaf that have nothing to do with recreational drug use. This is unlike Cannabis, which opponents of Medical Marijuana frantically point out – “Well, OK – it might possibly be good for you but MY GOD – IT GETS YOU HIGH!!!!” Venemous idiots, of course, but Cannabis does give them an opening while Coca Leaf does not.

As I have pointed out elsewhere in this blog, you could not chew enough Coca Leaves, or drink enough Coca tea, to get anything more than a mild coffee-style buzz. Coca Leaf is not about having fun – unless you think that preventing or curing dozens of nasty diseases and conditions is fun – which I happen to think it is!

The last thing that strikes me about the curative tonics and salves produced by IngaCoca is how many of the diseases and conditions that plague Americans and Europeans are NOT addressed by any of their products. None of their products are designed to address killer diseases like Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, neurological diseases like MS and ALS, or Alzheimer’s, that carry away tens of millions of Northern Hemisphere dwellers every year, and that there is plenty of evidence could be prevented treated, or even cured by having access to pure, natural Coca Leaf.

After pondering this for a few minutes it occurred to me – IngaCoca doesn’t make these products because the people of the Andes don’t need them. In another post on this blog I took a look at the 50 leading causes of death in Peru and noticed that the diseases that are true plagues upon the People of the North are minor factors in Peru and, as I check the same database, the same is true of Bolivia. Sure there is some Heart disease – almost all in urban dwellers. There is Diabetes – also mostly among urban dwellers. There is also a very low incidence of Lung disease. And – most interesting to me – there is zero Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Nowhere in the 50 leading causes of death in the Andes.

Does that suggest something to you about our toxic environment, and most likely our industrialized food chain, in the North?

So, as you have probably noticed if you’ve already clicked through to the IngaCoca website, it is in Spanish with no English language option. After all, why would they bother since our government won’t let us have access to their products? So I have done my best to translate the website for readers of PanaceaChronicles, with apologies for any errors that my rudimentary Spanish may have caused. I have also annotated IngaCoca’s product descriptions whenever a medicinal herb is mentioned in the ingredients that most readers outside of the Andean region may not be familiar with. Some of these herbs are available in the US and Europe and have VERY interesting properties.

IngaCoca are pioneers, and deserve great credit for demonstrating conclusively that their national treasure is far, far more than the white powder that gives the governments of the world an excuse to make Coca Leaf illegal. We all understand that this is about protecting the global Pharmaceutical industry, and giving free reign to the Cartels and their Big Bank money launderers and co-conspirators, and to a few less obvious stakeholders like the anti-drug police bureaucracies.

Perhaps, in time and with increasing enlightenment of the people, a few legislators in the US or elsewhere will grow at least some tiny Cojones and do something about this farce which is actually a death sentence for millions of people whose interests they claim to care about. Without access to pure, natural medicines, and condemned to use only the toxic products of the greedheads who run Pig Pharma, that is exactly the result of the “War on Drugs” – mandatory death sentences for millions.

In the meanwhile I would like to encourage readers of this blog who live in countries that are enlightened enough to recognize the difference between Coca Leaf medicines and Cocaine to look into helping IngaCoca reach people in your country with its products. This seems to be to be not only a humanitarian effort, but quite possibly an excellent business opportunity.

Products of IngaCoca


Tos1This Tonic Is Effective For: Cough , Asthma , Bronchitis , Tonsillitis
Composition : It is a natural compound of Coca , Wirawira , Cardosanto and Eucalyptus.

Wirawira is known as a remedy for coughs, bronchitis, hoarseness, high fever, stomach ache, indigestion, sores and wounds, inflamed throat, colds and flu. This herb has proven antibiotic and antiviral activity.

The flowers of Cardo Santo are a natural remedy for anemia, loss of appetite, migraines and inflammatory conditions.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Prostate, Bladder inflammation
Composition: Natural therapeutic compound of COCA from Kishuara , Yareta and Flower Of The Valley . It is used in pain, obstruction and hypertrophy of the prostate, and inflammation of the urethra and bladder.

Yareta or llareta is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to South America. It resembles a large mound of green moss rather than a flowering plant, and is found primarily in remote, arid regions of the Altiplano region of Bolivia.


This Tonic Is Effective For: The Nerves
Composition: A natural composition of Coca, Matico, Totongil , Valerian and Rosemary possess excellent therapeutic properties which facilitates oxygenation to the brain. You can use as an Antidepressant, for Stress, Nervous Tension, Insomnia, and Dizziness.

Matico has strong styptic properties are due to the volatile oil, and it is used for arresting hemorrhages, as a local application to ulcers, in genito-urinary complaints, atonic diarrhoea, dysentery, etc. In Peru it is also considered an aphrodisiac. It is effective as a topical application to slight wounds, bites of leeches, or after the extraction of teeth. The under surface of the leaf is preferred to the powder for this purpose.

Totongil, or Melissa, is also known as lemon balm, lemongrass or lemon leaf. Totongil is used as a tea as a natural tranquilizer with anti-spasmodic properties. It is used in the resuscitation of fainting and as a natural painkiller. Other medicinal properties include treatment of Tachycardia or palpitations of nervous origin, where lemon balm calms the heart muscle and restores normal rhythm to the heart.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Ulcers
Composition: A natural composition of Coca, phasa, matico, mauve and thusca. Possesses therapeutic properties for stomach ulcers and gastritis; helps prevent ulcerative disorders that affect the gut.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Weight Loss

Composition: natural composition Coca, chick (?), lupine and others. Contains Egnonina. Therapeutic for metabolizing fats and carbohydrates, eliminating obesity, purifying the blood and regulating cholesterol.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Anti-Diabetic

Composition: Natural extract of Coca, sage, lupine and dandelion, forms a therapeutic substance that normalizes the functioning of the pancreas, regulating the secretion of natural insulin.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Energy

Composition : The natural essence of: Coca, Alfalfa, Beet Root , Spinach and Abeja honey. Works effectively as a powerful stimulant of blood, and muscle system develops more force if energy is depleted, in cases of Hemorrhage, Anemia, diminished Mental Activity, Sexual Function, and/or Appetite


This Tonic Is Effective For: Liver Conditions

Composition: Coca, Chanca Piedra, Boldo, Grass And Artichoke. Therapeutic properties assist in the normal functioning of the liver and bile secretion, eliminating harmful and toxic blood wastes.

Boldo (Peumus boldus) is native to the Andes and is a common medicinal tea. The leaves, have a strong, slightly bitter flavor and an aroma reminiscent of Bay or Camphor.

Grip Grass, also known simply as Grass, is used as a folk medicine for treating kidney disorders. It is a powerful herb and should not be used by diabetics.

Chanca Piedra is a powerful medicinal herb that has many applications in kidney and urinary tract disorders, and is especially effective in helping to eliminate kidney stones.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Anti-Rheumatic

Composition: Coca, eucalyptus, molle (?), nettle; containing therapeutic properties that remove uric acid substances, and therefore is effective against rheumatism, joint pain, arthritis, gout, and varicose veins .


This Tonic Is Effective For: Liver & Kidneys

Composition : Coca , Chanca Stone, Sarsaparilla, Artichoke, Horsetail And Ortiga.

This tonic has therapeutic properties that reduce inflammation and clean the excess fat from the Liver and Kidney and also facilitate filtration

Ortiga (ortiga verde) is a member of the stinging nettle family of herbs. The Nettle family has a worldwide reputation as an effective treatment for purifying the blood, fighting inflammation and internal infections, and promoting digestive health.


This Tonic Is Effective For: Parasites

COMPOSITION : A natural compound Coca, Yerba Buena, Papaya Seeds, and Squash. It works effectively in expelling existing parasites within the body.

Coca-Based Salves


This Salve Is Effective For: Rheumatic, Muscular, Varicose Veins And Bone Pain

Extracted From: Coca, eucalyptus and molle, enabling high levels of penetration to the bone marrow. To treat, use massage on the affected parts before sleeping; for varicose veins massage gently upwards, then lie down for about 15 minutes with feet elevated.


This Salve Is Effective For: Arthritis & Gout

Extracted From: Coca and nettle ; massage the affected part before bedtime.


This Salve Is Effective For: Fungal Infections
Extracted From: Coca and aloe if the problem is in the feet/toes, first washing with plain soap fragrance, then freshly dry and apply the ointment 2 times a day.


