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

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Coca Leaf Prior To Criminal Bankers, Corrupt Governments, Media Flacks, Pharmaceutical Quacks And Barrio Boys With Bling

I thought that you might find it interesting how contemporary these comments are on the differences between Coca Leaf and Cocaine, considering that they are from the introduction to Dr. W. Golden Mortimer’s 1901 book “History of Coca”. You can read “History of Coca”in its entirety in my eBook “The Coca Leaf Papers”, which also contains complete text, bibliographic links, and illustrations from several other early books on the remarkable medical uses of Coca Leaf, all written well before the deviously-named “War On Drugs”.

(Please note – when Dr. Mortimer says “Coca” he is referring to “Coca Leaf”.)

As to the value of Coca, there cannot be the slightest doubt; as to its utter harmlessness there can be no question. Even cocaine, against which there has been a cry of perniciousness, is an ally to the physician of inestimable worth, greatly superior – to compare it to a drug of recognized potency, not because of any allied qualities – to morphine.”

“The evils from cocaine have arisen from its pernicious use, in unguarded doses, where used hypodermatically or locally for anaesthesia, when an excessive dose has often been administered, without estimating the amount of the alkaloid that would be absorbed, and which might result in systemic symptoms. Medicinally employed, cocaine in appropriate dosage is a stimulant that is not only harmless, but usually phenomenally beneficial when indicated.”

“There has been a looseness of interpretation regarding the term stimulant, which has engendered a dread unfounded in fact. There is a vague belief that any substance capable of producing stimulation, first elevates the system and then depresses it by a corresponding fall. The physiological law that stimulants excite to action, and that all functional activity is due to stimulation is forgotten or not generally appreciated. The name stimulant has commonly suggested alcoholics, while alcoholics suggest intoxication and a possible degradation.”

“It recalls a thought of De Quincey when told that an individual was drunk with opium, that certain terms are given too great latitude – just as intoxication has been extended to all forms of nervous excitement, instead of restricted to a specific sort of excitement. As expressed by him: “Some people have maintained, in my hearing, that they have been drunk upon green tea; and a medical student in London, for whose knowledge in his profession I have reason to feel great respect, assured me, the other day, that a patient in recovering from an illness, had got drunk on beefsteak.”

“It will be shown by ample testimony that Coca is not only a substance innocent as is tea or coffee – which are commonly accepted popular necessities – but that Coca is vastly superior to these substances, and more worthy of general use because of its depurative action on the blood, as well as through its property of provoking a chemico-physiological change in the tissues whereby the nerves and muscles are rendered more capable for their work.”

“Strong as may appear this assertion, I believe that the facts here presented will amply indicate that sufficient has not been said upon the benefits to accrue from the liberal use of Coca, Indeed, our knowledge of it is yet in its infancy, and if this present writing will but excite others to continue these investigations and experiments. Coca will achieve the position it should maintain as an aid and support to humanity worthy the greatest popularity and the highest possible respect.”

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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.

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Essential Differences Between Coca & Cocaine

It has been a while since I have posted selections from the Coca Leaf literature of the 19th Century, and I thought that readers of this blog might enjoy browsing some more of the insightful observations of Dr. Golden Mortimer and others on the topic of Coca leaf vs. Cocaine. 

Dr. Mortimer was acutely aware of the controversy regarding the potential dangers of the newly discovered alkaloid Cocaine, as well as the widely accepted efficacy of natural Coca Leaf in the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions.

The following comments will give the reader a good perspective on the thinking among physicians of the day on this subject. For more depth see Coca Leaf Papers.

“The action of cocaine has been placed midway between morphine and caffeine. In man the initial effect of Coca is sedative, followed by a rapidly succeeding and long continued stimulation. This may be attributed to the conjoined influence of the associate alkaloids upon the spinal cord and brain, whereby the conducting powers of the spinal cord are more depressed than are the brain centers.

In view of these physiological facts it is unscientific to regard strychnine as an equivalent stimulant to Coca or a remedy which may fulfill the same indications, as erroneously suggested by several correspondents. For immediate stimulation Coca is best administered as a wine, the mild exhilaration of the spirit giving place to the sustaining action of Coca without depression.

 “The action of Coca and cocaine, while similar, is different. Each gives a peculiar sense of well being, but cocaine affects the central nervous system more pronouncedly than does Coca, not – as commonly presumed – because it is Coca in a more concentrated form, but because the associate substances present in Coca, which are important in modifying its action, are not present in cocaine.

The sustaining influence of Coca has been asserted to be due to its anӕsthetic action on the stomach, and to its stimulating effect on brain and nervous system. But the strength-giving properties of Coca, aside from mild stimulation to the central nervous system, are embodied in its associate alkaloids, which directly bear upon the muscular system, as well as the depurative influence which Coca has upon the blood, freeing it from the products of tissue waste. The quality of Coca we have seen is governed by the variety of the leaf, and its action is influenced by the relative proportion of associate alkaloids present.

If these be chiefly cocaine or its homologues the influence is central, while if the predominant alkaloids are cocamine or benzoyl ecgonine, there will be more pronounced influence on muscle. When the associate bodies are present in such proportion as to maintain a balance between the action upon the nervous system and the conjoined action upon the muscular system, the effect of Coca is one of general invigoration.

“It seems curious, when reading of the marvelous properties attributed by so many writers to the influence of Coca leaves, that one familiar with the procedure of the physiological laboratory should have arrived at any such conclusion as that of Dowdeswell, who experimented with Coca upon himself.

After a preliminary observation to determine the effect of food and exercise he used Coca “in all forms, solid, liquid, hot and cold, at all hours, from seven o’clock in the morning until one or two o’clock at night, fasting and after eating, in the course of a month probably consuming a pound of leaves without producing any decided effect.” It did not affect his pupil nor the state of his skin. It occasioned neither drowsiness nor sleeplessness, and none of those subjective effects ascribed to it by others. “It occasioned not the slightest excitement, nor even the feeling of buoyancy and exhilaration which is experienced from mountain air or a draught of spring water.”

His conclusion from this was that Coca was without therapeutic or popular value, and presumed: “The subjective effects asserted may be curious nervous idiosyncrasies.”

This paper, coming so soon after the publication of a previous series of erroneous conclusions made by Alexander Bennett, created a certain prejudice against Coca. Theine, caffeine and theobromine having been proved to be allied substances, this experimenter proceeded to show that cocaine belonged to the same group. As a result of his research he determined that “the action of cocaine upon the eye was to contract the pupil similar to caffeine,” while the latter alkaloid he asserted was a local anesthetic; observations which have never been confirmed by other observers.

In view of our present knowledge of the Coca alkaloids, it seems possible that these experiments may have been made with an impure product in which benzoyl-ecgonine was the more prominent base. However, the absolute error of Bennett’s conclusions has been handed down as though fact, and his findings have been unfortunately quoted by many writers, and even crept into the authoritative books.

Thus Ziemssen’s Cyclopcedia of the Practice of Medicine which is looked upon as a standard by thousands of American physicians, quotes Bennett in saying: “Guaranine and cocaine are nearly, if not quite, identical in their action with theine, caffeine and theobromine.” The National Dispensatory refers to the use of Coca in Peru as being similar to the use of Chinese tea elsewhere – as a mild stimulant and diaphoretic and an aid to digestion – which are mainly the properties of coffee, chocolate and guarana, and Bennett is quoted to prove that the active constituents of all these products: “Although unlike one another and procured from totally different sources possess in common prominent principles, and are not only almost identical in chemical composition, but also appear similar in physiological action.”

“These statements, which are diametrically opposed to the present accepted facts concerning Coca, are not merely a variance of opinion among different observers, but are the careless continuance of early errors, and suggest the long dormant stage in which Coca has remained, and has consequently been falsely represented and taught through sources presumably authentic.

“As may be inferred from its physiological action. Coca as a remedial agent is adapted to a wide sphere of usefulness, and if we accept the hypothesis that the influence of Coca is to free the blood from waste and to repair tissue, we have a ready explanation of its action.

Bartholow says: “It is probable that some of the constituents of Coca are utilized in the economy as food, and that the retardation of tissue-waste is not the sole reason why work may be done by its use which can not be done by the same person without it.”

Stockmann considers that the source of endurance from Coca can hardly depend solely upon the stimulation of the nervous system, but that there must at the same time be an economizing in the bodily exchange. An idea which is further confirmed by the total absence of emaciation or other injurious consequences in the Indians who constantly use Coca. He suggests that “Coca may possibly diminish the consumption of carbohydrates by the muscles during exertion. If this is so, then less oxygen would be required, and there is an explanation of the influence of Coca in relieving breathlessness in ascending mountains.”


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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Coca Leaf Therapy For Compromised Human Gut Microbiome?


Readers of this blog have probably seen a number of my posts detailing 18th-19th Century medical research showing how effective Coca Leaf therapy was in dealing with inflammatory processes in the body. In addition, the medical research from previous centuries on which these posts were based makes it clear that one of the most common (and most effective) modalities for the use of medicinal Coca Leaf was in the treatment of dyspepsia – what we now call reflux, which is a sure sign of Gut Microbiome issues.

In an undeterminable, but undoubtedly very large proportion of cases of dyspepsia in those days the culprit was an exogenous bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which is now known to be the cause of well over 90% of all stomach and intestinal ulcers. H. pylori is acquired in two ways – it can be acquired directly through ingestion of feces-contaminated water (not as uncommon as one might think, even in the US today), and it can be passed from person to person – often parent to child – through oral contact (Come on sweetie, eat your applesauce – look, Mommy is tasting it! Yum! Now you try some.). That is why H. pylori tends to run in families, and why it was so common in 18th – 19th Century Europe and America, when almost everyone was exposed pretty constantly to feces-contaminated water.

Now for the interesting bit.

While H. pylori infection is epidemic in most of the under-developed world, as shown by epidemiological studies, and is also pretty common in the US (virtually everyone who has diagnosed or undiagnosed ulcers is infected) it is almost unknown among the indigenous, Coca-chewing people of the Andes. HOWEVER, in the non-indigenous, non Coca-chewing cities of Peru and Bolivia H. pylori infection, and the consequent diseases, are as common as anywhere else in the developing world.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to compare the Gut Microbiomes of Coca-chewing indigenous Andean people with non-Coca Chewing city dwelling Peruvians and Bolivians, and also perhaps with the profiles of Americans who have participated in the American Gut Project?

So, to summarize.

1. Coca Leaf was well-known in the 18th – 19th Centuries as a treatment and positive cure for Dyspepsia, which means that it was able to control/eliminate gut infection by H. Pylori, and quite likely by other gut-dwelling pathogens.
2. H.pylori infection is virtually unknown among Coca-chewing Andean peoples, while it is common in the cities of Andean countries.

In science when a theory sounds plausible but the data to test it are absent, the rule is “Think about what the world would look like if the theory were true, and then look at the world.”

If we recall the well-established observations by doctors in the 18th-19th centuries that coca leaf-chewing indigenous Peruvian and Bolivian people showed (and still show) virtually no signs of oral cavity disease, have clearly healthy-functioning digestive systems, are highly resistant to diseases causes by external pathogens, and have highly efficient metabolic systems, it seems fair to speculate that Coca Leaf therapy might be able to arrest and reverse the damage to both the gut wall and the Gut Microbiome caused by antibiotics, industrial food chemicals, and other sources of the suffering and death that seems to be the fate of so many of us living in the “Advanced Economies” of the world.

There is little question in my mind that when Coca Leaf is finally given its day in scientific court it will be shown to be highly effective at treating inflammatory conditions in the gut, as well as conditions involving colonies of pathogens and degraded epithelial cells and the mucosal wall itself. It will be shown to be effective because it not only directly addresses inflammatory processes in the gut tissues, but also addresses the degenerative processes initiated by chemical damage, as with emulsifiers (see below), or by “bad bacteria” that have colonized the upper gut, or by oral cavity bacteria hiding in the plaque below the gums, or by exogenous bacteria like H. pylori that have colonized and set about destroying the integrity of the gut wall while they implant themselves in protective burrows in the mucosal layers.

