Pure, Natural Coca Leaf – A Healing Gift Of The Divine Plant

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Lost Secrets of Coca Leaf Wine

Cocaine Injection Kit by Major Pig Pharma Company c. 1875

Do you find it as sinister (and amusing) as I do to watch a Pig Pharma commercial that shows someone supposedly suffering from a grave illness, a bit haggard but still attractive and clearly feeling good, laughing and engaged in doing something fun with a loved one?

Perhaps they are sailing on a lake, playing with their golden retriever, or pushing their darling little children on a backyard swing. There is usually a subtle golden glow around them – kind of a halo, suggesting vibrant life.

Then at the end of the commercial there is always a voiceover saying quietly “Don’t take Zebulan XP if you have kidney, heart, lung or liver problems. May cause seizures, cancer, amputation, bleeding, depression, suicidal thoughts, heart attacks, or death. Ask your doctor is Zebulan XP is right for you.”

While this insidious narrative is playing out, the person is smiling, hugging her kids, and holding hands with a loving spouse. You never really hear the disclaimer. But of course, it’s there, so that Pig Pharma can say, if their “medicine” makes you even sicker than you already are, that you were warned. And as you can see by the image at the top of this post, Pig Pharma has been in the game for a long, long time.

Miracle Cure For Everything

Pig Pharma knows, because they have spent huge money on testing the premise, that if they show happy, healthy, attractive people having fun and living large that you will ignore the voiceover and identify yourself with the happy, healthy people they are showing you instead. The reason is simple – people are hardwired to think “not me” when it comes to warnings and to think “that’s me” when they see an attractive, vibrant healthy person doing things that they can envision themselves doing. “Wow, she’s got the same disease as me, and look at her!  The claims they are making must be true!”

It’s human nature, and Pig Pharma is a master at exploiting it.

Actually Big Tobacco was the first to discover this perverse human psychological quirk – those Surgeon General’s warnings simply don’t register with smokers and if they do, who cares what some pointy-headed bureaucrat says anyhow – if I want to smoke, I’m going to smoke, and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

In the 1800’s there were literally thousands of tonics, elixirs, pills, lozenges, and every imaginable form on the market in America and Europe, all containing a wild mix of one or more highly addictive ingredients like heroin, morphine, cocaine, alcohol, chloral hydrate, phenobarbital, plus exotic barks, roots, animal organs, insect parts, and of course the fabled Snake Oil.

Interestingly enough, many of these “remedies” like Snake Oil were loosely based on Native American herbal lore. Snake Oil, for instance, was based on a widespread Plains Indian remedy that involved soaking the rattles of a rattlesnake in pregnant women’s urine, and was used in difficult childbirth for which it was said to be very effective. It was also used to heal wounds and treat painful joints. Along came the White Man and, seeing or hearing of this miraculous cure, thought – “Hmmmm, I could bottle that and make a fortune”. And so he did. And, of course, thousands of women and children died in childbirth anyway. Oh well – news didn’t travel as fast as it does today, and the Snake Oil salesman was off to the next town before suffering any consequences.

With immense fortunes to be made by claiming that your product could cure any of hundreds of health conditions that conventional medicine of the time was unable to cure, these “patent medicines” preyed on the gullible, gave hope to the desperate, and then achieved powerful brand loyalty by addicting their customers. The advertising for these products often bore the solicitous advice that the victim to be sure to order several bottles at a time so that there was no danger of running out before their next supply could be obtained. Hence today’s phrase “Snake Oil Salesman” to describe the lowest of the low who prey on the gullible, steal their money, and let them sicken and die believing they are just about to be cured.

Politicians also seem to have learned this lesson all too well.

It was not just scurrilous con-men who invented and touted these so-called cures for what ails ya’ – hundreds of doctors also got into the act, inventing their own supposedly “special combination” of ingredients that they promised would cure what they knew they could not cure. This was not all that different from today, when doctors take whatever pills that Pig Pharma sends to their offices to convince them, with plenty of financial and other “incentives”, to pass them on to their patients. Most of today’s doctors haven’t read a research paper since medical school and rely on the promises of the vendors that this or that “medicine” will allow the doc to be a hero to their patients by advising them to start taking this or that miraculous cure.