This Salve Is Effective For: Hemorrhoids
Extracted From: Coca, dandelion, kara launa. First after passing stools in the morning, do a sitz bath in cold water infused with Chamomile for 15 minutes, then apply ointment or oil, preferably both in the morning and evening

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Insomnia, Inflammation Of The Blood, Cannabis & Coca Leaf

The roles of Coca Leaf and Cannabis in controlling systemic (whole body) inflammatory conditions in the human body have been discussed in a number of posts on this blog, and there is a growing understanding in the medical community of the links between systemic inflammatory conditions and major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia and depression.

These are among the leading causes of death in the US and the rest of the so-called advanced civilizations, and for the most part the medical and scientific communities of these nations seem to be either just saying “Oh well, that’s what happens when you get old” or else “Hey, we have this new, expensive, dangerous drug that will give you an extra week or two of life strapped to a hospital bed and invaded by tubes.” Oh thank you medical saviors!

However, the interaction between systemic inflammation and Insomnia, or chronic sleep deprivation, has rarely been explored, and considering that systematic inflammation is a key factor in so many debilitating and fatal diseases and conditions this is an area of research that desperately needs attention.

Since there is already substantial documentation that the right strains of Cannabis are effective sleep aids, as well as safe and effective treatments for many of the diseases and conditions related to the inflammatory processes that arise as a result of chronic Insomnia, I’ll forego reciting that evidence here and concentrate on the potential of Coca Leaf as a complimentary natural medicine. The key word here is “Complimentary”; while there is much that Cannabis can do to aid the healing process, there is also much that Coca Leaf can do, and while there is some minimal overlap each has its own place in an apothecary of natural medicines.

So first, let’s take a quick look at the existing evidence that Coca Leaf is a safe and effective treatment for systemic inflammation and many its consequences.

Here are links to some of my posts that discuss the scientific and medical evidence from the 1800s that Coca Leaf can be a safe and effective treatment for the underlying systemic inflammatory conditions that drive a wide range of deadly diseases and conditions, whether these systemic inflammatory conditions arise from Insomnia or from other known causes including diet and environmental toxicity.

Coca Leaf & Chronic Low-Level Whole Body Inflammation

Coca Leaf & Congestive Heart Failure – Part One

Coca Leaf & Congestive Heart Failure – Part Two

Coca Leaf Tea – A Possible Treatment/Cure for Alzheimer’s & Dementia?

Coca Leaf & Muscular Energy

Coca Leaf As A Potential Treatment For Deadly Forms Of Fatigue

A Simple Natural Cure For Obesity – Coca Leaf Tea

Finally, for a more comprehensive view of the medical and scientific applications of Coca Leaf please consider reading my book The Coca Leaf Papers” which includes an extensive bibliography with hyperlinks to original sources of the writings by doctors, scientists, and intelligent lay persons from the 1700’s and 1800’s on virtually every aspect of the healing powers of Coca Leaf – including, by the way, its very useful role in helping people sleep when sleep is made difficult or impossible by a wide range of problems including chronic illness, chronic pain, exhaustion, and nervousness, among others.

A recent major study ( see an abstract of the study below) has just been published that followed people suffering from persistent insomnia for over 20 years and has found solid evidence that persistent lack of sleep is associated closely with many of the major killer diseases and conditions in the US and around the world. And most relevant for those of us who advocate the medical use of both Coca Leaf and Cannabis the link between insomnia and disease and death seems to be a startling level of systemic inflammation in the body – specifically in the blood.

It is especially interesting, as mentioned earlier, that Coca Leaf and Cannabis are highly complementary but only minimally overlapping in their healing properties. In other words, it isn’t a question of having to choose between these two natural medicines. For almost every medical application, current medical and scientific research on Cannabis and historical medical and scientific research on Coca Leal make it quite evident that these two natural medicines can be most effective, and offer the greatest potential for healing, when they are used together.

With regard to the Insomnia study that we’ll examine in a moment, it’s important to note also that the researchers controlled for “confounding factors” like cigarette smoking, alcohol use, sedative use, age, physical activity levels, etc. In other words, they eliminated any role that these “confounding factors” might play so that they could say with confidence that they were looking at just the effects of persistent insomnia. This means that when they point to inflammation of the blood as a major effect, they are looking just at inflammation that is being caused by insomnia and not by other factors.

However, as they also point out, “the role of systemic inflammation in such an association is unknown”. Translated that says “We know that it’s there, and that it’s being caused by persistent insomnia, but we don’t know precisely its association with death.”

I do love scientific verbal precision because in the search for truth its important not to claim you know something for a fact when all you really know is that it seems to be a fact, but you can’t prove it. In that same vein, I don’t know for a fact that Coca Leaf controls systemic inflammation and therefore heals hearts, controls diabetes, helps the body to shed obesity, perhaps helps to reverse some forms of cancer, and reduces or eliminates dementia and depression – all I can really say is that according to my interpretation of the evidence in the writings of doctors and scientists of the 1800s, it sure looks like it could. And of course, increasingly, the healing powers of Cannabis are now being documented, and it seems like every week brings new evidence for increased efficacy in existing applications for Cannabis and findings that support new applications as well.

And it would be so damn simple to investigate and document the efficacy and safety of Coca Leaf, confirming what is still only hints and bits of historical evidence from the 1800’s, so that people could finally see that BOTH Coca Leaf and Cannabis deserve a place in the hands of people suffering from literally dozens of serious, life-threatening and life-ending diseases. We’re not talking about huge, expensive studies here, nor about massive government programs, nor about regiments of over-priced consultants, nor about the participation of Pig Pharma control freaks.

We’re talking about a few simple studies under controlled conditions among groups of people who suffer from each of these conditions using simple infusions of pure, natural Coca Leaf in the form of tea or tonic. The Coca Leaf studies probably would not be done in the US – at least at first they would have to be done in Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay, because these are the only countries in the world where enlightenment has illuminated the human mind on the subject of Coca Leaf as a natural healing medicine. Once these studies were done and published however, I can’t imagine that people in the US and Europe would allow their governments’ “War on Drugs” to continue to keep Coca leaf from assuming its rightful place in the pharmacy of natural medicines alongside Cannabis. And at the same time, since Cannabis is illegal even in countries that recognize the legitimacy of Coca Leaf, the same complimentary political, scientific and medical processes would have to take place there also.

However, there is another possibility that needs to be discussed and examined. There are many countries in the world where Cannabis is now legal, but where Coca Leaf is not. If people in any of those countries recognized the good common sense of having both Cannabis and Coca Leaf available to treat disease then it would be no problem to begin Coca cultivation in those countries.

For one thing, as pointed out in a recent post, Coca species are already widely distributed around the world, but of course only a few are really suitable as potent medicinal plants. Nevertheless, where one species of Coca flourishes as an indigenous species, the more useful spcies could also be brought into cultivation either in a natural or artificial environment.

In the 1800s Coca was widely cultivated around the world, and with modern growing technology even in those countries where Coca might not grow well in the natural outdoors environment it could easily be cultivated under indoor growing conditions. There is a vast literature available from the 1800’s on experiments that were conducted on growing Coca across the planet under a wide range of conditions. In fact one of the most successful indoor growing projects was that of Angelo Mariani, inventor of the then-famous “Vin Mariani”, whose conservatory greenhouse in the center of Paris was one of the wonders of the botanical world.

In one of my recent posts I discuss how this Journey To Healing could be organized as an ongoing project that would enable groups of people suffering from the same diseases to travel to Peru, Bolivia and/or Uruguay to be treated with not just Coca Leaf but with the whole range of Andean ethnopharamacological resources – and in the case of Uruguay patients who are already on Cannabis treatments would not have to be concerned about legal issues as they would have to be in both Peru and Bolivia, at this time.

When this happens, and when medical and scientific researchers can begin studying and documenting the healing powers of both natural medicines, as well as individual people taking the initiative into their own hands even before the formal studies have been done, perhaps then at last millions of people who now are victimized by the medical industry, Pig Pharma and Pig Government will be able to break free and heal themselves.

Let’s work together to make that day come as soon as possible.

So here’s of the Insomnia study I referred to earlier. If you want to read the full paper Elsevier will be happy to charge you an obscene amount for access, but personally I have never, and will never, pay those ripoff artists a penny for access to their chattel.

“Persistent Insomnia Is Associated With Mortality Risk”
(By) Sairam Parthasarathy, M.D. et al, published online Oct. 14, 2014 in the “American Journal of Medicine”.


Insomnia has been associated with mortality risk, but whether this association is different in subjects with persistent versus intermittent insomnia is unclear. Additionally, the role of systemic inflammation in such an association is unknown.