After all, if the use of a simple, natural medicine like Coca Leaf could treat even one or two diseases like Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Hashimoto’s, IBS, SIBO, Celiac disease, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, COPD, Asthma, Congestive Heart Failure, Atherosclerosis, Metabolic Disorder, Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Hyperglycemia, and possibly Alzheimer’s more effectively than the “medicines” currently offered by Pig Pharma – wouldn’t that be a marvelous gift from Mama Coca, the Mother Nature of the Andean people?

In the following discussion I hope to offer plausible if not convincing arguments that this possibility should be considered and seriously investigated.


Those of us who for personal or professional reasons wonder about the origins of the diseases that seem to strike people in economically developed countries far more frequently than they do people who live in economically undeveloped parts of the world are increasingly seeing evidence that factors that affect gut bacteria play a major, poorly understood role in generating these advanced economy diseases, and offer a plausible explanation for why people in less advanced economies seem not to suffer from these diseases – at least until economic conditions improve for them.

Collectively these gut bacteria are known as the “Gut Microbiome”, and there are hundreds of thousands of species of these little communal creatures living in every part of the gut. While most of us think of the “Gut” as our stomach and intestines, in fact the gut runs from our mouth to our anus, colonized all the way by bacteria that specialize in living and performing specific functions in a specific part of our gut.

The Lane Lab at the University of Rhode Island is a treasure trove of research in this area. In a recent paper they write: “The human intestine is an ecosystem that supports up to 100 trillion microbes—a cell number that is roughly ten times greater than the human cells that comprise our bodies. In addition to the vast number of cells comprising the microbial community of the gut, there may be over 100 times the number of bacterial genes present compared with the number of genes in our own DNA (Bäckhed et al., 2005). These beneficial microbes are instrumental in our ability to extract nutrients from food, and also play an important role in the development of our immune systems.”

For example, our mouth contains @ 15% of the total number of species of bacteria in our gut, and although only dental hygienists ever mention it to us, having a healthy mouth is a critical part of whole body wellness. Leaving out, for the moment, the rest of the gut, a sick mouth biome can, by itself, trigger all kinds of disease conditions in organs as distant from the mouth as the brain and the heart.

(As an aside, if you have access to a dentist who uses the new laser technology for deep gum cleaning rather than the old “pick and scrape” technique – give it a try. I can tell you anecdotally that someone I know very well, who suffers from a severely compromised Gut Microbiome, and who has been doing all of the “Leaky Gut” therapies, found that after a single teeth cleaning with this laser technology her “Brain Fog” symptoms disappeared. She was not miraculously cured of all symptoms, but this one very annoying one simply went away.)

When all of these hundreds of thousands of little communities of bacteria are healthy and functioning as they should, our whole body tends to be healthy and vigorous. Not that there aren’t diseases that have nothing to do with a healthy gut that can ravage and destroy us – some of them caused by exogenous bacteria, some by exogenous viruses, some by environmental chemicals, some by radiation, etc. It’s a long list.

However, in this post I would like to ask you to indulge me as I speculate on the potential for simple, inexpensive Coca Leaf therapy as a possible preventative of some, or even many of the “Advanced Economy Diseases”, and also as a treatment and possible cure for others.

Because there are so many factors to consider when discussing the health of the Human Gut, let’s focus just on the role of bacteria in maintaining, or degrading, the mucosal lining of the gut – the “Wall” as it’s called. In the normal, healthy gut there are large numbers of bacterial species whose primary, or sometimes secondary role is to maintain the “Wall” as a thick, protective lining of the gut, allowing ingested substances – primarily food and drink, often called the “Luminal Mass” – to pass smoothly through the upper and mid-gut while nutrients are extracted from the passing mass. These nutrients are processed by the bacteria into forms that can then pass through the mucosal layer, where they are taken up by the blood vessels that lie beneath this protective layer. Many gut researchers call these upper-gut bacteria “good bacteria”.

The mucous surface contains epithelial cells, which are a critical part of the barrier between the contents of the gut and the blood, lymph, and organ systems of the body. After all, when you think about it, the inside of your entire intestinal tube is OUTSIDE the body, although it passes through the body. So the walls of your gut serve to prevent materials that are outside the body from getting in – much the same as your skin. However, the mucous wall serves to allow nutrient absorption and to promote waste secretion, which means that the mucosal wall must be selectively permeable. It must allow some things through, and prevent other things from getting through.

And a healthy gut wall does just that, and it is maintained in good condition by the “good bacteria” that live on its surfaces.

Normally these “good bacteria” don’t live within the mucosal wall – they colonize its surface and work their nutrient-absorbing magic on the contents of the gut as it passes by and is ultimately expelled from the body as nutrient-exhausted waste – feces and urine. (Way too simple, I know, but this isn’t intended to be an academic paper, just a small speculative essay.)

Researchers are now, almost daily, publishing studies that show that when the mucosal wall of the Upper/Mid Gut is compromised, some of our most devastating diseases begin to appear. Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Hashimoto’s, IBS, SIBO, celiac disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, atherosclerosis, and – some believe – Alzheimer’s. That’s the short list.

There are an increasing number of studies into how the mucosal wall is breached – a condition that some call “Leaky Gut”, but almost all of these breaches begin with a disturbance in the Gut Microbiome.

A common breaching event occurs when a person is administered a heavy dose of antibiotics to deal with an attack on the body by dangerous outside bacteria like Staph, for example. Unfortunately because of the increasing heavy doses of ever more powerful antibiotics needed to deal with increasingly resistant invaders, many of the “good bacteria” in the upper and mid-gut are also wiped out, along with the epithelial cells in the mucosal lining.

So far I haven’t mentioned the lower gut and its denizens, called “Bad Bacteria” by many scientists. Bugs like C. Dificil and Klebsiella, to name just two of hundreds of these lower intestine bugs, normally stay in place and perform all kinds of functions that are essential to successful elimination of waste from the body. In that sense they are not “bad”, because as long as they stay put and do what they are supposed to do, they are behaving themselves and causing no harm.

However, these “Bad Bugs” are also much stronger than the “Good Bugs” that dwell upstairs, so in the event of a whole body antibiotic assault far more of them survive. But that’s not the end of the story. They not only survive, they sense newly vacated territory in the upper gut and they begin migrating and establishing colonies. These bacteria – now earning their designation as “bad” – are not content to live peacefully on the surface of the mucosal lining of the upper gut. Because the lower gut has a completely different kind of lining, the “Bad Bacteria” begin burrowing into the mucosal wall of the upper gut – for reasons that are not yet understood. Some researchers say it is because the mucosal wall offers them a way to strengthen their foothold in the new territory; others say it is because the mucous is yummy. Whatever the reason, these “Bad Bacteria” soon eat through the epithelial cells and mucous lining of the upper gut and – voila – the selectively permeable barrier is no longer selective. All kinds of substances from the “Luminal Mass” can transit directly through the gut wall and into the bloodstream, setting into motion a furious reaction by both the body’s immune system and its endocrine systems which recognize these substances as things that should not ever be inside the body, and the body’s defenses immediately attack. And because the person inside whom this is happening continues to eat and drink, the substances keep leaking through the gut wall and the body’s defenses keep ramping up their responses to the highest possible levels.

Just one brief example – in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, what appears to happen is that when the Gut Wall is compromised and certain proteins begin “leaking” through into the blood, the body’s immune system begins attacking these foreign proteins – primarily the gluten protein molecule from grains. Unfortunately, the gluten molecule is almost identical to a thyroid gland tissue molecule, and so the body’s immune system, alerted to the foreign invader gluten protein molecule, also begins attacking and destroying the Thyroid gland tissue. Voila – Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. If not checked, the immune system will ultimately destroy the Thyroid gland in its misguided mission to protect the body from foreign, and therefore dangerous proteins circulating in the blood and lymphatic systems.

This never would have happened if the gut wall had not been breached, and in almost every case this breach is the consequence of colonization of the upper gut by “bad” bacteria.

Zap – You’re Emulsified

Antibiotic overdose and upward migration of “Bad Bacteria” are not the only identified causes of “Leaky Gut” and its disastrous consequences. For example, an extremely interesting new research paper shows that several of the common emulsifiers used in food manufacturing to keep ingredients from separating such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan and other “gums,” wreck havoc with the gut. In lab animals. This research found that polysorbate 80 (common in ice cream) and carboxymethylcellulose altered microbiota in a way that caused chronic inflammation.

They also found that mice with abnormal immune systems fed emulsifiers developed chronic colitis, while those with normal immune systems developed mild intestinal inflammation and a metabolic disorder that caused them to eat more, and become obese, hyperglycemic, and insulin resistant.

The conclusion of this research seems to be that “emulsifiers” in food somehow “emulsify” the mucosal wall of the gut. Well all I can say is “Duh”.

In Conclusion

The Human Gut has evolved over millions of years into a remarkable organ that, in a natural world, is fully capable of protecting the body that serves as its host from virtually any biological or chemical threat found in that natural world. When the Microbiome of the gut is in balance within itself, the entire organism of the body tends to be in balance with the environment.

However, as ‘civilization’ has evolved, and especially since the industrial and scientific revolutions have changed the natural world irrevocably, the Human Gut has simply not had time to adapt and therefore, like the rest of the Human body, it has increasingly fallen victim to both the deliberate creations of these revolutions like antibiotics and processed foods as well as to the waste products of the revolutions like chemical and biological pollution of the air, water and earth.

As the saying goes, we are what we eat, and if what we eat is instead eating us from the inside, there is little hope for a solution coming from our scientific and industrial revolutions. If there is a solution perhaps it will come from reaching back into time and understanding the relevance of at least some of the old ways to our contemporary dilemmas. Surely Mama Coca, just like Mother Nature, is waiting there to help us, if we have the will and wisdom to seek her help.

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Medical Marijuana – The View From 1984

Magic carpet w_guy

Thank you for visiting my blog. I thought that you might find this chapter from my 1984 book “Marijuana Foods” interesting in light of how widespread the acceptance of Medical Marijuana is these days, and how much research is now available to confirm the reality. The illustration is by the wonderful artist Pat Krug, who illustrated the book.

But, as you can see, even thirty years ago ( Lord, has it really been that long?) there was plenty of evidence that Marijuana is a gift from nature intended for the healing and enlightenment of the human race. Of course in those days young people were still being sentenced to 50 years hard time for the possession of a joint, so the idea of Marijuana as medicine did not compute except to the awakened few.

I hope that my books helped move the cause along, and I hope that you will especially enjoy the last section of this chapter “A Revolution In Caring”.

Chapter 5: Marijuana As Medicine
All materials Copyright © 1984 by Bill Drake
All Rights Reserved

Dear Reader. It is very important that you know that many of the medical and scientific literature references in this section are several years old. It is important that you independently inform yourself of the latest research in these areas before making any decisions about the personal medical use of Marijuana for any medical condition.

Table Of Contents

• Smoking Marijuana For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Food For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Beverages For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Smoke Enema For Self-Medication
• Marijuana Suppository For Self-Medication
• Marijuana And Self-Medication
• For Nausea and Vomiting
• As an Anticonvulsant
• In Movement Disorders
• As a Muscle Relaxant
• For Glaucoma
• In Bronchial Asthma
• For Hypertension & Anxiety
• For Insomnia
• In Eating Disorders
• In Treating Alcoholism
• Clinical Trials with Marijuana
• A Revolution In Caring
• Are You Shocked?

If you are thinking of using Marijuana for the first time you may not be aware that you have a number of options besides smoking. While smoking Marijuana is not as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, largely because homegrown Sinsemilla Marijuana is almost always organic and all commercial cigarettes have dozens of unregulated known carcinogenic chemical contaminants, if you aren’t a smoker and have a need for Marijuana for medical reasons, you don’t have to start smoking unless you want to.