And of course, just like in the 1800’s, the victims of todays doctors and Pig Pharma often wind up worse off than before they began taking the newest and latest pill. But not to worry – modern medicine has advanced so far that there is another pill to counter the bad effects of the previous pill, and another, and another. “We aren’t going to give up on you,” the benevolent doc intones. “There’s always hope. Here, try this.”

There was one manufacturer of “patent medicine” that stood out then, and still stands out today, as an honest man producing an actually helpful medicine that really did help people heal from literally dozens of conditions. Angelo Mariani was a Corsican/French inventor who, in the course of making trips around the world in search of natural medicines, came across the Coca plant in Bolivia and Peru and knew immediately that he had discovered one of nature’s real miracle medicines.

Original Vin Mariani Bottle c. 1880

After several years of experimenting he developed a recipe for producing a healing tonic that he called “Vin Mariani”, which was a simple extract of pure, whole Coca leaf in high quality Bordeaux red wine. When I say “simple extract” I am understating the tremendous amount of work that Mariani put into the development of his medicine. He made many trips to South America to study the properties of Coca leaf, and ultimately decided that if he was going to be able to control the quality of the leaf he used he would have to grow the Coca himself, and he wound up with three large Coca growing operations in Bolivia and Peru, ensuring that he had a steady supply of the highest quality leaf to ship back to France, where he also made sure that the Bordeaux red wine he was using came from some of the best, most dependable chateaus.

In short, Angelo Mariani was one of the few producers of natural herbal medicines who put in the time, effort and capital to actually make a viable medicine in this era of quacks and con-men whose products were always made with the cheapest ingredients, often containing substances that were know to be toxic, even deadly, but who didn’t care because there were always new customers to replace the ones that they addicted and killed.

Again, not much different than the approach of Pig Pharma today who, if they were not at least somewhat regulated, would be right out there selling snake oil just like their pathological forerunners in the 1800’s. And, truly unfortunately, even today there would be millions of desperate people lining up to demand the “miracle cure”.

Because Angelo Mariani and his dedication to quality and to producing a medicine that actually helped to cure people of painful, debilitating and deadly conditions, I have compiled and edited (for clarity) one of Mariani’s most interesting and useful books “The Therapeutic Applications Of Coca”. My hope is that readers today will conclude that this little book is all the proof they need to conclude that Coca leaf should have a prominent place in today’s natural medicines and should be freely available to anyone who can benefit. Then there is the added benefit that having unfettered access to Coca Leaf would enable millions of sick people to throw away their pharmaceuticals, send a goodbye note to their doctor, and enjoy watching Pig Pharma squeal.

In addition to his use of Coca leaf in its natural form, Angelo Mariani was not afraid to use Cocaine in some of his medicines when he saw that it had its health benefits as well. In his use of Cocaine he was always moderate – none of his medicines included enough Cocaine to produce an addictive high. In this book he does, however, describe a number of processes for extracting Cocaine from his high-quality leaf, and when you compare Mariani’s processes to the processes used today, with their nasty and toxic ingredients ranging from kerosene to xylene, you can see that Cocaine does not have to be produced using ingredients that leave toxic residues. The only reason that Cocaine is not being produced today using variations of Mariani’s methods is that it would cost a few pennies more per kilo to do so, and of course the bottom line is all that matters.

Vin Mariani was recognized worldwide as a medicine whose ingredients could be trusted, and whose safety and efficacy – the gold standard even today for pharmaceuticals – was proven. Here are a couple of excerpts from his book to give you a flavor of the kinds of health problems that physicians found could be healed by this simple but profoundly effective Coca leaf medicine.