We used data from a community-based cohort to determine whether persistent or intermittent insomnia, defined based on persistence of symptoms over a six-year period, were associated with death during the following 20-years of follow-up. We also determined whether changes in serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels measured over two decades between study initiation and insomnia determination were different for the persistent, intermittent, and never insomnia groups. The results were adjusted for confounders such as age, sex, body mass index, smoking, physical activity, alcohol and sedatives.

Of the 1409 adult participants, 249 (18%) had intermittent and 128 (9%) had persistent insomnia. During a 20-year follow-up period, 318 participants died (118 due to cardiopulmonary disease). In adjusted Cox proportional-hazards models, participants with persistent insomnia (adjusted Hazards Ratio [HR] 1.58, 95%CI: 1.02-2.45) but not intermittent insomnia (HR 1.22, 0.86-1.74), were more likely to die than participants without insomnia. Serum CRP levels were higher and increased at a steeper rate in subjects with persistent insomnia as compared with intermittent (p=0.04) or never (p=0.004) insomnia. Although CRP levels were themselves associated with increased mortality (adjHR: 1.36, 1.01-1.82, p=0.04), adjustment for CRP levels did not notably change the association between persistent insomnia and mortality.

In a population-based cohort, persistent, and not intermittent, insomnia was associated with increased risk for all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality and was associated with a steeper increase in inflammation.

End of abstract

So there you have it. A well crafted longitudinal study that unequivocally makes the point that anything that prevents you from getting a good nights sleep on a regular basis is moving you swiftly toward an early grave. And all it would take to head off this morbid end of life would be a nice pipe of Cannabis at bedtime and a nice cup of Coca Leaf tea upon rising. Sounds entirely too simple, too unprofitable, and too straightforward to be worth the attention of all those important people in boardrooms and government offices worldwide, doesn’t it.

Or maybe they have a different agenda. But the marvelous thing is – they are insomniacs too. So whatever their agenda, they are as much victims as those who they are intent on victimizing. The planet is tight.

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Coca Leaf & Chronic Low-Level Whole Body Inflammation

                                   Tea Time!

Recently on this blog I’ve posted what I believe is solid evidence that Coca Leaf tea can probably be used as-is, right out of the “Mate de Coca” bag from Peru or Bolivia, to successfully treat inflammatory obesity and many chronic conditions underlying congestive heart failure.

This would NOT be the Coca Leaf tea that has been ‘sanitized’ for export to the US – the “de-cocainized” stuff that the US government so graciously allows in. I’m talking of course about the pure, natural leaves of the Coca plant, produced, packaged and widely consumed in Peru and Bolivia. There is where I believe that a very simple but effective approach could be devised to begin validating Coca Leaf as a medicinal herb of the highest order.

When you think about it there is already remarkable evidence right in front of our eyes that Coca Leaf is probably a powerful, natural medicine for a range of health issues – it’s just one of those things hidden in plain sight.

Up to 500,000 travelers to the Andes in the past couple of years are estimated to have used Coca Leaf tea successfully for altitude sickness, and of course for countless generations the indigenous people of the mountains have seen this benefit too. (They have also, in the absence of western disease and culture, often lived long and productive lives.) There is solid evidence going back as far as western records go that the powers of Coca Leaf in effectively treating Altitude Sickness have been proven beyond dispute.

So, we know that the Divine plant is useful for altitude sickness. We also know that it’s effective because of its broad action on multiple body systems – heart, lungs, muscle efficiency, metabolism, brain function, and oxygen use. All of the same body systems, incidentally, involved in inflammatory conditions that lead to obesity and congestive heart failure.

But because so many people know from experience that Coca Leaf is so good at relieving altitude sickness- then it’s easy to miss the follow-up question – “what else could Coca Leaf tea be doing?”

Coca Leaf For Rheumatism – Bolivia

So let’s zero back in on inflammation. It’s a very interesting topic in the medical literature because it is so often treated as the baseline, the underlying condition that is simply there. Chronic low-level inflammation is simply the way things are for lots of people. Doctors seem to start with inflammation as a given – they “give you something for it” and then go on and ‘treat’ the conditions that have arisen from the underlying inflammation, which so often remains despite “medications”.

A little while ago I posted an opinion on a forum elsewhere regarding chronic low-level inflammation, industrial foods and obesity and that post provoked a lot of “fat hate” comments like “Oh, a new excuse for being a fat pig”, and “the only thing inflamed is their greedy gut” and other such slobbering wit.

Maybe it’s difficult for people, even those affected, to visualize whole body inflammation. Most of us can picture an inflamed toe, or a sore throat, but what does who body inflammation look like?

Well, if it’s low-level it isn’t going to be dramatic – like an open sore. And if it’s whole body then nothing will be disproportionate – like a 3X normal toe.

The idea of chronic low-level whole body inflammation has always made sense to me because I link it to my own experiences with cuts and sores during my life. Depending on the cut or sore, and whether or not it leads to infection, there are different levels of the body’s own attack on the cut or sore. It always involves sore, pink flesh – responding to the injury with blood and body fluids that swell cells and flood the area with healing bio-chemicals. But – the clue to me is “Pink”. When the area around a sore or wound turns Pink then at that moment it is always in the first stages of inflammation.

So then I mentally translate that very early stage pinkness to a whole body situation and what I get is slightly-to-definitely swollen, slightly to definitely “Pink” people (whether their natural racial color is black, Brown or White). There’s just a swollen quality to them, and they move as if they are in pain.

I see a lot of those people as I move around my community and elsewhere. I see a lot of people with chronic low level whole body inflammation as a baseline in their lives, which then creates a short but deadly list of diseased conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And I see people who I sincerely believe could be helped by a few cups of tea a day from the Divine Coca plant.

So I have to ask – what if it were possible to conclusively prove that you could control chronic low-level whole body inflammation with either a few cups of Coca leaf tea every day, or with safe doses of a natural extract of Coca Leaf such as the 1890’s “Vin Mariani”? As you read the opening paragraph of the summary of the following research, ask yourself what if the conditions that the authors identify with chronic low-level inflammation could be controlled so easily and naturally? Who knows if Coca Leaf offers a cure for chronic low-level inflammation especially if the “cause” of the inflammation is a combination of environment, genetics, and behavior.

I’m sure that new fortunes will be made in Peru, Bolivia and other Andean countries by those who dare to reclaim their heritage and use the Coca Leaf for natural healing of inflammatory disease in clinics and spas throughout the Andes. Later I believe that this will happen in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, and in other areas of the world where we already know from the historical record that Coca grows well.

Chronic low-level inflammation isn’t a mysterious topic, and the fact that it underlies a lot of disease process, and might be treated or cured by Coca Leaf, makes it worth asking the question.

With the role of Coca Leaf chronic low level inflammation in mind it’s interesting to note the following excerpts of a research paper on Cytokine levels in different populations. As I understand it, Cytokines are a family of small proteins circulating in the blood and involved in cell signaling, some of which are used by the body to guide inflammatory processes to wounds, infections, and the like. They are reliable markers of low-level widespread inflammation, among other things, and this research indicates that there are lots of reasons for different people to suffer from the condition. Parenthetically I have to wonder what the results would have been if the following study had been able to include a sample of recent immigrants of Andean origin?

Plasma Cytokine Levels in a Population-Based Study: Relation to Age and Ethnicity

Raymond P. Stowe, M. Kristen Peek, Malcolm P. Cutchin, and James S. Goodwin

E-Pub Info: J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Apr;65(4):429-33. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glp198. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

EDITOR”S NOTE: You can access the complete article by clicking here

Abstract (Excerpts)

“Inflammation is believed to contribute to the onset of many age-related diseases as evidenced by a variety of medical studies linking proinflammatory cytokines to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis. Much attention has been paid to interleukin (IL)-6 because of its association with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death. IL-6 is associated with a broad spectrum of age-related illnesses, chronic stress, and functional disability in older adults. IL-6 is also a strong inducer of C-reactive protein (CRP) by the liver, and both IL-6 and CRP are important in the development of cardiovascular disease. IL-6 and CRP also play a pathogenic role in a number of diseases associated with disability in older adults, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression among others.”

“Studies of older humans have reported age-related increases in proinflammatory cytokines, but the switch from the inflammatory burst that resolves following an infection or injury to the chronic elevation encountered in many older adults is not well understood. Several investigations have indicated that there is an age-related increase in circulating IL-6, which has been called a “cytokine for gerontologists”. However, some studies have found no changes with age. Similarly, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a cytokine that is involved in septic shock, was reportedly increased in some studies but not others.”

“Anti-inflammatory mediators, such as IL-10 and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), may also be important in the aging process because they counteract proinflammatory cytokines. With regards to IL-10, few studies have measured circulating levels of this cytokine, but there have been reports that indicated no change occurs with aging. Reports have also shown an age-related increase in the IL-1ra. Altogether, the discrepancies regarding these cytokines mostly likely relate to variations in age and sample size.”