Since smoking Marijuana is probably the most common current way to use it, we’ll begin with a look at several different smoking-related options.

Smoking Medicinal Marijuana

Probably the only way most people think of using Marijuana is by smoking a joint or a waterpipe. The principal reason for smoking Marijuana is that it produces almost instant effects since the lungs are very efficient at absorbing the complex chemicals in the smokestream. Recreational users call this a rush, and it feels almost exactly like what happens when you stand up too fast after sitting for a long time on a very hot day. Another way to describe it is that it’s like the biggest dizzy feeling you ever felt as a kid.

While the use of a waterpipe cuts way down on the irritating qualities of Marijuana smoke, not everyone likes to fuss with keeping a pipe clean. A waterpipe does lower the temperature of the smoke as well as filtering a lot of the soot and tar. It is also a little less wasteful than a joint because the pipe is a more efficient burning mechanism. If you use a waterpipe you’ll find that over time it develops a glaze of residue that daily washing with soapy water won’t remove. Just fill a plastic container with cheap white vinegar and immerse your waterpipe and all its components in the vinegar overnight and the next morning they’ll sparkle plenty.

Hand-rolled joints are a strong favorite because of convenience as well as portability. If you don’t know how to roll a joint, ask a doctor (yeah, right) or a friend for help. Never buy a pre-rolled joint, and you are better off not accepting one from anyone except someone you really trust. Even if a saint gives you a joint it doesn’t hurt to ask if there is anything but Marijuana in it. Sometimes people have perverse ideas of how to do a friend a favor.

In some cases government-produced joints will be available. It’s up to each individual to decide if they want to use Marijuana this way. It has the advantage of being strictly dosage-controlled. Federal Marijuana has the disadvantage of being too mild for effective relief of many symptoms, and for use in a holistic situation where the high is an integral part of the therapy. However, drug-naive physicians may be attracted to the administration of federal Marijuana because it’s available at a dosage which has known effects and references in clinical literature. (Of course, that same clinical literature ignores the potential of the whole natural Marijuana flower, for reasons discussed elsewhere, so its value is really pretty limited unless you are a pharmaceutical company looking for profitable new drugs to synthesize and manufacture.)

Eating Marijuana Food For Self-Medication

The principle advantages are smoke-free access to the therapeutic benefits of Marijuana, a sense of variety, cost effectiveness, dosage control, and duration of effective relief. Marijuana extract prepared and served as food enhances the experience of using the flowers of this great plant for their healing powers. It can be prepared and served so many natural ways that it can become a part of many different approaches to healing.

When consumed in very low dosage in foods the relief and associated Marijuana high arrive gently and stay a long while. They are a natural accompaniment to both quiet relaxation and energetic socializing, depending on the mood, the setting, and the objectives.

Marijuana Beverages For Self-Medication

Drinking a Marijuana beverage may be tolerated when food is not, for a variety of reasons. Many of the direct effects of chemotherapy and radiation make the intake of anything, even therapeutic food somewhat difficult. In such cases, where no other approach is preferred, a sip or two of a pleasant Marijuana liqueur or cordial is both a pleasant and effective alternative. The liqueur/cordial also offers easy, fast absorption and onset of relief, and effective duration of relief. They are easily stored and carried with you, and are a very cost-effective way to use Marijuana.

You’ll find a wide range of herbal and fruit beverages you can make with marijuana extract in the recipe sections of this book.

Marijuana Smoke Enema

Our age sometimes prides itself on having seen and done everything, but the Anal Hookah, as a friend with a dark sense of humor called this approach, appears to have been first developed in the 16th century by the Dutch as a means of bringing drowning victims back to life. The then-newly discovered American herb Tobacco was being used back then for many different medical applications during the early days in Europe, and the Tobacco Smoke Enema for drowning victims was one of the more useful treatments of its time and by all accounts was used successfully hundreds of times.

I’ve tried to picture how this remarkable discovery was made. It must have been a tragedy involving a drowning in one of the Dutch canals, with everyone standing around crying and yelling “Can’t somebody do something!” Nearby stood a Dutchman – perhaps a physician himself – smoking his pipe and feeling quite moved by the scene. If he was like most Dutch people I know, he was a very private person and would never allow another person’s lips to touch his pipe, making what happened next a remarkable act of compassion.

In a moment of pure selflessness – or maybe he just needed a good excuse to buy a new pipe, though that would be unlike most of my Dutch friends of today – he must have walked up to the crowd gathered around the drowned person and said something like – “Ahem, er um, well, if nobody has any objections, I could try blowing a little tobacco smoke up this poor soul’s rectum. My first puff in the morning certainly wakes me right up.” The crowd must have been stunned, then someone must have cried out “Just do it!” – and the rest was medical history, at least for a few decades in Holland.

The Dutch might have invented it and used it to good effect, but the rest of the queasy world was evidently not ready for the Tobacco Enema even to save lives, since I’ve seen no evidence of it around emergency rescue vehicles and lifeguard stands, nor on TV.

Nevertheless, over the years since I saw my first picture of an actual 16th century Tobacco smoke enema syringe I have quietly circulated the idea of Marijuana smoke enemas when I have been approached for information and suggestions by people with complications which precluded other approaches and where a quick result was desired. I recall a particularly effective use of the Marijuana smoke enema with a person with severe asthma, unconscious from a car wreck.

If the situation is such that a person can’t tolerate any other form of Marijuana, the Marijuana smoke enema may be effective, such as when the person is unconscious or otherwise unable to cooperate. There’s no need for an elaborate apparatus; simply taking a rubber or plastic enema tube with the bag removed and the tip in place, inserting it, taking a draw on a joint or waterpipe, and blowing little puffs into the rectum.

Puff- don’t blow. Very tiny little puffs, a few at a time and then wait. If the person is conscious and can report effects, it should be less than 15 minutes before they are felt, and more smoke can be given if needed – but be sure to give the first puff or two time to come on completely, since this is often all that’s needed. Experimenters have observed that the high by this route is as rapid as with the lungs but has “deeper” qualities, perhaps because of the greater central nervous system involvement in this area of the body.

A further advantage of this approach is that the active substances in the smoke are rapidly absorbed by the blood in the tissues, and there is almost nothing left behind to irritate the area when the therapy is completed, as there is in the case of suppositories.

While not recommended for extended use, this method offers a clean, safe way for a very ill person to get immediate relief without trauma as long as both the sick person and the person assisting in the administration of the therapy are either broad-minded and tolerant, or a little kinky, or both.

Marijuana Suppository For Self-Medication

Marijuana extract suppositories are a potentially useful approach when a person is unconscious or otherwise unable to cooperate. It is also an option when the throat, stomach, lungs and GI tract are involved in disease and the benefits of Marijuana are desired. The suppository approach offers a slow-onset high, very effective absorption, and long-lasting relief from small dosages.

An effective Marijuana suppository is made by hand-forming Marijuana butter extract into a little “bullet” about 1/2 inch long and as big around as a regular pencil. (Cocoa butter is also an efficient absorber of Marijuana potency and can be used to prepare these suppositories if there is an intolerance of regular butter extract.) Another approach making suppositories is to do a Marijuana/Oil extract with pure (not toasted) sesame oil, decant into capsules designed to melt in the rectum, chill and then insert.

The Research Picture – Marijuana And Self-Medication

In combination with what was already known from folklore and traditional medicine Marijuana researchers over the last 25 years have uncovered and confirmed some pretty astonishing indications of Marijuana broad potential as a therapeutic, and in some cases healing drug. In this section we’ll look briefly at the major areas of disease, injury and other trauma or condition where research scientists have shown Marijuana to be useful.

If you are being treated by a medical professional and choose to use Marijuana to address problems associated with your therapy you should discuss your decision prior to entering your course of therapy. There may be good reasons why you not use Marijuana, regardless of its potential for relief. There are quite a few studies which show that people with diabetes and cardiovascular problems should be especially cautious.

Through use of the bibliography and your own research, and information which your doctor has, you both will be able to discuss the matter factually. However if all you are offered is anti-drug propaganda, try another Doc.

For Nausea and Vomiting (emesis) associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Marijuana has the proven ability to alleviate the symptoms of both anticipatory nausea/vomiting as well as the nausea/vomiting actually connected with chemo or radiation. There’s not really any need to say much more. This is one of the few areas so well researched that there have even been clinical trials of people smoking joints of street Marijuana.

Use of Marijuana for anti-emetic relief is so well established that nobody facing either kind of therapy for any reason should deprive themselves of its benefits. Now that the smoke-free alternatives in this book are available there is no reason why an appropriate way of using Marijuana cannot be found.