(from “Therapeutic Applications of Coca”)

Vin Mariani

“This is the first of the preparations of Coca and the one most generally adopted; to the tonic and stimulant action of the drug there is added that of a choice quality of wine. The Vin Coca Mariana contains the soluble parts of the Peruvian plant. The combination of Coca with the tannin and the slightest trace of iron which this wine naturally contains is pronounced to be the most efficacious of tonics. The Coca leaves that we employ after careful selection come from three different sources and are of incomparable quality. It is this that gives to our wine that special taste and agreeable aroma which renders it so acceptable to the sick.”

“It is likewise to the combination of these three varieties of Coca leaf in our wine that we can attribute this important fact: during almost 30 years, no matter in how large doses taken, Vin Mariani has never produced cocainism.  (We caution especially against the many so-called Coca wines made with the alkaloid Cocaine alone.)”

“Vin Mariani is a diffusable tonic, the action of which is immediate. This action, instead of being localized on a single organ, the stomach, spreads to the whole system. Taken into the circulation, it awakens in its course the retarded functions of every organ, and this is owing to the presence in our preparation of the volatile principles of the plant.”

“Unlike other tonics, the astringent properties of which lead at length to heat and constipation, Vin Mariani does not produce any disorder of the digestive functions; it stimulates them, exerts a refreshing action on the gastric mucous membrane, and on that account so advantageously replaces the preparations of cinchona, iron, strychnine, etc.”

“There is,” says Dr. Mallez, “a form of anӕmia to which the attention of physicians has not yet been called, and which yields marvelously to the employment of Vin Mariani; we allude to that state of profound depression of the economy, of extremely marked impoverishment of the blood, which also results from the prolonged abuse of balsamics in the treatment of diseases of the urinary passages.”

“The number of persons who, attacked with blennorrhagia, use cubebs, copaiba, turpentine, etc., to a deplorable extent is considerable. So true is this that, out of a hundred young dyspeptics, we may affirm without fear of being in error that at least forty of them have become so by the use of balsamics.”

{Gazette cies Hopitciux, Nov.  23, 1877.)

In 1875, in his Traitement rationnel de la phthisie pulmonaire, Dr. de Pietra Santa said, page 394: “Among the most renowned practitioners of Paris, Péan, Barth, G. Sée, and Cabrol have promptly adopted the preparations of Coca. Ch. Fauvel prescribes it in affections of the respiratory passages. It is in these diseases that I, too, have had occasion to advise its daily use in the most convenient, the most agreeable, and the most active form that of the Vin Tonique de Mariani.”

Thus has been realized Reveil’s prediction: “This substance (Coca) is destined to take an important rank in therapeutics.”

Dr. Libermann, Surgeon-in-Chief, French Army, communicates his experience, as follows:

“I have the honor to inform you of the results which I have obtained in my long career of military practice from the use of Vin Mariani.

“I have used it with great success for profound anaemia resulting from long and tedious campaigns in hot countries, and accompanied, as is nearly always the case, by gastro-intestinal irritation with loss of appetite and dyspepsia.  Two or three Bordeaux-glasses of Vin Mariani daily, removed that condition quite rapidly, by restoring the appetite and the tolerance of the stomach for a tonic aliment.

“I have also employed it in cases, happily rare in our army, of chronic alcoholism resulting from the abuse of brandy, absinthe or strong liquors. The Vin Mariani produced all the excitement sought by drinkers, but had at the same time a sedative influence on their nervous systems. I have frequently seen hardened drinkers renounce their fatal habit and return to a healthy condition.

“I have also used Vin Mariani to save smokers of exaggerated habits from nicotinism. A few glasses of Vin Mariani taken in small doses, either pure or mixed with water, acted as a substitute for pipes and cigars, because the smokers found in it the cerebral excitement which they sought in tobacco, wholly preserving their intellectual faculties.

“I have also employed it with success for chronic bronchitis and pulmonary phthisis. Vin Mariani increases the appetite and diminishes the cough in these two morbid states.