“Besides age, cytokine levels may also be influenced by ethnicity. Plasma levels of IL-8 and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor were elevated in African Americans compared with Caucasians, and TNF-α has been reported to be higher in non-obese Mexican Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites. Because there is little other information on circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and ethnicity, our goal was to investigate plasma levels of circulating cytokines in relation to ethnicity as well as age in a large population-based study. We found age-related differences in proinflammatory cytokines as well as significant differences in circulating cytokine levels between Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks.”

“Because our study population was tri-ethnic in nature, we analyzed the data accordingly and found significant associations between cytokine levels and ethnicity. The highest levels of pro-inflammatory markers were found in either non-Hispanic whites or blacks. Interestingly, it has been proposed that the health status of Hispanics in the Southwestern United States is comparable more so with whites than with blacks despite the fact that socioeconomically Hispanics are more similar to blacks than the more advantaged whites; this has been aptly named the “Hispanic Paradox”. Our results support this concept, which demonstrates that, collectively, lower levels of inflammatory cytokines were found in Hispanics compared with whites or blacks. Notably, the lowest inflammatory levels were found in foreign-born Hispanics. We have previously proposed that protective measures (eg, acculturation) may in part underlie the differences between foreign-born and US-born Hispanics because we found that increasing years in the United States was associated with increasing IL-1ra levels among Hispanic women at 22–24 weeks of pregnancy. Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms underlying the differences in cytokine profiles between foreign-born and US-born Hispanics.”

“One potential explanation for the ethnic variations in cytokine levels is differences in cytokine gene polymorphisms. Allelic variations in the regulatory regions of inflammatory cytokine genes have been shown to affect the expression of some cytokines. Several studies have focused on IL-6 because of its biological importance and have demonstrated that the G/G IL-6 genotype, which results in high IL-6 production, is predominantly found in blacks. It has been hypothesized that the dissimilarities in cytokine gene polymorphisms may contribute to the differences in inflammatory responses and cancer incidence and mortality in blacks. Additionally, obesity was a significant determinant of CRP levels in non-Hispanic blacks, and BMI was significantly higher in non-Hispanic blacks than either non-Hispanic whites or Hispanics (data not shown).”

“In summary, our results confirm and extend other studies demonstrating age-related increases in circulating proinflammatory cytokines. In addition, we have shown ethnic differences in cytokine levels, and to our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating ethnic differences in proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine profiles in large population-based study. Future studies are needed to determine the epigenetic link between inflammation and ethnicity.”

Editor’s Afterthought: When it’s so clear that chronic low-level inflammatory processes are at work underlying so much disease, is there any good reason that pure, natural Coca Leaf sourced directly from growers in Peru and Bolivia by legal means shouldn’t be tested for potential health benefits?

Even if Coca Leaf were simply helpful, without causing any harm, Coca Leaf could form the core of therapies at spas and clinics. And incidentally, these Spas and Clinics should be free to grow their own Coca Leaf or to contract with any indigenous person or group to grow their Coca Leaf for them.

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More Proof: Coca Leaf Is A Safe & Effective Natural Medicine

Although I’ve tried to illustrate this point many times in this blog, it is so critical to overcoming decades of government propaganda that it bears repeated emphasis. In this case I’m offering the abstracts of two key articles published decades ago, but still well within the scope of contemporary science. Those who follow Natural Medicine research will no doubt recognize the author of these two articles as the incomparable Dr. Andy Weil.

The medicinal, healing properties of Coca Leaf do not lie in the Cocaine alkaloid – it is the whole, natural leaf that was the great gift of Mama Coca to her people and through them to the world.  This leaf is the loving gift of the Spirit of Coca to those in the world who have the openness of mind to pull aside the deliberately woven veils of illusion that have been put in place to keep her hidden from the tens of millions of people who suffer and die unnecessarily from diseases that this profoundly powerful natural medicine could help to cure.  

American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 1978;5(1):75-86.

Coca Leaf As A Therapeutic Agent

Weil AT


South American Indians have used coca leaf as a remedy for thousands of years. Coca might be useful as a treatment for gastrointestinal ailments and motion sickness, as a fast-acting antidepressant medication, as a substitute stimulant for coffee in certain cases, and as an adjunct in programs of weight reduction and physical fitness. In leaf form, coca does not produce toxicity or dependence. Its effects are distinct from those of cocaine, which is but one of a number of active compounds in the leaf. Coca can be administered as a chewing gum containing a whole extract of the leaf, including alkaloids, natural flavors, and several nutrients. Legal mechanisms exist for importing, distributing, and dispensing coca, and experimentation with it by interested physicians would be valuable.

Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1981 Mar-May;3(2-3):367-76.

The Therapeutic Value Of Coca In Contemporary Medicine

Weil AT


Coca appears to be a useful treatment for various gastrointestinal ailments, motion sickness, and laryngeal fatigue. It can be an adjunct in programs of weight reduction and physical fitness and may be a fast-acting antidepressant. It is of value in treating dependence on stronger stimulants. Coca regulates carbohydrate metabolism in a unique way and may provide a new therapeutic approach to hypoglycemia and diabetes mellitus. With low-dose, chronic administration it appears to normalize body functions. In leaf form coca does not produce toxicity or dependence. Coca can be administered as a chewing gum or lozenge containing a whole extract of the leaf, including alkaloids, natural flavors, and nutrients.


Coca Leaf & Muscle Energy

Because I have received such interesting feedback on a recent blog post on the possibilities of Coca Leaf as a treatment ME/CFS, I thought that I would post Chapter 12 of “The History of Coca” by W. Golden Mortimer, MD (1901). Anyone interested in the role of fatigue, nutrition, metabolic waste in the blood, and the therapeutic role of Coca Leaf that was fully known in the 1800s and yet which has been completely ignored in the search for treatments and even cures for a range of muscular & neurological conditions will probably find this information – at a minimum – interesting.

 It will also be interesting to critics of one of today’s medical fads – the imposition of progressively strenuous exercise on people with CFS, ME/CFS, MS and other conditions – that Dr. Mortimer writing in 1901 is saying exactly the same thing – PET (Progressive Exercise Therapy) is potentially dangerous. I had a football coach in high school whose only response to an injury was to tell the player to “Jog it off.” I remember getting seriously crunched in practice and then, on Ole’ Coach’s orders, doing a couple of laps with what turned out to be a broken collarbone. Finally I fainted at which point ole’ coach finally decided to have an assistant toss me in a car and drive me to a hospital.

Somehow I think the spirit of “Ole Coach” lives on in a lot of doctors.

 The section of this Chapter that deals with the balancing, restorative impact of Coca on body proteins is equally fascinating. It is highly suggestive of potentially safe and effective pathways to addressing some severe diseases involving protein metabolism gone awry. Alzheimer’s perhaps?

 Finally, I hope you will find it as fascinating as I did to read Dr. Mortimer’s discussion of metabolic waste in the blood and Coca Leaf’s role in cleansing the blood of this toxicity

 This entire book, and several others that are equally well-written and revealing, are available along with a large hyperlinked bibliography that will take you to original 18th-19th Century source material, in my ebook “The Coca Leaf Papers”.  (And don’t forget that you can request a free copy of this book on the “Request A Free Copy” page of this blog.

Figure 5


“Leaves of wond’rous nourishment.

Whose Juice Succ’d in, and to the Stomach tak’n

Long Hunger and long Labour can sustain;

From which our faint and weary Bodies find

More Succor, more they cheer the drooping Mind,

Than can your Bacchus and your Ceres joined.”   – Cowley.

There has been no period since the command was given Adam in the garden of Eden, when physical exertion was not essential to existence. The ancient philosophers instilled the doctrine that a sound mind is only possible in a sound body, and so Homer pictured Achilles as eating his own heart in distress because he might not fight. Idleness has been so recognized as a common precursor of discontent and melancholia, that when the children of Israel murmured against Pharaoh their tasks were wisely doubled to prevent retrospection. Occupation is not only essential to prosperity, but is morally and physically conducive to health and longevity and a rest is best attained not by total cessation, but by a change of employment. I believe it was Hammond who advised a wealthy neurasthenic to collect used corks, with the result that the patient became so interested in this unique occupation that his brooding was soon forgotten, while he became an expert in old stoppers.

