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:
THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, April 18, 1874.
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION OF COCA, By ALEXANDER BENNETT, M.D.
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.
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.)
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.
These five principles are, to all appearances, identical in physiological action.
In small doses not ending fatally, these five substances produce a Cerebral excitement not succeeded by coma, and b. Partial loss of sensibility.
In large doses they produce a. Cerebral excitement, b. Complete paralysis of sensibility, c. Tetanic spasms and convulsions, and d. Death.
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.
They frequently produce convulsions of a clonic character, but occasionally they cause tetanic spasms, which latter are sometimes so severe as to induce opisthodomos.
They do not produce muscular paralysis.
They at first increase, then impede, and lastly stop, the respirations.
They at first increase, and finally diminish, both the force and frequency of the heart’s contractions.
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.
They affect the temperature by first slightly lowering, and secondly increasing, it.
They usually produce contraction of the pupil.
They produce an increase of the salivary secretion.
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)
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.”
I have no doubt that it is true that Coca Leaf can treat and perhaps cure this fiery scourge of millions of lives.
Based on my extensive research into the writings of 19th Century physicians and scientists I believe that there is virtually no doubt that Coca Leaf Tea could effectively treat and heal most if not all symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Also, if it is possible to talk about a cure for this terrible disease, then I believe that Coca leaf could be the basis for a true natural cure. If this thesis could be tested, which it cannot because such testing is forbidden by the US government, I am confident that the safety and efficacy of pure, natural Coca Leaf would be confirmed, and then over 4 million people in the US could experience immediate relief of symptoms and perhaps remission of this devastating disease.
Extensive research and clinical experience from the 19th century, long lost because of the arrogant blindness of Allopathic medicine to the lessons of the past, shows clearly that Coca Leaf can treat the following symptoms/conditions safely and effectively: whole body pain; immobilizing muscle and joint stiffness; deep, chronic fatigue; debilitating depression; unremitting anxiety; chronic insomnia; cognitive deterioration; severe headaches and migraines; peripheral numbness; and agonizing “Pins & Needles”.
This also happens to be a list of all the major symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Of course, under current US law we’ll never know whether or not pure, natural, whole Coca Leaf can offer treatment for Fibromyalgia, because Coca Cola and Pig Pharma are the only ones authorized to import while, natural Coca leaf from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, so medical researchers couldn’t get their hands on Coca Leaf even if they wanted to design and run what would amount to simple, swift testing of the hypothesis.
This means that the 4 million people in the US alone who suffer from this excruciatingly painful and debilitating disease will just have to suck it up, according to the US government.
Unfortunately, the Coca Leaf Tea available on places like Amazon won’t help because, by US law, it has to be chemically de-natured before it can be brought in for sale. Supposedly the “de-cocainization” process only removes the dreaded alkaloid Cocaine, one of 21 known Coca Leaf alkaloids, but in reality the “de-cocainization” process destroys far more than the single alkaloid Cocaine, and these denatured leaves are useless for treating much less healing any of the diseases for which pure, whole leaf Coca was proven effective over 100 years ago.
The chemical poisons pushed by Pig Pharma and the FDA for fibromyalgia, besides being only partially effective, if at all, can also destroy you. Take a look at what these “medicines” can do to you while they are (ineffectively) “treating” your fibromyalgia.
Currently, only three medications — duloxetine, milnacipran, and pregabalin — are approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia. Let’s take a quick look at the side effects of these drugs.
While reviewing the potential adverse consequences of these three drugs, please keep in mind that the negative side effects of Coca Leaf Tea are precisely ZERO.
Terrible Choice #1: Duloxetine is dangerous if you have a personal or family history of psychiatric disorders (such as bipolar/manic-depressive disorder), a personal or family history of suicide attempts, bleeding problems, a personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or seizure disorder.
Terrible Choice #2: Milnacipran is a terrible drug in so many ways. Milnacipran can cause minor (!) symptoms like nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, bloating, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, swelling in your hands or feet, insomnia, weight change, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm. Among the “major” problems Milnacipran can cause are: increase in suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults, painful or difficult urination, seizures, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, severe stomach or abdominal pain, black or bloody stools, and vomit that looks like coffee grounds, and easy bruising or bleeding.
Finally we come to Terrible Choice #3: Pregabalin. It’s hard to believe any doctor would prescribe this poison.