Some Useful Readings

Ahmedzai, S, et al. 1983. Antiemetic efficacy and toxicity of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, in lung cancer chemotherapy. British Jour. Cancer, 48: 657-663
Artim, R. and DiBella, N., Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) plus prochlorperazine (PCZ) for refractory nausea and vomiting (N/V), ASCO Abstr., 2, 85, 1983
Bakowski, M. T. 1984. Advances in anti-emetic therapy. Cancer Treatment Review 11: 237-256.
Bateman, D. N., Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and gastric emptying, Br. Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 15, 749, 1983
Borison, H., and McCarthy, L., Neuropharmacology of chemotherapy-induced emesis, Drugs, 25 (Suppl. 1), 8, 1983
Borison, H., Borison, R., and McCarthy, L., Phylogenic and neurologic aspects of the vomiting process, Journal Clinical Pharmacol. 21, 23S, 1981
Borison, H., McCarthy, L., and London, S., Cannabinoids and emesis, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, p. 1480, 1978
Brigden, M. R., and Barnett, J. B. 1989. Antiemetics and cancer chemotherapy. In: Nausea and vomiting: recent research and clinical advances. Edited by R. K. Harding, J. Kucharzyk, and D. J. Stewart. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton
Brigden, M., Wilson, K., and Barnett, J., Rational choice of antiemetic agents during cancer chemotherapy, Can. Fam. Phys.,29, 1682, 1983
Chang, A. E., Shiling, D. J., and Stillman, R. C., Goldberg, N. H., Seipp, C. A., Barofsky, 1., Simm, R. M., and Rosenberg, S. A., Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic in patients receiving high-dose methotrexate: a prospective randomized evaluation, Ann. Int. Medicine,91, 819 1979
Chang, A. E., Shiling, D. J., Stillman, R. C., Goldberg, N. H., Seipp, C. A., Barofsky, 1., and Rosenberg, S. A., A prospective randomized trial of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as an antiemetic in patients receiving high dose methotrexate (MTX), ASCO/AACR., Proc., 20, 377, 1979
Chang, H. S. L., MacLeod, S. M., and Correia, J. A., Nabilone vs. prochlorperazine for control of cancer chemotherapy-induced emesis in children, ASCOAbstr.,3, 108, 1984
Citron, H.L., Herman, T., Fossierck, B., Krasno, S., Vreeland, F., Harwood, S., Ortega, L., and Cohen, M., Double blind randomized crossover study of the antiemetic effect of Levonantradol (LVN) vs. tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), AACR Abstr., 24, 165, 1983
Colls, B.M. et al,The antiemetic activity of THC vs metoclopramide and thiethylperazine in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy New Zealand Medical Journal, 1980: 91, pp 449-51.
Cone, L., Green, D., and Helm, N., Use of nabilone in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced vomiting in an outpatient setting, Cancer Treat. Review, 9 (Suppl. B), 63, 1982
Cunningham, D., et al. 1985. Nabilone and prochlorperazine: a useful combination for emesis induced by cytotoxic drugs. British Medical Jour. 291: 864—865.
Dodds, L.J., Journal of Clinical Hospital Pharmacology, The control of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, 6/85, 10 (2) pp 143-66.
Dow, G. and Meyers, F., The California program for the investigational use of THC and marijuana in heterogeneous populations experiencing nausea and vomiting from anticancer therapy, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/8), 128S, 1981
Einhorn, L., Nagy, C., Furnas, B., and Williams, S., Nabilone: an effective antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 64S, 1981
Eyre, H.J. and Ward, J.H., Control of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Cancer, 12/1/84, 54 (11 suppl) pp 2642-8
Frytak, S. et al, Delta-9 THC as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer therapy, Annals of Internal Medicine, 1979: 91, pp 825-30.
Frytak, S., and MOERTEL, C. G. . Management of nausea and vomiting in the cancer patient. Jour. Am. Medical Assoc. 245: 393 -396,1981
Frytak, S., Moertel, C. G., and O’Fallon, J. R., A comparison of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), prochlorperazine (PCP) and placebo as antiemetics for cancer chemotherapy, ASCO/ AA CR ., Proc., 20, 3 91, 1979
Garb, S., Cannabinoids in the management of severe nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Some additional considerations, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/9), 57S, 1981
Gez, E., Biran, S., Fuks, Z., Edelstein, E., Lander, N., and Mechoulam, R., A marihuana component for nausea and vomiting induced by chemo and radiotherapy, Harefuah, 105(10), 306, 1983
Gralla, R., Tyson, L., Bordin, L., Clark, R., Kelsen, D., Kris, M., Kalman, L., and Groshen, S., Antiemetic therapy: a review of recent studies and a report of a random assignment trial comparing metoclopramide with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Cancer Treat. Rep., 68(1), 163, 1984
Herman, T., Einhorn, L., Jones, S., Nagy, C., Chester, A., Dean, J., Furnas, B., Williams, S., Leigh, S., Dorr, R., and Moon, T., Superiority of Nabilone over prochlorperazine as an antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 300(23), 1295, 1979
Herman, T., Jones, S., Dean, J., Leigh, R., Dorr, R., and Moon, T., Nabilone: a potent antiemetic cannabinol with minimal euphoria, Biomedicine, 27, 331, 1977
Herman,T.S.,et al.1979. Superiority of nabilone over prochlorperazine as an antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 300: 1295 – 1297.
Hisi, M., Niederle, N., Bremer, K., Schmitt, G., Schmidt, C., and Seeber, S., Levonantradol in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cytostatic drugs, Dtsch. Med. U’ochenschr., 107(33), 1232,1982
Hoffman, R., Using Marijuana in the Reduction of Nausea Associated With Chemotherapy, Murray Publishing, Seattle, Wash., 1979
Homesley, H. D., Gainey, J., Jobson, V. W., Spurr, C., Welander, C., Muss, H. B., and Kimball, J., Failure of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and prochlorperazine to control chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, ASCO Abstr., I, 67, 1982
Johansson, R., Kilkku, P., and Groenroos, M., A double-blind controlled trial of nabilone vs. prochlorperazine for refractory emesis induced by cancer chemotherapy, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9 (Suppl. B), 25, 1982
Jones, S., Durant, J., Greco, F., and Robertone, A., A multi-institutional phase-lll study of nabilone vs. placebo in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Cancer Treat. Review, 9 (Suppl. B), 45, 1982
Joss, R., Galeazzi, R., Bischoff, A., Do, D., Goldhirsch, A., and Brunner, K., Levonantradol, a new antiemetic with a high rate of side effects for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Br. Journal Cancer, 46(3), 492, 1982
Kaminski, M. and Erlichman, C., Current management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Ther. Rev., 38(1). 53, 1983
Kenny, J. and Wilkinson, P., Levonantradol effectiveness in cancer patients resistant to conventional antiemetics, Clinical Oncol., 8(4), 335, 1982
Krebs, H. B.,et al.1985. Combination antiemetic therapy in cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting. Cancer, 55: 2645-2648.
Laszlo, J. 1982. Treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Cancer Treat. Rev. 9(Suppl. B): 3—9.
Levitt, M., Faiman, C., Hawks, R., and Wilson, A., Randomized double blind comparison of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana as chemotherapy antiemetics, ASCO Abstr., 3, 94, 1981
Levitt, M., Nabilone vs. placebo in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9, Suppl. B., 49, 1982
Levitt, M., Wilson, A., Bowman, D., Faiman, C., Kemel, S., Krepart, G., Schipper, H., Weinerman, B., and Weinerman, R., Dose vs. response of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vs. prochlorperazine (PCPZ) as chemotherapy antiemetics, ASCO/AACR., Proc., 22, 422, 1981
Levitt, M., Wilson, A., Bowman, D., Kemel, S., Krepart, G., Marks, V., Schipper, H., and Thomson, G., Physiologic observations in a controlled clinical trial of the antiemetic effectiveness of 5, 10, and 15 mg of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in cancer chemotherapy. Ophthalmologic implications, Journal Clinical Pharmacol.,21, 103S, 1981
Lucas, V.S. Jr. and Laszlo, J., Delta-9 THC for refractor vomiting induced by cancer chemotherapy, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980: 243, 1241-43.
MacLeod, S., Chan, H., and Correia, J., Nabilone (N) vs. prochlorperazine (P) for control of chemotherapy-induced emesis in children, Can. Soc. Clinical Invest., 1984 Meeting, 7 (Suppl. 2), 1984
Maule, W. and Perry, .M., Management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis, Pract. Therap. 27( 1 ), 226, 1983
McCabe, M., Smith, F. P., Goldberg, D., Macdonald, J., Wooley, P. V., Warren, R., Brodeur, R., and Schein, P. S., Comparative trial of oral 9-tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) and prochlorperazine (PCZ) for cancer chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, ASCO/AACR., Proc., 22, 416, 1981
McCarthy, L. E. and Borison, H. L., Cis-platin emesis and cannabinoids in cats, Pharmacologist, 22, 448, 1980
Meyers, F., Stanton, W., Dow, G. and Rocchio, G., Reduced adverse effects with optimal antiemetic dosage schedule of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), ASCO Abstr., 3, 94, 1984
Minutes of Meeting on the Current Status of Research with Tetrahydrocannabinol and Nabilone for the Control of Cancer Chemotherapy-lnduced Vomiting, Department of Health Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C., 1978
Morrow, G. R. 1984. Clinical characteristics associated with the development of anticipatory nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Journal Clinical Oncol. 2: 11701 176.
Neidhart, J., Gagen, M., Wilson, H., and Young, D., Comparative trial of the antiemetic effects of THC and haloperidol, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 38S, 1981
Nerenz, D. R., et al. 1982. Factors contributing to emotional distress during cancer chemotherapy. Cancer, 50: 1020-1027
Nerenz, D. R., et al. 1986a. Anxiety and drug taste as predictors of anticipatory nausea in cancer chemotherapy. Journal Clinical Oncol. 4: 224-237
Orr, L. and McKernan, J., Antiemetic effect of Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol in chemotherapy-associated nausea and emesis as compared to placebo and Compazine, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 76S, 1981
Orr, L., McKernan, J., and Bloome, B., Antiemetic effect of tetrahydrocannabinol compared with placebo and prochlorperazine in chemotherapy-associated nausea and emesis, Arch. Int. Medicine, 140, 1431, 1980
Poster, D. S., Penta, J. S., and Bruno, S., Treatment of Cancer Chemotherapy-lnduced Nausea and Vomiting, Masson Publishing U.S.A., New York, 1981
Riggs, C., Egorin, M., Fuks, J., Schnaper, N., Duffey, P., Colvin, 0., Aisner, J., Wiernik, P., and Bachur, N., Initial observations on the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the plasma pharmacokinetics of cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21 (Suppl. 8/9), 1981
Rivlin, R. S., Shils, M. E., and Sherlock, R 1983. Nutrition and cancer. Am. Journal Medicine 75: 843—854.
Sallan, S. E., and Frei, E., III. 1975. Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 293: 795—797
Sallan, S. E., Cronin, C., and Zelen, M., et al. 1980. Antiemetics in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer: a randomized comparison of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and prochlorperazine. N. Engl. Journal Medicine 302: 135—138.
Sallan, S., Zinberg, N., and Frei, E., lll, Antiemetic effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 293, 795, 1975
Sallan, S.E. et al, Antiemetic effect of Delta-9 THC in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, New England Journal of Medicine, 1980: 302, pp 135-138.
Schein, P., Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting Associated with Cancer Chemotherapy, Report to the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., 1980
Steele, N., Braun, D., O’Hehir, M., and Young, C., Double-blind comparison of the antiemetic effects of nabilone and prochlorperazine on chemotherapy-induced emesis, ASCO/AACR Proc., 20, 337, 1979
Stewart, D. J. 1989. Nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. In Nausea and vomiting: recent research and clinical advances. Edited by R. K. Harding, J. Kucharzyk, and D. J. Stewart. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton.
Stewart, D.J., Cancer therapy, vomiting and antiemetics, Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2/90, 68 (2) pp 304-13.
Stuart, J., Welsh, J., Sangster, G., Scullion, M., Cash, H., Kaye, S., and Calman, K., The antiemetic potential of oral levonantradol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, Br. Journal Cancer, 46(3), 492, 1982
Stuart-Harris, R., Mooney, C., and Smith, 1., Levonantradol: a synthetic cannabinoid in the treatment of severe chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting resistant to conventional antiemetic therapy, Clinical Oncol.,9(2), 143, 1983
Sweet, D., Miller, N., Weddington, W., Senay, E., and Sushelsky, L.,Tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy—a pilot study, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 70S, 1981
Tortorice, P.V. and O’Connell, M.B., Management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Pharmacotherapy, 1990, 10 (2) pp 129-45.
Triozzi, P.L. and Laszlo, J., Optimum management of nausea and vomiting in cancer chemotherapy, Drugs, 7/87, 34 (1) pp 136-49.
Ungerleider, J., Andrysiak, T., Fairbanks, L., Goodnight, J., Sarna, G., and Jamison, K., Cannabis and cancer chemotherapy, a comparison of oral delta-9-THC and prochlorperazine, Cancer, 50(4), 636, 1982
Ungerleider, J., Andrysiak, T., Fairbanks, L., Tesler, A., and Parker, R., Tetrahydrocannabinol vs. prochlorperazine, the effects of two antiemetics on patients undergoing radiotherapy, Radiology, 150(2), 598, 1984
Vincent, B. J., McQuiston, D., Einhorn, L., Nagy, C., and Brames, M., Review of cannabinoids and their antiemetic effectiveness, Drugs, 25(Suppl. 1), 52, 1983
Wada, J., Bogdon, D., Gunnell, J., Hum, G., and Rieth, T., Double-blind randomized, crossover trial of nabilone vs. placebo in cancer chemotherapy, Cancer Treat. Rev., 9 (Suppl. B), 39, 1982
Welch, D. 1981. Nutritional compromise in radiation therapy patients experiencing treatment-related emesis. Journal Parenter. Enteral Nutr. 5: 57—60
Frytak, S., Moertel, C., O’Fallon, J., Rubin, J., Creagan, E., O’Connell, M., Schutt, J., and Schwartau, N., Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, a comparison with prochlorperazine and a placebo, Ann. Int. Medicine, 91(6), 825, 1979

As an Anticonvulsant In Seizure Disorders

No testing of whole Marijuana has been done, but various Cannabis-based molecules without “high” qualities have been shown to be very effective in some seizure models. Seizure models are attempts to set up working cause-and-effect mechanisms which explain how different seizures happen. Scientists are just beginning to figure out which pathways in the brain/body are involved in seizures, which are a very complex set of related but separate phenomena.

All this begs the issue somewhat, because it’s clear from both the clinical studies and from folk knowledge that smoking a joint can bring quality relief from many different kinds of seizures. It’s those dreaded “side-effects” again which keep the search for a High-free pharmaceutical going, and keep effective therapy out of the hands of those in need.