“To combat the cough, I give it mixed with water in the form of tisane, a Bordeaux-glass of Coca wine in a glass of water.

“Although I have confined myself to giving but a rapid glance at the results that I have obtained, I have the statistics, which I keep in reserve should they be needed.  I can certify that Vin Mariani is the most powerful weapon that can be put in the hands of military physicians to combat the diseases, the infirmities, and even the vicious habits engendered by camp life and the servitude of military existence.”

To summarize the experiences of thousands of doctors from the 1800’s, Vin Mariani was one of the most effective natural medicines available; it healed and cured a wide range of diseases, and it did no harm. Give the patient a bottle, give them instructions, and let them go home and heal.

What a concept!

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We Do Love Our Poisons

This very interesting article from 1874 describes the experiments and observations by a British MD into the properties of alkaloid extracts of Coca, Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Guarana, and other “common stimulants”.

At first I thought that the article was going to examine the therapeutic properties of Coca Leaves, but it soon became clear that the Doctor had little luck in finding fresh Coca leaf, and so he decided to experiment instead on the extract of Coca Leaf, Cocaine, along with the alkaloids of other popular drinks and snacks that had been arriving in Europe since the discovery of the “New World”.

What I find so interesting about this article is the author’s conclusion that cocaine, theine, caffeine, guaranine, and theobromine are “all powerful poisons” and are all “almost identical” in chemical composition.

Yet we happily sell and celebrate our coffee beans, tea leaves, and chocolate beans which have pleasant but not remarkably therapeutic effects, and whose primary alkaloids are “powerful poisons”, while we allow our government and scientific/medical establishment and their owners, Pig Pharma, to demonize and punish anyone who wants to have a cup of Coca Leaf tea a couple of times a day to save their health and perhaps their life. Go figure.

Here is the full article from 1874:



IN the recent numbers of the BRITISII MEDICAL JOURNAL, there have appeared several interesting notices on the therapeutical effects of “erythroxyloni coca”. This substance has been for some years pretty extensively employed at home, but particularly on the continent, as a stimulant and tonic in a variety of diseases, and, it is said, with considerable success. Still, comparatively little is yet known about the action of the plant. The following observations may not be uninteresting to those who are clinically investigating the properties of the drug, which, as our knowledge of it advances, will doubtless prove a valuable addition to the Pharmacopaia.

My attention was directed to the action of the coca leaves several years ago; and at different times, and from various sources, I have obtained quantities sufficient for experimental purposes. My object was first to ascertain the effects of the drug upon the healthy human subject, with special reference to its stated stimulant and anti-triptic properties; and, with this object, I administered to myself and to others the leaves in doses varying from one to eight drachms in the form of infusion and of extract, and also by chewing them along with different alkalis, after the manner described by travelers as adopted by the natives of Bolivia and Peru.

After a series of experiments carefully conducted, I was not able to convince myself that the drug thus administered had any special effects, with the exception of a sensation of slight local tingling of the tongue and mouth when the leaves were masticated for any length of time. Whether this inert action is due to the leaves having lost their active properties by exportation, to their being improperly selected or prepared, to an insufficient quantity having been administered, or to a defective method of application, I am not in a position to decide. After every precaution and variety of treatment with different samples of the leaves, and in as large quantities as could be conveniently administered, I have failed to satisfy myself that there was even any approach to the powerful and somewhat startling results graphically described by many authors as occurring when the leaves are chewed by the inhabitants of the countries where the plant abounds.

So I next directed my attention to the neutral principle of the coca leaves, and after great difficulty, with the aid of Messrs. Macfarlane and Co., chemists, Edinburgh, I succeeded in obtaining a small quantity of the crystalline substance cocaine (C17H21NO4).