With a popular regard for the benefits of appropriate exercise, the matter of athletics has been greatly overdone, and has often resulted in injury instead of the anticipated good. The early Greeks, who elaborated every form of gymnastics, only undertook the severe strain incidental to their games after a suitable preparatory period. They were encouraged to these performances – which were instituted in honor of the gods or deified heroes – through the idea that they were sacred, and in fulfillment of this the exercises always began with a sacrifice, and concluded in the same religious manner. In the period of Caesar, a victory in the Olympic games was considered such a triumph that honors were not only extended to the victor, but to his relatives and even to his place of birth. There was, however, no impromptu emulation permitted in these contests, but those who desired to compete were obliged to submit themselves for preparatory practice at least ten months before the exercises began.

Wherever there is an incentive for supremacy, there is a possibility of overstrain, and Hippocrates cautioned the athlete against the possible error of immoderate exercise. Galen foreshadowed the modem wear and tear theorists when he asserted: “much exercise and weariness consumes the spirits and substances.” Sustained and straining effort in any direction, whether it be mental or physical, cannot be continued without a following train of troubles. When any function of the body is put in action there is a chemical change within the tissues which gives rise to the energy set free, and before new power may be had the substance which affords this energy must be rebuilt. While this is true of all the tissues of the body, owing to the greater bulk of the muscular system the changes are apparently more active in this organism. Incessant activity often prevents an adequate opportunity for repair.

We have seen that the Incas, during the period when  their young men were preparing for knighthood, devoted the greatest attention to athletic training. It was only when the young nobles had proved themselves worthy, by appropriate exhibition of their powers of endurance, that they were presented with the chuspa in which to carry the Coca leaves, and the poporo to contain the lime to be employed in preparing the Coca for mastication. These decorations were thereafter worn through life as emblems of ennoblement, and buried with the mummied body, the Coca affording support on the journey to the unknown. The ancient philosophers were quite as ignorant of the exact changes which induced the transformation of energy displayed in muscular activity as were the Incas, or as are the modem Andeans regarding the true workings of Coca in its yield of force.

Mind, Muscle, Energy & Nutrition

The muscular system comprises two varieties of muscles. One of these acts under mental influence, while the other acts independent of the will, while the heart – which is essentially a muscle – partakes of qualities in both of these varieties. The voluntary muscles are chiefly attached to the bony framework, and are concerned in bodily movements, while the involuntary muscles enter into the formation of the blood vessels, the lymphatics and the walls of various structures, as the air passages, the alimentary canal and other important organs, as well as forming parts of the skin and mucous membranes.

The framework muscles are supported by thin sheaths of tissue, which in their interior divide by numerous ramifications and separate the contained muscular substance into bundles. These are still further divided into little fibres, each ultimate fibre being enveloped with a close network of minute blood vessels. These vessels afford an ample means for bringing nutriment to the muscle substance, as well as for carrying away the waste products which are constantly being formed, even in the state commonly regarded as absolute rest. The importance of this hurrying stream of nutriment, and waste elimination to the muscular organism, may be inferred from the estimate that one-fourth of the entire blood of the body is  contained in the muscles.

When the little muscle fibres are examined under the microscope, they are seen to be made up of alternating lines which appear as light and dark striations. The darker of these lines, when viewed in transverse section, is found composed of little polygonal compartments. Within these divisions is contained a semi-fluid material which has been demonstrated to be the contractile element of the muscle substance.

The ancients presumed the muscles acted by some pulling influence exerted through the nerves. Harmonious nerve action is essential to every movement, yet muscle substance has been shown to have an inherent property of contractility quite independent of nerve influence. The chief nerves controlling the movements of the muscular system have their origin in the brain and spinal cord. These each consist of fibres conveying sensation and fibres which control motion. These latter end in expansions on the surface of the muscle in intimate contact with the contractile element, the function of which it regulates through the reflex influence of the sensory nerves. In other words a stimulation of the sensory nerves excites the motor nerves to cause muscular activity.

Each fibre is not continuous through the entire length of muscle structure, but the tapering end of one fibre is united to the body of its neighbor by a cement-like substance to form a bundle which constitutes the muscle proper. These bundles taper, or are expanded, as the case may be, to a dense fibrous tissue for attachment to different portions of the movable framework of the body. When a muscle acts, each of its  individual fibres shortens through some chemical influence of the contractile element. The combined action of the fibres exerts a pull toward either end of the muscle, which occasions movement of the less fixed portion of the framework to which the muscle is attached.

The involuntary muscles have not definite tendons like the voluntary muscles, and their microscopical structure is also different, their fibres being smaller and instead of being cross-striped they are marked longitudinally. In their arrangement the fibres are so interlaced that by their contraction they lessen the capacity of the vessels or organs in the walls of which they are located.

The property of contraction is inherent in the muscle itself, and continues even after its nerve supply has been cut off. For this experiment in the laboratory, curare is employed; this paralyzes the nerve filaments deep down in the muscle substance yet leaves the muscle intact. Under these conditions though contraction will not be produced when the nerve is stimulated, movement will follow when stimulus is  directly applied to the muscle substance. It is presumed that this inherent property is generated by some substance brought in the blood, which induces a chemical change in the contractile element and liberates the energy displayed as muscular movement. This change is influenced by temperature, and by the presence or absence of waste material in the muscle structure or in the circulation. Whatever this explosive substance may be, it is presumed to be built up in the muscle structure from some carbohydrate material – possibly glycogen – under the influence of a nitrogenous substance. For, as Foster has said: “The whole secret of life may almost be said to be wrapped up in the occult properties of certain nitrogen compounds.” Hermann named this hypothetical substance inogen. During a muscle contraction it is inferred this carbohydrate splits into carbonic acid, sarcolactic acid and some nitrogenous material which may be myosin or a substance akin to it, the acids being carried off in the blood stream, while the proteid substance remains in the muscle to be again elaborated into the inogen energy yielding material.  Helmholtz calculated that in the human body one-fifth the energy of the material consumed goes out as work, thus contrasting favorably with the steam engine, in which it hardly ever amounts to more than one-tenth.

The Key Role Of Nitrogen

According to the theory of Liebig the nitrogenous food is utilized in the building up of proteid tissues, and the non-nitrogenous food is exclusively devoted to heat producing  purposes, being directly oxidized in the blood, while its excess is stored as fat. In accordance with this theory, muscular exercise increases the waste of muscle substance, while the wear and tear is estimated by the amount of urea excreted.  Originally this idea was generally accepted, but was attacked from many sources when it was found that facts of subsequent research did not coincide. Troube suggested in opposition that muscle and nerve tissue is not destroyed by exercise, but that force is contributed to these tissues through the oxidation of non-nitrogenous substances of which the muscle and nerve were simply mediums of expression.

Following the idea of Liebig, that work results in wear and tear of the tissues, there should be an increased output of nitrogen during exertion, but many observers in trying to harmonize results with this view have found little increase of  urea – which practically represents all the nitrogen passed out of the body – while a decided increase of urea is found from the consumption of nitrogenous foods. Among the more noted experiments which controverted the theory that the nitrogenous waste represented the relative expenditure  of energy is that of Dr. Fick, Professor of Physiology, and Dr. Wislicenus, Professor of Chemistry, both of the University of Zurich. They ascended the Faulhom, two thousand metres high (6,561 feet) for the purpose of determining the resultant wear and tear upon the nitrogenous tissues from a known amount of exercise. To accurately determine this, they limited their diet to non-nitrogenous materials, taking starch, fat and a little sugar, with beer, wine and tea as beverages. For seventeen hours before the ascent they limited themselves to non-nitrogenous food, and their first examinations were made eleven hours before their start. The ascent was completed in eight hours, and after a rest of six hours they ate an ordinary meal, which included meat. The urine secreted was examined to estimate the nitrogen excreted for each  hour’s work, which showed the following results :   Nitrogen excreted per hour.  [Estimated in grammes.]  Before work: Fick – 0.63, Wislicenus – 0.61;  During Work: Fick – 0.41, Wislicenus – 0.39;  After work: Fick – 0.40, Wislicenus – 0.40; During The Night: Fick – 0.45, Wislicenus – 0.51.

This indicates that the amount of nitrogen excreted was in relation to the food eaten and not to the work done, less relative nitrogen being passed in the “work” and “after work” periods when on a non-nitrogenous diet than during the period when nitrogenous food was eaten. The calculations were based on the amount of work which the oxidation of muscular substance containing fifteen percent, of nitrogen would produce as determined from the excreted urea. The result showed this inadequate to have enabled the experimenters to perform the task which they did, Fick’s work exceeding the theoretical amount by one-half, while that done by Wislicenus was in excess by more than three-fourths the theoretical amount, without in either case considering the necessary work of the various vital processes. These facts led many experimenters to further investigation, and resulted in a decided reaction from Liebig’s rigid theory, which had been accepted more literally than that physiologist intended. Instead of regarding the decomposition of proteids as the sole source of  muscular energy, the carbohydrates were now looked upon as  a formative element for generating force, because during muscular activity the glycogen stored in muscle disappears, to accumulate again during rest.