The use of Marijuana alternatives offers those with seizure problems the potential for all-day control of the problem, with a very manageable “High”. The manageability issue is important because many people with seizure problems are otherwise vigorous, healthy people who lead normal lives until the seizure cuts them down. If they happen to be in the middle of something dangerous like driving a car or handling a power tool, such flash incidents can be life threatening. A manageable level of Marijuana high will not interfere with many kinds of work, and will actually help make some kinds of work more enjoyable and potentially more productive.

Contrary to all the propaganda, and most disturbing to those who preach inevitable doom with the first criminal encounter with dope, there have been some very well done, beyond-reproach studies which show that a certain portion of the population actually does better at the task of driving a car when high on Marijuana than when “straight”. Almost anyone who is a regular Marijuana user will tell you the same thing. And the fact that Marijuana shows up very rarely by itself in the blood tests of traffic fatalities means that the millions of people who use Marijuana regularly and nothing else are not having fatal car crashes or doing other things that get their blood sampled.

The implication for people with seizure disorders is to consider, and talk over with your doctor the idea of training yourself to get along while being a little high all day in order to get the benefits of this natural anti-seizure medicine.

Some Useful Readings

Boyd, E. H., Boyd, E. S., and Brown, L. E., Differential effects of a tetrahydrocannabinol and pentobarbital on cerebral cortical neurons, Neuropharmacology, 14, 533, 1975
Boyd, E. S., Boyd, E. H., and Brown, L. E., The effects of some drugs on an evoked response sensitive to tetrahydrocannabinols, Journal Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 189, 748, 1974
Calne, D. B. and Klawans, H. L., Pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of tremor, Pharmacol. Ther.,2, 113, 1977
Carlini, E. A., Mechoulam, R., and Lander, N., Anticonvulsant activity of four oxygenated cannabidiol derivatives, Research Commun. Chem. Pathol. Pharmacol., 12, 1, 1975
Carlini, E.A. and Cunha, J.A., Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 417S-427S
Chiu, P., Olsen, D. M., Borys, H. K., Karler, R., and Turkanis, S. A,. The influence of cannabidiol and Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on cobalt epilepsy in rats, Epilepsia, 20, 365, 1979.
Colasanti, B. K., Lindamood, C., and Craig, C. R., Effects of marihuana cannabinoids on seizure activity in cobalt-epileptic rats, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 16, 573, 1982.
Consroe, P. and Wolkin, A., Cannabidiol-antiepileptic drug comparisons and interactions in experimentally induced seizures in rats, Journal Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 201, 26, 1977
Consroe, P. F. and Man, D. P., Effects of Delta 1 and Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on experimentally induced seizures, Life Sci., 13, 429, 1973
Consroe, P. F., Wood, G. C., and Buchsbaum, H., Anticonvulsant nature of marijuana smoking, JAMA, 234, 306, 1975
Consroe, P., Benedito, M. A. C., Leite, J. R., Carlini, E. A., and Mechoulam, R., Effects of cannabidiol on behavioral seizures caused by convulsant drugs or current in mice, Eur. Journal Pharmacol., 83, 293, 1982
Consroe, P., Jones, B., Laird, H., and Reinking, J., Anticonvulsant-convulsant effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976
Consroe, P., Martin, A., and Singh, V., Antiepileptic potential of cannabidiol analogs. Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 428s, 1981.
Corcoran, M. E., McCaughran, J. A., and Wada, J. A., Antiepileptic and prophylactic effects of tetrahydrocannabinols in amygdaloid kindled rats, Epilepsia, 19, 47, 1978.
Cox, B., Tenham, M., Loskota, W. J., and Lomax, P., The anticonvulsant activity of cannabinoids in seizure sensitive gerbils, Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc., 18, 154, 1975
Craigmill, A. L., Cannabinoids and handling-induced convulsions, Research Commun. Psychol. Psychiatr. Behav.,4, 51, 1979
Davis, J. P. and Ramsey, H. H., Antiepileptic action of marijuana-active substances, Fed. Proc., 8, 284, 1947
Delgado-Escueta, A. V., Treiman, D. M., and Walsh, C. 0., The treatable epilepsies, New Engl. Journal Medicine,308, 1576, 1983
Feeney, D. M., Marijuana and epilepsy: paradoxical anticonvulsant and convulsant effects, in Marihuana: Biological Effects, Nahas, G. G. and Paton, W. D. M., Eds., Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979
Feeney, D. M., Marijuana use among epileptics, JAMA, 235, llOS, 1976.
Feeney, D. M., Spiker, M., and Weiss, G. K., Marihuana and epilepsy: activation of symptoms by delta-9-THC, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 343.
Fish, B. S., Consroe, P., and Fox, R. R., Convulsant-anticonvulsant properties of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in rabbits, Behav. Genet., 13, 205, 1983
Gram, L., Bentsen, K. D., Parnas, J., and Flachs, H., Controlled trials in epilepsy: a review, Epilepsia, 23, 491, 1982 .
Izquierdo, I. and Nasello, A., Effects of cannabidiol and other cannabis sativa compounds on hippocampal seizure discharges, Psychopharmacology 1973: 28, pp 95-102
Juul-Jensen, P. and Foldspang, A., Natural history of epileptic seizures, Epilepsia, 24, 297, 1983.
Karler, R. and Turkanis, S.A, The cannabinoids as potential antiepileptics, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 4375-4485.
Karler, R. and Turkanis, S.A., Cannabis and epilepsy, in Marijuana: Biological Effects, ed. G. Nahas and W. Paton, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979, pp 619-641
Karler, R. et al, Anticonvulsant properties of Delta-9 THC and other cannabinoids, Life Sciences 1974: 15, pp 931-47.
Karler, R., Borys, H. K., and Turkanis, S. A., Influence of 22-day treatment on the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids, Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch. Pharmakol., 320, 105, 1982
Krall, R. L., Penry, J. K., Kupferberg, H. J., and Swinyard, E. A., Antiepileptic drug development. 1. History and a program for progress, Epilepsia, 19, 393, 1978.
Perez-Reyes, M. and Wingfield, M., Cannabidiol and electroencephalographic epileptic activity, JAMA, 230, 1635, 1974
Sofia, R. D., Solomon, T. A., and Barry, H., Anticonvulsant activity of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol compared with three other drugs, Eur. Journal Pharmacol., 35, 7, 1976
Testa, R., Graziani, L., and Graziani, G., Do different anticonvulsant tests provide the same information concerning the profiles of antiepileptic activity?, Pharmacol. Research Commun., 15, 765, 1983.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Electrophysiologic mechanisms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol’s convulsant actions, in the Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacologic and Therapeutic Aspects, Agurell, S., Dewey, W. L., and Willette, R. E., Eds., Academic Press, New York, 1984, 845.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Electrophysiologic properties of the cannabinoids, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 449s, 1981.
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Excitatory and depressant effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinols and cannabidiol on cortical evoked responses in the conscious rat, Psychopharmacoloey, 75, 294, 1981.
Turkanis, S. A., Chiu, P., Borys, H. K. and Karler, R., Influence of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on photically evoked after-discharge potentials, Psychopharmacology, 52, 207, 1977.
Turkanis, S. A., Smiley, K. A., Borys, H. K., Olsen, D. M., and Karler, R., An electrophysiological analysis of the anticonvulsant action of cannabidiol on limbic seizures in conscious rats, Epilepsia, 20, 351, 1979
Wada, J. A., Osawa, T., and Corcoran, M. E., Effects of tetrahydrocannabinols on kindled amygdaloid seizures and photogenic seizures in Senegalese baboons, Papiopapio, Epilepsia, 16, 439,1975.
Wada, J. A., Wake, A., Sato, M., and Corcoran, M. E., Antiepileptic and prophylactic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol in amygdaloid kindled cats, Epilepsia, 16, 503, 1975
Wada, J.A. et al, Antiepileptic properties of delta-9 THC, Experimental Neurology, 1973: 39, pp 157-65
Woodbury, D. M., Application to drug evaluation, in Experimental Models of Epilepsy, Purpura, D. P., Penry, J. K., Tower, D., Woodbury, D. M., and Walter, R., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1972, 557.

Movement Disorders

There is a long list of symptoms which the research literature identifies as yielding to Marijuana therapy:
• akinesia or bradykinesia
• ataxia
• catalepsy
• spasm, tremor
• dystonia (cramped muscles fixing limb or body in an abnormal posture/position)
• Tonic component: dystonic posture & pain
• Phasic component: dystonic spasms and tremor
• Spasticity
• Iatrogenic Dyskinesia
• Epileptic activity
• Muscle Spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis
• Tourette Syndrome
• chorea ( in Huntington’s Disease)

Some Useful Readings

Consroe, P. et al, Open label evaluation of cannabidiol in dystonic movement disorders International Journal of Neuroscience, 11/86, 30 (4) pp 277-82.
Edmonds, H. L., Hegreberg, G. A., van Gelder, N. M., Sylvester, D. M., Clemmons, R. M., and Chatburn, C. G., Spontaneous convulsions in beagle dogs, Fed. Proc., 38, 2424, 1979
Giusti, G. V., Chiarotti, M., Passatore, M., Gentile, V., and Fiori, A., Muscular dystrophy in mice after chronic subcutaneous treatment with cannabinoids, Forensic Sci., 10, 133, 1977
Lang, A. E., Sheehy, M. P., and Marsden, C. D., Anticholinergics in adult-onset focal dystonia, Journal Can. Sci. Neurol., 9, 313, 1982.
Marsden, C. D. and Schachter, M., Assessment of extrapyramidal disorders, Br. Journal Pharmacol., ll, 129, 1981
Marsden, C. D., Treatment of torsion dystonia, in Disorders of Movement, Barbeau, A., Ed., Lippincott, New York, 1981
Meinck, H.M., et al, Effects of cannabinoids on spasticity and ataxia in multiple sclerosis, Journal of Neurology, 2/89, 236 (2) pp 120-2.
Moss, D. E., Montgomery, S. P., and Salo, A. A., Tetrahydrocannabinol effects on extrapyramidal motor behaviors in an animal model of parkinson’s disease, in The Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacological and Therapeutic Aspects, Agurell, S., Dewey, W. L., and Willette, R. E., Eds., Academic Press, New York, 1984
Moss, D.E. et al, Nicotine & cannabinoids as adjuncts to neuroleptics in the treatment of Tourette Syndrome and other motor disorders,Life Science, 1989, 44 (21) pp 1521-5.
Porter, R. J., Efficacy of antiepileptic drugs, in Epilepsy, Ward, Jr., A. A., Penry, J. K., and Purpura, D., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1983, 225.
Rosell, S., Agurell, S., and Martin, B., Effects of cannabinoids on isolated smooth muscle preparations, in Marijuana, Nahas, G. G., Ed., Springer, New York, 1976, 397
Turkanis, S. A. and Karler, R., Effects of Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on cat spinal motoneurons, Brain Research, 288, 283, 1983 .
Yung, C. Y., Clinical features of movement disorders, Brain Research Bull., 11, 167, 1983

As a Muscle Relaxant in Spinal Injury

It is well known around the rehabilitation centers of this country that smoking a joint is one of the best way to relieve the cramped muscles, tics, shakes and tremors, the involuntary yawning and tortured posturing accompanying so many kinds of spinal cord injuries, brain damage, and degenerative diseases.

There are also about 250,000 people in America with Central Pain Syndrome arising from Spinal Cord Injury or certain kinds of Stroke. Central Pain, or Thalamic Pain is an unremitting whole-body torture which can’t be relieved by any of existing pain therapy, including opiate drugs. While there are several potentially revolutionary drugs on the horizon for Central Pain its victims suffer at the highest levels of physical torture and can get no relief. I have two close friends who have suffered CPS for years, both from SCI, and both have told me that without marijuana they would have committed suicide long ago. One of them has tried the smoke enema and reports remarkable relief from the pain’s intensity lasting several hours, while my other friend jokes that he’s tried to avoid having smoke blown up his ass all his life and he isn’t about to begin doing it to himself now.