First, you can’t use this drug if you are already have severely decreased platelets, are having thoughts of suicide, have depression, have decreased in sharpness of vision, have atrioventricular heart block, have chronic heart failure, suddenly experience serious symptoms of heart failure, have rhabdomyolysis, feel drowsy or dizzy a lot, have fluid retention in the legs, feet, arms or hands, experience weight gain, have giant hives, have moderate to severe kidney impairment, or have muscle pain or tenderness (like you have with, oh, I don’t know, maybe … fibromyalgia).
Then there are the “side effects” of Pregabalin.
The “minor” ones are: Dizziness, somnolence, xerostomia, peripheral edema, blurred vision, weight gain, abnormal thinking, constipation, impaired coordination, pain, and/or decreased blood platelets.
The scary ones are: hypersensitivity reaction, anaphylactoid reaction, angioedema, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, thrombocytopenia, rhabdomyolysis, suicidal thinking.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Certain strains of Cannabis have been shown to be effective at treating some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, which is great news for those who suffer 24/7/365 from this painful disease. I would not suggest that fibromyalgia sufferers abandon Cannabis even if Coca Leaf Tea were available.
However, I do suggest that all 4 million fibromyalgia sufferers get on social media with their legislators and demand that either their state, or the federal government, remove the ban on importation of Coca Leaf immediately, plus allowing anyone who needs this medicine to grow their own medical Coca plants just as they are allowed, in some of our more enlightened states, to grow their own Cannabis medical plants. Growing Coca is, if anything, even easier than growing Cannabis, and both can actually be grown side-by-side in many environments.
Cannabis and Coca Leaf TOGETHER will be totally synergistic natural medicines, and will be highly effective in treating and in many cases healing a wide range of diseases and conditions, not just fibromyalgia. There is simply no excuse for these great natural medicines not to be freely available, even if that would mean the destruction of billions of dollars of bloody profits now raked in by Pig Pharma and used to bribe politicians to keep natural medicines like Coca and Cannabis out of the hands of millions of Americans who live painful, restricted, deteriorating and hopeless lives.
First, A Short Summary:
Researchers are “just discovering” that Cannabis can control Epileptic seizures (Most recent New England Journal of Medicine)
Researchers have not yet looked at Cannabis for use in Dementia/Alzheimer’s, even though seizures are common and are a leading cause of death in Dementia/Alzheimer’s. (Update 6/19/17) – this has just changed – see this on a new German-Israeli study)
Maybe that’s because while Congress has committed some $5.4 billion this fiscal year to cancer research, about $1.2 billion to heart disease and $3 billion to research on HIV/AIDS, research funding for Alzheimer’s is “only” $566 million. Clearly that’s just not enough for researchers (mostly Big Pharma employees) to look into Cannabis as a treatment.
On a related note, California researchers have just shown that a sleeping sickness drug developed in 1916 can reverse Autism in children; unfortunately, the test group was only 10 kids, and 5 of them were given placebos, and the researchers had to go $500,000 into debt to run the study. Evidently kids with Autism aren’t a big enough deal for Congress. Thoughtful of those researchers to care enough to go ahead though.
And to wrap all this up in a neat little package, I figure it would cost well under $100,000 to show that Coca Leaf can not only control Epileptic seizures (as already well-known and demonstrated in 1881), but probably also Dementia/Alzheimer’s seizures – not even a diagnosed disease in 1881.
So, a drug from 1916 is now “discovered” to cure Autism, after decades of high-dollar research into “new” cures. And Cannabis is discovered to cure Epilepsy, after more decades of research into “new” cures. And an 1881 proven cure for both epilepsy and likely for Dementia/Alzheimers, among many other killer diseases, is illegal. Go figure.
The Full Story
For several years researchers have been zeroing in on Cannabis as a source for potent medicines in treating & preventing epileptic and other kinds of seizures. The latest findings, published May 25, 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that @ 40% of those treated with a CBD-based medicine experienced dramatic improvement in seizure intensity and frequency.
So, let’s put this together with an interesting association between seizures and Dementia/Alzheimer’s. There is plenty of research on this association. Here’s just one example.
“Of the degenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s dementia and amyloid angiopathy are known major causes of seizures. Advanced Alzheimer’s disease has been identified as a risk factor for new-onset generalized tonic-clonic seizures in older adults. It is associated with a 10 percent prevalence of seizures, particularly late in the illness. An increased prevalence of seizures also has been documented with other types of dementia.
So I suppose that it would make sense to investigate whether Cannabis-derived medicines, or perhaps the right strain of Cannabis itself, could be useful in controlling or preventing seizures in Dementia/Alzheimer’s, especially in late-stages of the disease when seizures are a known killer.