Pflüger, one of the most eminent of modem physiologists, in attempting to harmonize the theory of Liebig, experimented with a dog, which he kept upon an exclusive meat diet free from fat, and made him perform hard labor several times a day for weeks, during which the animal showed: “Very extraordinary strength and elasticity in all his movements.” In this experiment he wished to show that all the energy produced during hard work was from the transformation of proteid. To further show whether proteid simply was compensatory, he gave a mixed diet, and this led him to the conclusion that in a diet composed of proteid, carbohydrates and fats the quantity of the two latter substances destroyed in metabolism depends wholly upon the fact whether much or little proteid be fed. His conclusions are that: “In general the quantity of carbohydrates and fat that undergoes destruction is smaller the greater the income of proteid.” This may be regarded as the accepted view of modem physiologists with this qualification, that proteids must be built up from carbohydrates under a nitrogenous stimulus, just as we have seen is the process in plant structure.

The Impact Of Coca On Body Proteins

It has already been pointed out that the nitrogenous Coca has a direct bearing upon the structure of tissue through a possible quality of elaborating the carbohydrates of the protoplasm into proteids. Since the muscles form the largest bulk of tissues in the body in which chemical changes are constantly going on, it may be inferred how important is this upbuilding of the complex substance by which muscle activity  is produced. The action of Coca on yeast as well as penicillium and other low organisms indicates its peculiar activity upon protoplasm. The experiments of Huxley and Martin long since showed that penicillium can build itself up out of ammonium tartrate and inorganic salts, and can by a decomposition of itself give rise to fats and other bodies, and we have every reason, says Foster, to suppose this constructive power belongs naturally to all native protoplasm wherever found. At the same time we see, even in the case of penicillium, it is of advantage to offer to the protoplasm as food, substances which are on their way to become protoplasm, which thus saves the organism much constructive labor. “It is not unreasonable, even if opposed to established ideas, to suppose that the animal protoplasm is as constructive as the vegetable protoplasm, the difference between the two being that the former, unlike the latter, is as destructive as it is constructive, and therefore requires to be continually fed with ready constructed material.”

In further support of the influence of Coca upon the formation of proteid it may be again emphasized that the nitrogen found in the urea is not a measure of the proteid transformation of the body. This conclusion would be justified if it were known that all nitrogenous cleavage products of the proteid molecule without exception leave the body. But  there is no ground for such belief. On the contrary, there is no fact known to contradict the idea that nitrogenous cleavage products of the proteid molecule can rebuild themselves synthetically again into proteid with the aid of new non-nitrogenous groups of atoms. This latter possibility has been overlooked, and in consequence views have arisen, especially in relation to muscle metabolism, which though bearing the stamp of improbability have been accepted and handed down, but which recently have been criticized by Pflüger.

Urea – The Toxic Waste Of Nitrogenous Protein Metabolism 

Just where urea is manufactured in the organism is not definitely known. It is presumed that kreatin, xanthin and other nitrogenous extractives which are found in the circulation resulting from tissue activity may be converted either by the blood or by the epithelium of the kidneys, and discharged as urea. In certain kidney diseases it is known that these waste products are retained in the circulation, “with consequent symptoms of poisoning. In addition to this it has been found that an increase of nitrogenous food rapidly augments this excretion, the products of intestinal digestion, the leucin and lyrosin, being carried to the liver and converted by the liver cells to urea, and this organ is considered at least the chief  organ of urea formation.

It has been found that in functional derangements of the liver, when the normal urea formation is interfered with, there is imperfect oxidation of the products which should be eliminated as urea, and a deposit of lithates occurs in the urine as a signal of imperfect oxidation. This also may follow excessive exercise. In serious organic diseases the urea excretion may cease entirely, being replaced by the less oxidized leucin and tyrosin, M. Genevdix, from observations of his own and those of Charcot, Bouchardat and others, concludes that disorders of the liver which do not seriously implicate the secreting structure of that tissue increase the amount of urea excreted, while graver disorders diminish it very considerably.” A Belgian physician, Doctor Rommelaere, maintains that diagnosis of cancer of the stomach may be made when the urea excretion falls and continues below ten grammes a day for several consecutive days.

The average excretion of urea is sixteen grains an hour, the excretion fluctuating between thirteen and twenty-five grains, being greater soon after eating, and much less during the early morning hours. Uric acid, which is probably a less advanced form of oxidation, being present in the relation to urea as one to thirty-five, its relation to body weight being three and a half grains per pound; thus when urea excretion  equals thirty-five grains for each ten pounds of body weight, there is commonly present one grain of uric acid. The effect of these waste products in the tissues is to so impede the functions of the cells as to occasion symptoms of depression and fatigue, whether this be manifested by irritability, drowsiness or profound muscular tiredness. There is a loading up – not necessarily within the cells of the tissues, but in the blood stream which supplies these – of excreta which vitiates the proper pabulum of the protoplasm, and a period of rest is absolutely necessary to enable the tissues to get rid of this matter before a healthful condition may be resumed.

Origins & Mechanisms Of Physical Fatigue

All the symptoms of fatigue are due to the effort of the tissues at repair. There is an increase of respiration to bring the necessary increase of oxygen demanded, and accompanying this respiratory effort there is a frequency of the heart beat, while the body becomes cool because its heat is lessened through the evaporation of perspiration. In protracted fatigue there may be a rise of temperature due to irritation by  the increased force of the blood stream, occasioning sleeplessness, while the digestive functions are interfered with because of the excessive demands of other organs on the blood stimulus.

In over-exertion, where there is actual loss of proteid tissue, the effects of prostration and tiredness may not be experienced immediately, but only after several days. Similar symptoms to these accompany the infectious diseases when the blood is loaded with the products formed by invading bacteria. Again they are manifest when the organism is poisoned through toxic products of indigestion. These may be simply the products of proteid decomposition – leucomaines as they are termed, or they may be ptomaines produced by the activity of  certain micro-organisms which affect the body through the toxic principles which they elaborate. Some of these are excessively poisonous in minute doses, and are chiefly developed  in such articles of food as milk, ice cream, cheese, sausage and canned fish. It has been inferred that the muscles may also produce toxins which by their presence give rise to poisonous symptoms.

From whatever source they may have been derived, waste products in the blood impede the action of all the tissues of the body. This influence is well shown in the laboratory upon a prepared muscle, the contractions being recorded by a series of curves upon a suitable machine. Following stimulation there is a short interval known as the latent period, and then contraction is indicated by a rising curve commencing rapidly and proceeding more slowly to a maximum height, and as the muscle returns to its normal condition there is a descending curve, at first sudden and then more gradual. After repeated shocks of stimulation these curves become less marked, until the contractions record almost a continuous line – a condition which is termed muscular tetanus.

Such tired muscle has a longer latent period than a fresh one, and a stronger stimulation is necessary to produce contractions equal to those at the beginning of experimentation.  Bernard experimented with blue bottle flies – rausca vomitoria, and found that the muscle of fatigued flies compared with that of flies at rest showed microscopical distinction, the contractile disks of the tired muscle being almost obliterated,  while the capacity of such a muscle for taking a stain for microscopic examination evidenced an important difference over that of normal muscle, the whole contents of the segments staining uniformly, indicating that extraordinary exertion had used up the muscular substance more rapidly than it was repaired.

Ranke found that by washing out a fatigued muscle with common salt solution, though it added no new factor of energy, it freed the tissue from poisonous excreta and enabled it to again perform work. To confirm this a watery extract of fatigued muscle, when injected into fresh muscle, occasioned it to lose its working capacity. Mosso has also shown by experiments on the dog the presence of these fatigue substances. When the blood of a tired dog was injected into a dog which had been at rest all the phenomena of fatigue were manifest, but when the blood injected was from a normally resting dog no such symptoms were induced. This physiologist has shown that in man small doses of cocaine remove  the fatigue sense and raise muscular ability above normal.

Dr. Alexander Haig, of London, attributes all the symptoms of depression and fatigue as due to the presence of uric acid in the blood, which he regards as the particular poison of the excreta. Uric acid, he claims, obstructs the capillaries throughout the entire body, the consequent deficient circulation preventing a proper metabolism by retarding the removal of waste products.