Some Useful Readings

Dunn, M. and Davis, R., The perceived effects of marijuana on spinal cord injured males, Paraplegia, 12, 175, 1974
Malec, J., Harvey, R. F., and Cayner, J. J., Cannabis effect on spasticity in spinal cord injury, Arch. Phys. Medical Rehabil., 63, 116, 1982
Petro, D. J., Marihuana as a therapeutic agent for muscle spasm or spasticity, Psychosomatics, 21, 81, 1980
Petro, D.J. and Ellenberger, C.E., Treatment of human spasticity with Delta-9 THC, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1981: 21, pp 413S-416S.

For Glaucoma

This is perhaps the second-best known application of Marijuana, and is an extremely well-researched field. This may be because eye problems are one of the few areas where Marijuana can be administered as a pharmaceutical preparation without “danger” of getting the patient high. While there are plenty of reasons why a person with glaucoma might want to use Marijuana to get high and treat the disease, many people would just as soon be able to do so without smoking. Marijuana administered in just about every form imaginable in just about every way possible has been tested for effectiveness in dealing with the symptoms, with good results overall.

There appears to be a lot of variability in the way different people with Glaucoma react to the use of Marijuana. Since eye pressure changes are easily and reliably measurable on an outpatient basis, and since there are so many possible factors at work, anyone with Glaucoma would be well advised to find a knowledgable medical professional to work with to discover the optimal form of Marijuana therapy. However it is also a fact that many, many people with this threatening disease self-medicate with little or no medical supervision, but in the absence of studies it’s hard to know what happens.

Some Useful Readings

Colasanti, B.K. et al, Ocular hypotension, ocular toxicity, and neurotoxicity in response to marijuana extract and cannabidiol, General Pharmacology, 1984, 15 (6) pp 479-84.
Cooler, P. and Gregg, J.M., Effect of Delta-9 THC on interocular pressure in humans, Southern Medical Journal, 1977: 70, pp 951-54.
Dawson, W. W., Jimenez-Antillon, C. F., Perez, J. M., and Zeskind, J. A., Marijuana and vision —after ten years’ use in Costa Rica, Investigations in Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 16, 689, 1977
Deutsch, H. M., Green, K., and Zalkow, L. H., Isolation of ocular hypotensive agents from Cannabis sativa, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 479S, 1981
Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E. C., Benigni, D. A., and Waller, C. W., Cannabinoids in glaucoma. ll. The effect of different cannabinoids on intraocular pressure of the rabbit, Current Eye Research, 3, 841, 1984
Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E., Murphy, J. C., Wirth, P., and Waller, C. W., Cannabinoids in glaucoma: a primary screening procedure, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 472S, 1981
Flom, M. C., Adams, A. J., and Jones, R. T., Marijuana smoking and reduced pressure in human eyes: drug action or epiphenomenon?, Investigations In Ophthalmology, 14, 52, 1975
Green, K. and Kim, K., Mediation of ocular tetrahydrocannabinol effects by adrenergic nervous system, Exp. Eye Research, 23, 443, 1976.
Green, K. and Podos, M., Antagonism of arachidonic acid induced ocular effects of Delta tetrahydrocannabinol, Investigations In Ophthalmology, 13, 422, 1974
Green, K. and Roth, M., Marijuana in the medical management of glaucoma, Perspectives In Opthamology, 1980: 4, 101-05.
Green, K. and Roth, M., Ocular effects of topical administration of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in man, Arch Ophthalmol., 100, 265, 1982
Green, K., Bigger, J. F., Kim, K., and Bowan, K., Cannabinoid penetration and chronic effects in the eye, Exp. Eye Research, 24, 197,1977
Green, K., Bigger, J. F., Kim, K., and Bowman, K., Cannabinoid action on the eye as mediated through the central nervous system and local adrenergic activity, Exp. Eye Research, 24, 189, 1977
Green, K., Symonds, C. M., Oliver, N. W. and Elijah, R. D., Intraocular pressure following systemic administration of cannabinoids, Current Eye Research 2, 247, 1982
Green, K., The ocular effects of cannabinoids, Current Topics Eye Research., 1, 175, 1979
Green, K., Wynn, H., and Bowman, K. A., A comparison of topical cannabinoids on intraocular pressure, Exp. Eye Research, 27, 239, 1978
Harvey, D., Analytical studies on marijuana, Trends Anal. Chem., 1, 66, 1981
Hepler, R. S., Frank, J. M., and Petrus, R., Ocular effects of marihuana smoking, in the Pharmacology of Marihuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Jay, W. M. and Green, K., Multiple-drop study of topically applied 1% Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in human eyes, Arch. Ophthalmol., 101, 591, 1983
Johnson, M. R., Melvin, L. S., and Milne, G. M., Prototype cannabinoid analgetics, prostastlandins and opiates—search for points of mechanistic action, Life Sci., 31, 1703, 1982
Korczyn, A., The ocular effects of cannabinoids, Gen. Pharmacol., 11, 419, 1980
McLaughlin, M.A. and Chiou, G.C., A synopsis of recent developments in antiglaucoma drugsJournal of Ocular Pharmacology, Spring 1985, 1(1) pp 101-21.
Merritt, J. C., Cook, C. E., and Davis, K. H., Orthostatic hypotension after Delta 9-THC marijuana inhalation, Ophthalm. Research, 14, 124, 1982
Merritt, J. C., Crawford, W. J., Alexander, P. C., Anduze, A. L., Gelbart, S. S., Effect of marihuana on intraocular and blood pressure in glaucoma, Ophthalmologv, 87, 222, 1980
Merritt, J. C., McKinnon, S., Armstrong, J. R., Hatem, G., and Reid, L. A., Oral Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in heterogeneous glaucomas, Ann. Ophthalmol., 12, 947, 1980
Merritt, J. C., Olsen, J. L., Armstrong, J. R., and McKinnon, S. M., Topical Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in hypertensive glaucomas, Journal Pharm. Pharmacol., 33, 40, 1981
Merritt, J. C., Perry, D. D., Russell, D. N., and Jones, B. F., Topical Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and aqueous dynamics in glaucoma, Journal Clinical Pharmacol., 21, 467S, 1981
Perez-Reyes, M., Wagner, D., Wall, M. E., and Davis, K. H., Intravenous administration of cannabinoids and intraocular pressure, in the Pharmacology of Marihuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Podos, S. M., Becker, B., and Kass, M. A., Prostaglandin synthesis, inhibition, and intraocular pressure, Invest. Ophthalmol., 12, 426, 1973
Razdan, R. K., Howes, J. F., and Pars, H. G., Development of orally active cannabinoids for the treatment of glaucoma, in Problems of Drug Dependence 1982, NIDA Research Monograph 43, Harris, L. S., Ed., Publ. No. (ADM) 83-1264, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 1983
Shapiro, D., The ocular manifestations of the cannabinols, Ophthalmologia, 168, 366, 1974
Zimmerman, T. J., Leader, B., and Kaufman, H. E., Advances in ocular pharmacology, Annual Rev. Pharmacological Toxicology, 20, 415, 1980

In Bronchial Asthma

This use of Marijuana has not been well-researched, but the few studies available seem to show that Marijuana is an effective bronchodialator, better in fact than many pharmaceuticals. Marijuana seems to be more effective than commercial pharmaceuticals for asthmatic people who have heart, thyroid, diabetic and hypertension problems, all of which are seriously aggravated by many available bronchodialator drugs.

It isn’t necessary to smoke Marijuana to obtain the bronchodialator effects. The research studies which administered Marijuana orally as an extract mist, and by swallowing a capsule filled with extract found that the method of ingestion did not affect Marijuana’s ability to arrest asthma symptoms.

Marijuana can also be a real relief for the stress and anxiety which accompany asthma attacks. Working with the high to identify and relax stressed areas of the body is something which many regular Marijuana users have been doing for years, and asthmatic people in most cases could benefit from this aspect of Marijuana as well as from the indisputably attractive bronchodialator effects.

Some Useful Readings

Abboud, R. T. and Sanders, H. D., Effect of oral administration of Delta 9-THC on airways mechanics in normal and asthmatic subjects, Chest, 70, 480, 1976
Davies, B. H., Radcliffe, S., Seaton, A., and Graham, J. D. P., A trial of oral Delta – 1 THC in reversible airways obstruction, Thorax, 30, 80, 1975
Gong, H., Tashkin, D. P., Simmons, M. S., Calvarese, B., and Shapiro, B. J., Acute and subacute bronchial effects of oral cannabinoids, Clinical Pharmacol. Ther., 35, 26-32, 1984
Graham, J. D. P., Davies, B. H., Seaton, A., and Weatherstone, R. M., Bronchodilator action of extract of cannabis and Delta 1 tetrahydrocannabinol, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Hartley, J. P. R., Nogrady, S. G., Seaton, A., and Graham, J. D. P., Bronchodilator effect of Delta 1-THC, Br. 1. Clinical Pharmacol., 5, 523, 1978
Shapiro, B. J. and Tashkin, D. P., Effects of beta adrenergic blockade and stimulation on cannabis bronchodilatation, in Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 173
Shapiro, B. J. and Tashkin, D. P., Effects of Beta-adrenergic blockage and muscarinic stimulation on cannabis bronchodilation, in Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976, 277
Shapiro, B. J., Tashkin, D. P., and Frank, 1. M., Mechanism of increased specific airway conductance with marijuana smoking in healthy young men, Ann. Intern. Medicine, 78, 832, 1973
Shapiro, B. J., Tashkin, D. P., and Vachon, L., THC as a bronchodilator. Why bother?, Chest, 71, 558, 1977
Tashkin, D. P., Reiss, S., Shapiro, B. J., Calvarese, B., Olsen, J. L., and Lodge, J. W., Bronchial effects of aerosolized Delta 9-THC in healthy and asthmatic subjects, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., l1S, 57, 1977
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., and Frank, 1. M., Acute effects of marijuana on airways dynamics in spontaneous and experimentally induced bronchial asthma, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1976
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., and Frank, 1. M., Acute effects of smoked marijuana and oral Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on specific airways conductance in asthmatic subjects, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., I 09, 420, 1974
Tashkin, D. P., Shapiro, B. J., Lee, Y. E., and Harper, C. E., Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma, Am. Rev. Resp. Dis., 112, 337, 1975
Vachon, L. and Sulkowski, A., The effect of Beta-adrenergic blockade on acute marijuana intoxication, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976, 161
Vachon, L., Fitzgerald, M. X., Solliday, N. H., Gould, 1. A., and Gaensler, E. A., Single dose effect of marijuana smoke, N. Engl. Journal Medicine, 288, 985, 1973
Vachon, L., Mikus, P., Morrissey, W., FitzGerald, M., and Gaensler, E., Bronchial effects of marijuana smoke in asthma, in The Pharmacology of Marijuana, Braude, M. C. and Szara, S., Eds., Raven Press, New York, 1975
Vachon, L., Robins, A. G., and Gaensler, E. A., Airways response to aerosolized Deta 9-THC: preliminary report, in The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, Cohen, S. and Stillman, R. C., Eds., Plenum Press, New York, 1976
Vachon, L., Robins, A. G., and Gaensler, E. A., Airways response to micro aerosolized Delta 9-THC, Chest, 70, 444, 1976
Williams, S. J., Hartley, J. P. R., and Graham, J. D. P., Bronchodilator effect of Delta 1-THC administered by aerosol to asthmatic patients, Thorax, 31, 720, 1976

For Hypertension & Anxiety

Recent discoveries that Marijuana acts on the same receptors in the brain as many commercial tranquilizers has reinforced clinical evidence that it is a superior relaxant and anti-anxiety drug. This will come as no news to millions of people, but many of those who have most needed to get mellow over the past years have been so mesmerized by the anti-drug hysteria that they have been stuck with trying to use alcohol and cigarettes to control anxiety. With damn little success, of course, because both these drugs first appear to relieve and then re-install anxiety at higher levels. When such folks are finally floored by their accumulated stress and toxicity, Marijuana offers a pleasant, inexpensive natural alternative which will, after only a brief trial, win the hearts and minds of 99% of these poor propagandized souls.