With this I conducted a series of experiments and observations on the lower animals, as far as I am aware, for the first time in this country, and arrived at results which appeared to me of considerable importance, ascertaining that cocaine was a powerful poison with special actions on the nervous system. As coca is extensively employed in South America as a beverage, and as cocaine bears close chemical relations to the neutral principles of tea, coffee, guarana, chocolate, and other well-known stimulants, I proceeded to make a series of experiments also with theine, caffeine, guaranine, and theobromine, with the view of determining the actions of each, and the relations, if any, which existed among them.

In the Edinburgh Medical Journal for October I873 will be found a description in detail of these observations. The general results at which I arrived may be given shortly as follows.

  1. The physiological actions of coca, tea, coffee, guarana, and cocoa, are mainly, if not entirely, due to their neutral principles. (ed. note: the author refers to the dominant alkaloids as “neutral principles.)

  2. Cocaine, theine, caffeine, guaranine, and theobromine are powerful poisons, inducing a series of symptoms affecting the nervous, respiratory, circulatory, vaso-motor, and glandular systems, which terminate, if the dose be large enough, in death.

  3. These five principles are, to all appearances, identical in physiological action.

  4. In small doses not ending fatally, these five substances produce a Cerebral excitement not succeeded by coma, and b. Partial loss of sensibility.

  5. In large doses they produce a. Cerebral excitement, b. Complete paralysis of sensibility, c. Tetanic spasms and convulsions, and d. Death.

  6. They paralyze the entire posterior columns of the spinal cord also the entire system of peripheral sensory nerves; but the anterior columns of the cord and the peripheral motor nerves are not paralysed.

  7. They frequently produce convulsions of a clonic character, but occasionally they cause tetanic spasms, which latter are sometimes so severe as to induce opisthodomos.

  8. They do not produce muscular paralysis.

  9. They at first increase, then impede, and lastly stop, the respirations.

  10. They at first increase, and finally diminish, both the force and frequency of the heart’s contractions.

  11. They produce at first contraction, and afterwards dilatation, of the capillaries and small blood-vessels, with stasis of the blood, indicating first irritation, and subsequent paralysis, of the vaso-motor nerves.

  12. They affect the temperature by first slightly lowering, and secondly increasing, it.

  13. They usually produce contraction of the pupil.

  14. They produce an increase of the salivary secretion.

  15. They induce a peculiar form of tenesmus, accompanied by a copious discharge of clear mucus from the bowels.

These conclusions have been arrived at after a careful series of experiments conducted on more than one hundred animals of different kinds; and it is extremely interesting to learn that those agents, which the different nations of the world have found by experience to produce refreshing and stimulating beverages, although unlike one another and procured from totally different sources, possess in common proximate principles, which not only are almost identical in chemical composition, but also appear similar in physiological action.

According to the above observations, cocaine has the same actions as theine, etc.; so, for clinical purposes, the latter is at present preferable on account of the enormous expense of the former. That the effects of the beverages themselves are mainly, if not entirely, due to the neutral principles they contain, is highly probable; but of their beneficial action in medical practice I am not yet in a position to give an opinion.

However, from their stimulant action and effect on the nervous, system generally, there is every reason to hope that the concentrated forms of these drugs, or the neutral principles themselves, will prove powerful and useful agents in the hands of the physician for the treatment of disease. Before the medical man can practice his profession scientifically, he should be acquainted, not only with the natural course of the malady he proposes to alleviate, but also with the physiological effects of the drug by which he hopes to reach this end.

By observations upon the lower animals, he may also obtain suggestions and information which will materially assist him in relieving and benefiting the human being. With this object, the above investigation was undertaken; and, although the research is yet in its infancy, I venture to hope that my conclusions will not be found deficient in interest and importance to those who desire to establish a sound system of therapeutics upon careful physiological experiment.

 (End of BMJ article)

(Further commentary)

Although the early research into Coca Leaf has been largely ignored by modern scientists and physicians, writing just about 100 years after Alexander Bennett, the brilliant MD Andy Weil wrote in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 1981 Mar-May;3(2-3):367-76.

“The therapeutic value of coca in contemporary medicine.”

“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.”