The relative excretion of waste is influenced not only by the routine of living, but by changes in the weather, tiredness being more easily produced in warm than in cold weather because of the increased elimination of acids by perspiration raising the alkalinity of the blood and permitting the passage of an excess of uric acid from the tissues into the blood. With this excess there is a diminished excretion of urea accompanied by the symptoms of fatigue. Exercise when excessive increases the formation of urea, which may at first be carried off in a free blood stream, but when the flow in the capillaries is diminished through the presence of uric acid in excess, the urea excretion is retarded and fatigue is manifest.

Cocaine, it is found, will free the blood of uric acid and abolish all the symptoms of fatigue both of mind and body, doing this by raising the acidity of the blood and so directly counteracting the effect of exercise by preventing the blood becoming a solvent for uric acid. The effect of he pure blood is to produce a free circulation with increased metabolism in the muscles and nerve centres. When the blood is loaded with excreta the circulation is retarded and there is high blood pressure, which may ultimately result in dilatation  of the heart.

The long train of troubles which may follow retention of waste have been found to be worse during the morning hours when the acid tide of the urine is lowest. These conditions are all relieved under the influence of Coca, a knowledge of which has been gleaned from its empirical use. As an instance of this, a lady suffering from a severe influenza accompanied with rheumatism, was induced to try a grog of Vin  Mariani – as advocated by Dr. Cyrus Edson in the treatment of La Grippe, and much to her surprise found that she was not only cured of her cold, but entirely relieved from the symptoms of her rheumatism as well, despite a preformed prejudice against Coca in any form. Acting upon this suggestive hint, I have found that alternate doses of Coca and the salicylates constitute an admirable treatment for rheumatism.

Coca Leaf & The Elimination Of Physical Fatigue

The influence of Coca in banishing the effects of extreme fatigue is well illustrated in an account of its use communicated to me by Dr. Frank L. James, Editor of the National Druggist, St. Louis. While a student at Munich he experimented with the use of Coca upon himself at the request of Professor Liebig, whose pupil he was. On one occasion, when exceedingly tired both physically and mentally, he was  induced to try chewing Coca after the proper Peruvian fashion with a little llipta. Before commencing this experiment he was hungry, but too tired to eat and too hungry to sleep. In a few moments after beginning to chew hunger gave place to a sense of warmth in the stomach, while all physical weariness disappeared, though mentally he was still somewhat tired and disinclined to read or study, though this condition soon passed away, giving rise to an absolute eagerness to be at some sort of exercise. These sensations lasted altogether for probably three hours, gradually passing off after the first hour, leaving the subject none the worse for his experience and able to eat a hearty dinner the same evening.

Some years afterward, while practicing in the South, this gentleman returned from a thirty-six hours’ ride so tired as to necessitate being helped off the horse and up-stairs to his  room. While preparing for bed his eyes fell upon a package of Coca leaves which he had recently received by way of San Francisco, and the idea immediately occurred to him to repeat the experiment of his student days. In the course of a quarter of an hour – following the chewing of probably a drachm of Coca leaves – he felt so refreshed and recuperated that he was able to go out and visit patients about the town to whom he had previously sent word that he was too tired to call on them that night. In describing the result, Dr. James said: “I was not very hungry at the time before taking the Coca, but all sense of the necessity or of a desire for food  vanished with the weariness.”

Professor Novy, of the University of Michigan, is referred to by one of his former classmates as having formed one of a group of experimenters upon the use of Coca leaves. The influence being tested during a walk of twenty-four miles, taken one afternoon without any other nourishment but water and Coca. Over four miles an hour was averaged, and although unaccustomed to such long walks or vigorous exercise, no special muscular fatigue was experienced by four of the party who chewed the leaves almost constantly during the journey. No change was noted in the urine and no depression was experienced the next day. One who did not chew Coca, but was addicted to alcohol and chewed tobacco constantly, was somewhat more fatigued than the others, and suffered considerably from soreness of the muscles on the following day.

The experience of Sir Robert Christison, of Edinburgh, with the use of Coca upon himself and several of his students, is full of interest because of his extended experiments and the high rank of the investigator. Two of his students, unaccustomed to exercise during five months, walked some sixteen miles without having eaten any food since breakfast. On their return they each took two drachms of Coca made into an infusion, to which was added five grains of carbonate of soda, in imitation of the Peruvian method of adding an alkali. All sense of hunger and fatigue soon left, and after an hours walk they returned to enjoy an excellent dinner, after which they felt alert during the evening, and their night’s sleep was sound and refreshing. One of these students felt a slight sensation of giddiness after drinking the infusion, but the  other experienced no unpleasant symptoms. Ten students, under similar conditions, walked varying distances, from twenty to thirty miles, over a hilly road. Two of these were unable to remark any effects from the use of Coca, several felt decided relief from fatigue, while four experienced complete relief, and one of these had walked thirty miles without any food. Professor Christison, though seventy-eight years  of age and unaccustomed to vigorous exercise, subsequently experimented on himself by chewing Coca leaves with and without llipta, some of which had been forwarded to him from Peru. He first determined the effect of profound fatigue by walking fifteen miles on two occasions without taking food or drink. On his return his pulse, which was normally sixty-two at rest, was one hundred and ten on his arrival home, and two hours later was ninety. He was unfit for mental work in the evening, though he slept soundly all night, but the next morning was not inclined for active exercise. Then, under similar conditions, he walked sixteen miles, in three stages of four, six, and six miles, with one interval of half an hour, and two intervals of an hour and a half. During the last forty-five minutes of his second rest he chewed eighty grains of Coca, reserving forty grains for use during the last stage, even swallowing some of the fibre. He felt sufficiently tired to look forward to the end of his journey with reluctance, and did not observe any particular effect from the Coca until he got out of doors and put on his usual pace, of which he said: “At once I was surprised to find that all sense of weariness had entirely fled and that I could proceed not only with ease, but even with elasticity. I got over the six miles in an hour and a half without difficulty, and  found it easy when done to get up a four and a half mile pace and to ascend quickly two steps at a time to my dressing room, two floors up-stairs; in short, I had no sense of fatigue or any other uneasiness whatsoever.”

During this walk he perspired profusely. On reaching home his pulse was ninety, and in two hours it had fallen to seventy-two, showing that the heart and circulation had been strengthened under the influence of Coca. The urine solids were the same as during the walk without Coca. In describing this walk, he said: “On arrival home before dinner, I felt neither hunger nor thirst, after complete abstinence from food and drink of every kind for nine hours, but upon dinner appearing in half an hour, ample justice was done to it.”  After a sound sleep through the night he woke refreshed and free from all sense of fatigue. An influence of Coca not anticipated was the relief of a tenderness of his eyes, which during some years had rendered continuous reading a painful effort. In another trial at mountain climbing, he ascended Ben Vorlich, on Loch Earn, 3,224 feet above the sea. The climb was along a rugged foot path, then through a short heather and deep grass, and the final dome of seven hundred feet rise was among blocks and slabs of mica-slate. The ascent was made in two and a half hours, the last three hundred feet requiring considerable determination.

His companions enjoyed a luncheon, but Sir Robert contented himself chewing two-thirds of a drachm of Coca, and after a rest of three-quarters of an hour was ready for the descent. Although this was looked forward to with no little distrust, he found upon rising that all fatigue was gone, and he journeyed with the same ease with which he had enjoyed mountain rambles in his youth. The experimenter was neither weary, hungry nor thirsty, and felt as though he could easily have walked four miles to his home. After a hearty dinner, followed by a busy evening, he slept soundly during the night and woke refreshed in the morning, ready for another days exercise. During the trip he took neither food nor drink of any kind except chewing sixty grains of Coca leaves. Eight days after this experiment was repeated, using ninety grains of Coca. The weather had changed and the temperature was forty-four degrees at the top of the mountain and a chilly breeze provoked the desire to descend. While resting sixty grains of Coca was chewed. The descent was made without halt in an hour and a quarter, and followed by a walk of two miles over a level road to meet his carriage. He then felt slightly tired, because three hours had elapsed since he had chewed Coca.

In summing up his experience Professor Christison says: “I feel that without details the general results which may now be summarized would scarcely carry conviction with them. They are the following: The chewing of Coca not only removes extreme fatigue, but prevents it. Hunger and thirst are suspended, but eventually appetite and digestion are unaffected. No injury whatever is sustained at the time or subsequently in occasional trials.” From sixty to ninety grains are sufficient for one trial, but some persons either require more or are constitutionally proof against the restorative action of Coca. From his observations there was no effect on the mental faculties except to prevent the dullness and drowsiness which follow great bodily fatigue.