It’s not just the booze and cigs crowd that suffers from hypertension and anxiety; almost everybody has a few pet anxieties which regularly claw their insides out, and Americans are becoming notorious in the world for the rate at which we allow stress to disable and kill us.

Some Useful Readings

Freemon, F.R., The effect of Delta-9 THC on sleep, Psychopharmacologia, 1974: 35, pp 39-44.
Sethi, B.B. et al, Antianxiety effect of Cannabis: involvement of central benzodiazepine receptors,Biological Psychology, 1/86, 21 (1) pp 3-10.
Zaugg, H. E. and Kyncl, J., New antihypertensive cannabinoids, Journal Medical Chem., 26, 214, 1983
Zuardi, A. W., Shirakawe, J., Finkelfarb, E., and Karniol, 1., Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by Delta 9-THC in normal subjects, Psychopharmacology, 76, 245, 1982

For Insomnia

In line with Marijuana’s complex nature, the same flower which when consumed allows you to stay up all night with friends engaging in vigorous dialogue allows you, under different circumstances, to drift imperceptibly into a dream state from which you wake in the morning refreshed and alert.

As in so many other uses of Marijuana, set and setting are very important in effectively addressing insomnia. All the usual accoutrements to a restful night’s sleep should be in place- a secure, quality environment, reduced potential for noise or interruption, loving thoughts, and a conscious desire to approach sleep. Reading a book while high is an excellent way to drift off into your own thoughts, and doing so while in bed is a classic approach to induced sleep. Meditation tapes now generally available are also an excellent tool to use while high, especially those specifically designed to place the mind in a mood to sleep restfully.

Marijuana is not a sleeping pill; it does not knock you out to achieve its effect. Marijuana is a mind-medicine, not a body medicine even though it has profound and overwhelmingly positive body effects. In fact, it is up to you to consciously use the Marijuana, not to passively take a “big enough dose” to put you to sleep by chemically overwhelming your nervous system so it doesn’t transmit worry or discomfort signals, which is how most so-called “sleeping aids” work.

In Eating Disorders

Here is another area of medicinal benefit where it is not so much the chemical properties of Marijuana as its mental effect which is responsible for the desired action.

Marijuana is well-known among people who use it socially and recreationally for the effect called the Blind Munchies. When a person is in the grip of the munchies nothing edible within reach is safe, especially food that responds to those deep-level body hungers we call cravings. There has been speculation that blood sugar levels are involved, but the research is inconclusive. The BM’s are not predictable in the sense that they are invariably brought on by use of Marijuana.

Whatever occurs to you when you are in this state is what you want, and normal behavior can go right out the window. It doesn’t matter if that last granola bar belongs to someone else- it’s gone; it doesn’t matter that it’s only 9AM- you want a double pepperoni pizza. Otherwise normal people caught in the grips of the Blind Munchies become slightly deranged; fixated may be a better word. They do not wait calmly in line at the ice cream store, they can’t wait until they’re out of the convenience store to open their candy bar.

All this is not a pretty sight, and probably contributes to Marijuana’s bad reputation among the other kinds of folks who hang out at ice cream stores and candy counters and encounter these hulking red-eyed fiends.

Now, one might reasonably ask how such an effect could possibly help someone who is ill?
The blind munchies seem to be the result of a combination of factors, including the (perhaps unrecognized) presence of deep cravings, and the process of suggestion. These factors are the reasons why Marijuana has therapeutic potential in the area of eating disorders.

Marijuana focuses attention, and if the high person’s attention is directed in a subtle way toward the deep levels at which food/nutritional cravings exist, the body-mind will pick up those signals and can experience them as desire and intense attractiveness. Not invariably, and not always perfectly, but the more skilled the individual or others involved in the therapy the more likely it will be that the person can come to desire and enjoy that which they need from a medical perspective.

Some Useful Readings

Costa, G., and Donaldson, S. S. 1979. Effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the nutrition of the host. N . Engl . Jour. Med . 300: 1471 1474.
Hollister, L.E., Hunger and appetite after single doses of marihuana, alcohol and dextroamphetamine, Clinical Pharmacological Thera. 1971: 12, pp 44-49.
Kokal, W. A. 1985. The impact of antitumor therapy on nutrition. Cancer, 55: 273—278.
McLaughlin, C. L., Baile, C. A., and Bender, P. E., Cannabinols and feeding in sheep, Psychopharmacology, 64, 3 21, 1979

In Treating Alcoholism

It’s no real surprise that Marijuana has been shown to be effective in helping people withdraw from alcohol addiction- it gives the addict a very attractive exchange. The intoxication benefits of Marijuana are superior, the urge to violence and aggression almost nil, and the damage to health far less.

From the moralists viewpoint this may not seem like it’s doing the alcohol addict a lot of good, but from the addicts viewpoint it makes kicking alcohol a whole lot easier. The moralists and the addict have a totally different agenda, though to get any help at all these days addicts generally have to get with the moralistic chant. It’s a true testament to the sincerity of the desperation of people trapped by alcohol that they will do anything, even roll over and sing psalms for the moralists, who parade these “saved souls” before the cameras where they stand, blinking and shuffling, looking for all the world like POW’s, which of course they are, prisoners in the war waged upon them by those who force doctrine upon the weak and broken in exchange for bread and a better cell.

Some Useful Readings

Bhargava, H., Effect of some cannabinoids on naloxone-precipitated abstinence in morphine-dependent mice, Psychopharmacology, 49, 267, 1976
Carder, B., Blockage of morphine abstinence by Delta 9-THC, Science, 190, 590, 1975
Chesher, G.B. and Jackson, D.M., Quasi-morphine withdrawal symdrome: effect of cannabinol, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, Pharmacology and Biochemistry Review, 7/85, 23 (1) pp 13-15.
Crancer, A. et al, Comparison of the effects of marihuana and alcohol on simulated driving performance, Science, 1969: 164, pp 851-54.
Fernandes, M. and Hill, R., Morphine-cannabinoid interactions in rats and mice, Arch. Pharmacol., 19, 282, 1974
Hine, B., Friedman, E., Torrelio, M., and Gershon, S., Morphine dependent rats. Blockade of precipitated abstinence by tetrahydrocannabinol, Science, 187, 443, 1975
Hine, B., Friedman, E., Torrelio, M., and Gershon, S., Morphine-dependent rats: blockage of precipitated abstinence by THC, Science, 187, 443, 1975
Jones, R.T and Stone, G.R., Psychological studies of marijuana and alcohol in man, Psychopharmacology 1970: 18, pp 108-17.
Reeve, V.C. et al, Marijuana-alcohol driving performance study: A summary of preliminary findings, in, Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, 1985
Rosenberg, C. M., Gerrein, J. R., and Schnell, C., Cannabis in the treatment of alcoholism, Journal Stud. Alcohol, 39, 155, 1978
Sprague, G. L. and Craigmill, A. L., Effects of two cannabinoids upon abstinence signs in ethanol dependent mice, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 9, ll, 1978

Clinical Trials with Marijuana

Almost without exception, the clinical trials of Marijuana’s effectiveness as a therapeutic agent have involved the use of an extract from the plant, or a synthetic or derivative chemical compound manufactured in the laboratory based on the natural model from the living plant.
Without exception all researchers frame their findings in the context of seeking to isolate the high from the medical benefits. None view the high as beneficial, even as a hypothesis. All studies done in the past twenty years have as an underlying, governing assumption that getting high is undesirable and has no place in therapeutic applications of the plant.

All the research buys into the official line that consciousness-altering substances are and ought to be highly regulated and unavailable to ordinary people.

None of the researchers exhibit an overt personal familiarity with the high experience but one can read behind the lines of a few studies to see that the authors were knowledgeable people communicating effectively with colleagues but being very, very careful.

Finally, none of these studies examine the therapeutic potential for the individual using the whole flower of this remarkable plant, without the intervention of self-interested doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, police, politicians, and professional bureaucrats.

A Revolution In Caring

There is a silent revolution against uncaring health care across America, and it is being led by people who discovered and used psychoactive drugs in the 1960’s & 70’s. Most of us are now in our mid-lives, and we increasingly have parents, family members and friends suffering from disease, injury, pain, accumulated stress, degenerative conditions, mystery infirmities, and the other challenges life throws at us all.

In the revolution to bring about a caring society, many of these enlightened ones are offering the relief of natural, whole Marijuana to those in need along with their services as what one friend of mine calls herself- a Companion Guide.

In other centuries and other places the intellectuals and artists of society used Marijuana to explore realms of the mind in the name of creativity and innovation. In other still more distant places and societies, healers and holy men used this gift of Shiva as a holistic medicine for the body, and meditative gate to other levels of consciousness.

In America this century Marijuana has been used primarily as a relaxant and mild euphoric; however, it has always had a strong spiritual component. There is something in the Marijuana high which resonates with the American spirit of adventure, of quest, of exploration, of frontier, of invention, and of rebellion. The Marijuana high answers all those calls in the American soul, and although our society is still burdened with those medieval drugs alcohol and tobacco and their powerful overlords, the time will come when the choice of an enlightened, caring society will be the Marijuana high or its spiritual/meditative equivalent.

Compassionate, creative, therapeutic use of Marijuana in a psychological and spiritual healing process opens new professional opportunities for many health care professionals who are personally experienced with the Marijuana high.

Why should personally enlightened professionals continue to submit to the whips of the cynics and moralists, those evil sisters, thus depriving their patients, clients, loved ones, friends and collegues of the benefits of a wholistic approach to Marijuana therapy which uses the powerful healing high, with themselves acting as compassionate Companion-Guides as well as medical professionals.

Imagine the impact on the quality of the relationship and its healing potential if all parties to the process could use the Marijuana high to get past the kinds of barriers that typically isolate those in need from those giving care.

Historians will record the callous manipulation of the ordinary people of this world by privileged classes and their institutional representatives and enforcement agencies as the root cause of the pain, suffering and destruction of human live and values which is deliberately mislabeled “the drug problem”.

The Pain problem, the Despair problem, the Racism problem, the Poverty problem, the Ignorance problem and the Exploitation problem are real names of real problems; the “Drug Problem” is not real, it is an illusion.

Meanwhile millions of deluded puppets chant “Just Say No”, at the same time most passionately chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to the whispered suggestions that theirs is the holy mission of blaming and judging and punishing others, placed in their inner by a voice they perceive as the voice of God. The irony is that the very demons they fear are the source of these suggestions, because when these crusader go forth they create dangerous, destructive passions – the dark playground of these angry entities.

The relief these crusaders promise through their “programs” is a sick illusion- there are very simply no truly effective drug rehabilitation programs anywhere. There are lots of ineffective programs which occasionally have a person enrolled who is successfully rehabilitated, for which the program’s operators then claim credit and seek additional funding, but the fact is that nothing rehabilitates an individual except inner resources combined with realistic external support, and there is no support of the kind and quality needed available in our society except for those fortunate enough to be loved and cared for by an angel.

While you’re never going to see our government research it, or announce the results if the do, there is evidence that Marijuana contains substances which protect the lungs of the smoker from the tissue changes which lead to cancer in smokers of cigarettes and those exposed to industrial smoke.

This “anti-neoplastic activity” of Marijuana has been noticed and investigated during the comprehensive search of natural substances for use as cancer drugs. This property of Marijuana was not remarkable enough to qualify it as a cure for cancer (imagine the difficulties!), but was sufficiently strong for the researchers to note that there may be some connection here with the fact that research has not been able to show the kinds of cancerous effects in long-term Marijuana smokers which show up regularly in long-term cigarette smokers. The other kinds of lung damage associated with smoking, such as emphysemia, dont appear as severe in Marijuana smokers, despite the (generally poorly done) federally sponsored research trumpeted in the media as evidence of Marijuana’s dangers.