I’m sure that researchers are already drafting multi-million dollar grants to study exactly that.
So far, so good. In spite of decades of “Killer Weed” propaganda it looks like scientific minds are finally rising above the lies and finding that, consistent with centuries of well-established knowledge, the natural medicine Cannabis can be helpful in dealing with killer seizures better and with less risk of harm than pharmaceuticals.
But wait! If centuries of medical knowledge regarding the efficacy and safety of Cannabis are now appearing as “new findings” in prestigious medical journals, why not take a look at centuries of medical knowledge regarding the safety and efficacy of Coca Leaf in the same area?
Hmmmm. Could it be that a cup or two of Coca Leaf tea a day might be helpful to people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s – at least in preventing seizures, if not in other ways too. Let’s see. Who would know?
Well, there is a little book entitled “Erythroxylon Coca”, written by By W.S. Searle, MD and published in New York in 1881. (Dr. Searles book is included in its entirety in my ebook “Coca Leaf Papers” available on the sidebar of this post.)
Dr. Searles book is only one of many in which the use of Coca to treat and cure epileptic seizures is covered, but here is what Dr. Searles had to say:
“Coca Leaf & Acute Disease”
“The relations of Coca to acute disease are extremely important. As a physician, I would not be without it under any consideration. How thoroughly will every physician, understand me when I say that we are not seldom compelled to stand by and witness the death of patients who are really better of the disease which destroys them than perhaps at any previous time during their sickness. We are unable to support them, and they die from exhaustion of the vital forces.”
“But in Coca we have a powerful agent, whose disturbing influence over physiological processes is so little felt that it neither interferes with recovery from disease by natural course, nor with the action of remedies. And its sustaining power is so marvelous, that I prophesy that by its help we shall hereafter be able to cure many cases of disease which were otherwise hopeless.”
“I am informed by my colleague, Dr. John L. Moffat, of Brooklyn, that he has had very encouraging results from the use of Coca in hay fever in four instances. Of course, its action here is antipathic, or rather, it probably acts simply by its sustaining power, and by its antipathic relations to asthma. But even an efficient palliative, which can do no harm, will be welcomed by those who are annually visited by this plague.”
“It has been affirmed by some English authorities that Coca is valueless in epilepsy. For myself I can report that, in one instance of the fully-fledged disease, occurring in a middle-aged lady, but in whom the paroxysms did not recur oftener than once in six months, an apparent cure has been effected by means of Coca alone. She has now passed eighteen months without a seizure. I have also more striking reports from some of the members of this society, who report very marked results in several severe cases which would yield to no other remedy.”
“It is too early yet, however, to claim for Coca really curative powers in this terrible disease, which has so long been an “opprobrium medicorum”. Still, it is highly probable that the forms of it used by the English physicians in their trials were inert. This is rendered more than likely by the fact that one of the most expert chemists of New York City carefully searched both France and England during the summer of 1880 for good Coca, and was unable to obtain a single valuable specimen.”
“In view of the fact that all the drugs now ranked as anti-epileptic by the allopathic school of medicine are so injurious to the general health, and in view of the results attained by myself and my colleagues, imperfect as yet though they are, I earnestly urge the faithful trial of Coca in epilepsy.”
Well, about 140 years have passed and where are those “faithful trials” of Coca Leaf for Epilepsy – and incidentally for Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Obesity, and a couple of dozen other killer diseases? Nowhere in sight.
Researchers with Ph.D’s and major institutions behind them are getting tens of millions of dollars to “study” Dementia/Alzheimer’s, but not a peep out of the research establishment about Coca Leaf Tea. And, of course, since I’m not in the club I can’t get a grant, even though I could pretty much prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of Coca leaf for Dementia/Alzheimer’s with a few thousand bucks. But as noted, I don’t have a Ph.D. and I’m not a member of the club, so no institution gives a shit what I say.
Hell, maybe I’ll just do a GoFundMe request for a couple of tickets to Bolivia, grab a hundred kilos or so of fresh Coca Leaf, and come home and start handing out Coca Leaf Tea at a church social or two, and maybe a local nursing home. Think I would get past US Customs/DEA? Might actually be a great idea – let them bust me for trying to bring Coca Leaf in for Dementia/Alzheimer’s patients.
I wonder how many members of the US Congress, who make the laws forbidding Coca Leaf coming into the US, have someone in their family with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. (I’m resisting the obvious snide remark here because while it might be accurate it would also be cruel.)
Anyone have any suggestions?