Coca Leaf & Muscle Foods

It is a matter of much interest to determine just what food is appropriate to generate muscle or to stimulate the tissues for work. As the capacity of an organ is in proportion to its bulk  – under proper conditions – it seems essential that proteids should be eaten in order to create the muscle substances of which they form so great a part; but as has been repeatedly indicated, no one variety of food makes that same variety of  tissue. All conversion in the body is due to a chemical change within the cell of the tissue; the food taken in is broken down by the digestive processes, and after assimilation is doled out according to the particular requirements of the individual parts of a normal organism.

The muscles are not set at work from the immediate intake of food, but are rendered capable for action by a chemical conversion of the material already stored up in the tissues, which is elaborated into energy as it may be required. It would seem as though this fact had not been carefully considered when calculating the effect of any diet upon muscular exertion during a brief period. The capacity of the body for work is due to the integrity of its tissue and the ability to draw suitable supplies from these stored substances. It is the appropriate conversion of this stored-up material which constitutes energy in a capable being rather than a mere automatism. Without this power of conversion the human organism would simply be clogged up by an accumulation of fuel which would impede rather than create activity. The body should not be regarded as a machine constituted with certain working parts which are gradually worn out through the so often expressed “wear and tear.” The facts long since have proved that life is a succession of deaths. The  highest type of physical life is that which is capable of  the greatest activity, creating useful energy and properly eliminating the waste matters resulting from the chemical changes from this conversion. Indeed, one of the gravest problems in the maintenance of a healthful activity is the one of excretion. To the retention of waste products in the blood or tissues a whole train of ills, both physical and mental, is unquestionably due, whether this poison be uric acid or not.

Preoccupied humanity seems constantly seeking some medicinal measure toward buoyancy and vigor rather than regarding the rational effects of appropriate eating and proper exercise. The success of many patent nostrums is chiefly based upon the fact of the necessity for elimination, and a good diuretic or laxative disguised as a panacea for all ills often produces the required result. As to the proper food  essential to promote the greatest energy there have been many conflicting conclusions drawn from the known physiological facts. On the one side it has been asserted that all energy is induced from nitrogenous substances, while on the other side equally competent observers have asserted that the non-nitrogenous substances are alone used; yet all the evidence points to the fact that the constructive metabolism in animals is paralleled by similar processes in plant life, in which it has been shown that carbohydrates are built up into proteids, while these latter are also broken down into carbohydrates, and each of these may be converted again and again under the appropriate stimulus of  the other substance. We know that starch, which is the representative of the carbohydrate class, is converted into glucose and carried to the liver to be stored up as the animal starch –  glycogen – and as the various tissues of the body are called into activity this stored-up material is hurried to them in a soluble form to be utilized by the cell in the production of energy. When meat is eaten – which is the representative type of the nitrogenous class – its proteid material is changed into a soluble peptone, and this, carried to the liver, is converted into glycogen, which indicates, as has been proven by experiment, that either class of food substance is capable of maintaining the functions of the body so long as the chemical elements comprising the food taken be appropriate. While the meat eater and the vegetarian are each right, they are equally both wrong when advocating an exclusiveness in either dietary. The fact is, as will be shown in the chapter upon dietetics, it is purely an individual matter as to what particular food may be best. It all depends upon the body, or the machine – as you will – as to what substance each particular organism shall have the privilege of converting into energy.

While the body may be supported on either class of foodstuffs for a time, a man would surely starve as quick on a purely nitrogenous dietary as he would upon one purely non-nitrogenous. It will be recalled that the experiment of Fick and Wislicenus was conducted upon a food, the solid portion of which was carbohydrate, but with this tea was drunk as a beverage. Tea loaded with Xanthin would afford sufficient  of the nitrogenous element to convert the stored-up carbohydrates to action, but as Haig and Morton have both shown, tea contains so much of an equivalent to uric acid that it could not long be relied upon as an energy exciter, for while the tissue might be stimulated for a time, waste matter would soon be augmented in the blood. Coca, as we have seen, has the quality of freeing the blood from waste material, and yet  possesses sufficient nitrogenous quality to convert the stored- up carbohydrates into tissue and energy. The Andeans are a race small of stature and of low muscular development. The average American or European could easily tire a native Indian in a day’s travel, but while the former continuing on an ordinary diet would soon become stiff, the Indian sustained by Coca remains fit and active, and is apparently fresh and ready after a hard day’s jaunt. It seems probable that this condition is occasioned through the converting influence of  the nitrogenous Coca acting upon the stored-up carbohydrates of the Andean’s accustomed dietary. Thus while promoting metabolism and increasing energy the blood current is at the same time kept free.

The custom of the Andean to measure distances by the cocada has already been referred to; it is the length of time that the influence of a chew of Coca will carry him – equal to a period of some forty minutes – and during which he will  cover nearly two miles on a level ground or a mile and a quarter up hill. Taking the suggestion from this a preparation of Coca made in Paris known as ‘Velo-Coca,” is purposely intended for the use of bicyclists, a given dose of which is calculated to sustain the rider through forty kilometres –  twenty-five miles. The advantage of Coca in long distance contests has long been known to certain professionals, who have endeavored to keep their use of this force sustainer a  secret.

Some years ago the members of the Toronto La Crosse Club experimented with Coca, and during the season when that club held the championship of the world Coca was used in all its important matches. The Toronto Club was composed of men accustomed to sedentary work, while some of the opposing players were sturdy men accustomed to out of door exercise. The games were all very severely contested, and some were played in the hottest weather of one summer; on one occasion the thermometer registered 110oF. in the sun. The more stalwart appearing men, however, were so far used up before the match was completed that they could hardly be encouraged to finish the concluding game, While the Coca chewers were as elastic and apparently as free from fatigue as at the commencement of the play. At the beginning of the game each player was given from one drachm to a drachm and a half of leaves, and this amount, without lime or any other addition, was chewed in small portions during the game. The first influence experienced was a dryness of the throat, which, when relieved by gargling with water, was not again noticed, while a sense of invigoration and an increase of muscular force was soon experienced, and this continued through the game, so that fatigue was resisted. The pulse was increased in frequency and perspiration was excited, but no mental symptoms were induced excepting an exhilaration of spirits, which was  not followed by any after effects.

Coca Leaf & Healthy Blood Circulation

As has been shown, fatigue and its ills is occasioned by a diminution of the elements necessary to activity as well as to an excess of waste materials in the blood. This latter cause alone explains many problems dependent upon this condition which are commonly assigned to other causes. Under this hypothesis it is easy to appreciate not only the cause of muscle fatigue, but the irritability from nerve tiredness as well as  the restlessness in wasting disease. When the tissues are not supplied with a blood stream that is pure and uncontaminated they cannot respond healthfully. A blood current already overburdened with waste can neither stimulate to activity nor carry off the burden of excreta.

The power of Coca to relieve the circulation, and so bring about a condition indicating a free blood stream, has been emphasized by a host of observers. Speaking of the action of but one of its alkaloids, Dr. Haig says: “Some have asserted that it is oblivion men seek for when they take opium, cocaine, etc., I believe this to be a great error. Give me an eternity of oblivion and I would exchange it for one hour with  my cerebral circulation quite free from uric acid, and opium or cocaine will free it for me. When the blood stream is free the pulse tension is reduced, the rate is quickened, and the increased flow alters the mental condition as if by magic; ideas flash through the brain; everything is remembered.”

Hitherto the usual explanation that has been advanced as to the influence of Coca – when any influence has been accorded – has been its stimulant action upon the nerves. In view of the facts set forth in this research such a theory seems inadequate. I have endeavored to show by a succession of facts and many examples, that the sustaining influence of Coca in fatigue, as well as its curative power in so many diseased conditions, as to render it a seeming panacea, is largely due to a direct action upon the cells of the tissues, as well as through the property which Coca has of freeing the blood from waste. This influence may chiefly be upon the brain or upon the muscular structure, in accordance with the relative  proportion of the associate principles present in the Coca leaf employed. Under this hypothesis, based upon physiological research as well as upon the theory of the formation of proteid in plants and in animals. Coca not only stimulates the cells to activity and so sets free energy, but may build up new  tissue through exciting the protoplasm to appropriate conversion. Such an hypothesis is certainly plausible when we consider the action of amides and other nitrogenous elements in plant structure. This is again emphasized by its harmony with recent theories of Pflüger regarding the building up of proteid tissue in the animal organism. So much testimony points to this conclusion that in the entire absence of other  scientific explanation this is certainly worthy of serious consideration. The facts of which will be more specifically elaborated in the chapter on physiology.