Of course there will never be zero risk in smoking anything. But the greatest danger to Marijuana smokers appears to come directly from the authorities, in two principle ways. There is the obvious danger of arrest and exposure to draconian police and judicial strategies designed to intimidate the populace, but there is a much more direct, major danger to your health. The anti-drug authorities have persisted, in spite of official bans, to spray a variety of highly toxic chemicals onto Mexican and South American Marijuana crops, some of which is rescued by the growers and sent right along to the U.S. where Marijuana users who are driven to the streets by their government are then poisoned by that same government as a penalty for violating it’s corrupt laws. This isn’t an atrocity of the magnitude of the government-cigarette industry conspiracy, but it will do to illustrate the moral degeneracy of our decaying institutions.
The network of privileged and entrenched people who run this lunatic asylum we call home are determined that we are all going to settle down and agree to be ruled by them and their designated authorities. Their tactics are no more imaginative now than they have ever been, because when dealing with the mass of people sophisticated tactics dont work. Keep it simple, stupid. It’s easy enough in a modern democracy, especially if you control the message content of the mass media, to create a constituency of fear.

The “drug problem” is an ideal constituency-maker. Americans have been pretty constantly under the grip of the moralists and the economic interests benefited by them since the earliest days of the country, and by now many people have been thoroughly indoctrinated into accepting and vigorously believing that deviant behavior must be both controlled and punished. It’s not hard to get these folks to accept that drugs are bad, especially when you can create dramatic footage on TV and point to all the human wreckage on the streets. In line with the KI.SS principle, the public sees this stuff, listens to a few politicians and “experts” and concludes yes, by golly, there really is a “drug problem”.

But there is another reason why the “drug problem” has been created, a deeper, more important reason. Certain drugs, Marijuana perhaps foremost among them, directly threaten the mechanisms by which control of society has been exercised for centuries by the privileged and entrenched interests that transcend generations in their quest for domination of others. These mechanisms depend upon certain kinds of blindness in people, a blindness that has been cultivated intensively over the years.

Are You Shocked?

You read the papers and see the headlines about the war on drugs. You read Time and US News & World Report and Readers Digest and know about the horrors of drug abuse. You go to church and hear people you respect and trust predict that drugs will be the ruin of our society.

And now your doctor or, maybe more difficult to handle, a loving relative or friend tells you that you can get relief from your suffering with Marijuana. What are you to think? You may believe that drugs are evil, that the soft drugs lead to other, more addictive drugs, that they ruin your mind, and perhaps that they are a sin.

This section is devoted to an expression of my personal social & political viewpoints. Many people will disagree with what I say here, and if you feel this way I want you to be able to use the information in the book without having to agree with my views on the role of drugs in society and other related issues and concerns.

Social and recreational use of Marijuana is a major issue in the minds of many people, but more directly threatening and frightening are the twin problems of violent and degraded situation in our inner cities, and the sickening toll among our children. Many good people sincerely believe that these problems have been created by drugs, and can be solved by control of drugs.

I call these people good because they think of themselves as good and are motivated by what they believe are good motives. Jesus of Nazareth said at his crucifixion “Forgive them Father; they know not what they do”, and most Christians believe that Jesus was asking for forgiveness on behalf of those who were killing him, and those who had caused it to be done. I believe that these last words sum up the message of his life.

If Jesus was anything of the holy man which belief, tradition and doctrine have made him, and this was the message of his life, it would not be directed at forgiving those few poor souls who were murdering him – it would be his final offering of wisdom to all who lived then and have lived since. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. “

This is the gift which the prophet Jesus gave us – that in his last words, out of all the things that could have been said, he chose to ask god to forgive all people for none know what they do. If we hear that message, and realize that we know not what we do, then we may begin to awaken, and see what we do, and change what we do. As it is, we know not what we do. How else is it possible to explain the misery and evil we inflict on each other throughout the world; how else to explain why power corrupts; how else to explain our isolation from each other; how else to explain the greed and lust of those who rule; how else to explain suffering in the midst of great plenty?

The so-called drug problem is a part of that misery inflicted by some people on others, since it is almost entirely the social consequences of drug use, and not drug use itself, which produces the painful, evil consequences known as the drug problem.

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Curing Drug Addiction With Coca Leaf & Cannabis

Wow – talk about an apparent contradiction in terms! Hot water or alcohol (red wine) extracts of Erythroxylon Coca, the Coca plant, along with simple alcohol tinctures or oil extracts of Cannabis, as safe and effective cures ( note – that’s “cures”, not “treatments”) for addiction to Alcohol, Heroin, Morphine, Nicotine, Cocaine, and Amphetamine. Does not compute – right?

Well, hold on there just a minute podner – I have some news for you. Actually I’m not sure that I should be calling information from the 1700s & 1800s ‘news’, but the fact is that thousands of doctors in the US and Europe in the 1700/1800s considered Coca Leaf tea and tonics as highly effective cures for Opium, Nicotine and Alcohol addictions, and later on for Morphine, Heroin and Cocaine addictions, enabling addicts to complete withdrawal programs with very little suffering and to successfully stay clean afterwards. And as pointed out in several of the physicians quoted below, when extract of Coca Leaf was not quite sufficient, adding extract of Cannabis to the treatment virtually guaranteed success.

I can hear the snorts of disbelief from here. Cure drug addiction with a drug – sure. But hold on again just a minute – what about Methadone beloved of contemporary opiate addiction docs? What about all the pharma-technology being used by all those thousands of (highly profitable and minimally effective) drug treatment centers? What about will-power, prayer, and 12 steps?

All good and useful – for some. No doubt. But what about all the people who are not and can not be helped rid themselves of chemical dependence using these “modern” approaches?

And remember – we’re not talking about replacing heroin or morphine injection, or alcohol slurping, or a three-pack-a-day cigarette habit with snorting a line of Cocaine or, worse, firing up a crack pipe. By the late 1800s doctors realized that white powder (pharmaceutical) Cocaine could be just as much of a drug problem as the fruit of the poppy or the vine. Ample evidence exists from the 1860s to the present day that Cocaine is only minimally useful as a medicine and is one of the more dangerous recreational drugs, so we are definitely not talking here about the use of Cocaine as a treatment modality.

We are talking about using the whole, natural leaf of the divine plant of the Andes as a simple tea, or in many cases as a wine extract of the whole leaf – as in the widely used and justly famous “Vin Mariani”. And in fact doctors in the 19th Century used Coca leaf tea quite successfully to treat Cocaine addiction too – which it turns out was very common among physicians who, of course, were first in line to discover that a little tweak up the nose at the end of a hard day made everything seem OK. For a while.

I don’t mean to be flip about physician addiction. It was a terrible and increasingly pervasive problem in the 1900s and today it has grown like a cancer that seems to prey on the most compassionate and caring of physicians – the ones who feel their patients’ pain and suffering most acutely. And of course Pig Pharma is right there with a huge selection of readily available drugs for these physicians to use to, first, deal with the pain and ultimately to become addicted and to descend into the kind of despair from which there is often no exit (that they can see).

If you want to learn more about this tragic problem and the efforts being made to help addicted and suicidal physicians check the link to the DisruptedPhysician blog in the links section of this blog. In fact I am so blown away by this blog that I’ve decided that it makes powerful sense to include addicted physicians in my “Coca Road – Journey To Natural Healing™” project – they would certainly benefit as much from a month of Coca Leaf therapy in the mountains of Peru as anyone suffering from any of the conditions/diseases that originally inspired this project.

But, back to the reductionist approach of Pig Pharma to natural medicines. Before Pig Pharma brought its scientific reductionism onto the natural medicine scene, Opium was just Opium and Coca Leaf was just Coca Leaf. Yes Opium could become a habit, but when you read the medical and scientific literature of the 17th-19th centuries most doctors knew how to deal with that addiction. Not surprisingly, as you will read later in this post, one of the most effective ways they had to deal with both Opium, Alcohol and Nicotine addiction was – wait for it – Coca Leaf extract and in stubborn cases, Cannabis extract (which was called Cannabis Indica at the time). And it is a rock-solid fact that nobody, ever, anywhere in the scientific and medical record became addicted to either Coca Leaf or Cannabis although, as I just said, there were plenty of people, both physicians and laymen, who were able to safely and effectively withdraw from Opium, Morphine, Nicotine, Heroin and Alcohol addiction with the help of these pure, natural medicines.

Once Pig Pharma turned its reductionist lenses onto the Opium Poppy and Coca Leaf – voila – the world was gifted (sic) with Morphine, Heroin, Nicotine, Cocaine, Amphetamines, and all the poisonous variants of these scientific (and commercial) wonders.

Let me explain what I mean by scientific reductionism. Let’s start with the naturally-occurring Coca plant as it grows wild and cultivated in the Andes. Scientific Reductionism is not content with saying “Well, here is a plant whose leaves have been healing people and improving the quality of their lives for thousands of years. What a wonderful discovery.” Scientific Reductionism instead says “Wow, look at what this plant can do! There must be some single active principle that is responsible for the plant’s almost magical powers. If we can isolate and extract that active principle then there’s no need to go through the messy (and expensive) process of growing the plant – we can just figure out how to make that active principle in our laboratories and then we can patent it and get enormously rich. And even better, we’ll use our political, economic and military power to make sure that the indigenous people who have used this plant with respect and moderation for thousands of years don’t have access to the natural plant so then they’ll have to buy exclusively from us or from our very close friends the drug cartels!”

So if you’ve read this far you might be intrigued by what these 19th Century doctors learned about using Coca Leaf tea as a withdrawal support for addicts, supported if called for by the use of extract of Cannabis, and why they considered this a superior approach to anything else available at the time. (Or since, I would add.)

Obviously in this post I can’t cover all of the 19th Century medical literature on this subject, so I’ll just offer you a few selections, most taken from the original source materials that I have compiled in my new 700+ page eBook “The Coca Leaf Papers”.

Several others are from 19th Century narcotic addiction literature which, while it can be rather steamy, also occasionally discussed the extreme difference – night and day really – between synthesized pharmaceutical cocaine and the pure natural leaf of the Coca plant. In “Coca leaf Papers” you’ll find an extensive bibliography with hyperlinks to dozens of original sources, many of which will offer you detailed insight into how these doctors of long ago managed to accomplish with simple Coca Leaf teas and tonics what industrial-scale anti-addiction programs of today largely fail to do – permanently cure opiate and alcohol addiction.

Of course it is important to note that today’s drug problems are far more complicated that those faced in the 1800s – thanks in no small part to the antics of the corporate and government anti-drug bureaucracies and their partners-in-crime, Pig Pharma. (Not a typo.) It is no accident that legally prescribed pharmaceuticals are a major cause of drug death today, along with the toxic products of the ever-inventive street chemists serving the demands of brain-fried addicts. However, as I read the findings of these pioneering doctors, it seems pretty clear to me that the same Coca Leaf cure that worked with alcohol and opiates in the 1800s would probably work pretty well with the speed freaks of today. But, of course, nobody really knows because Coca Leaf is illegal and so it can’t actually be tested to see if it would succeed where all the modern medical ‘cures’ somehow only seem to make the dispensers more wealthy while leaving the addicts to gradually expire in a pool of their own body fluids.

From “The History of Coca” by Dr. William Golden Mortimer, 1901
Excerpt from Chapter XIV “The Physiology Of Coca”

Coca & The Curing Of Drug Addiction

“Prominent in the application of Coca is its antagonism to the alcohol and opium habit. Freud, of Vienna, considers that Coca not only allays the craving for morphine, but that relapses do not occur. Coca certainly will check the muscle racking pains incidental to abandonment of opium by an habitué, and its use is well indicated in the condition following the abuse of alcohol when the stomach can not digest food. It not only allays the necessity for food, but removes the distressing nervous phenomena. Dr. Bauduy, of St. Louis, early called the attention of the American Neurological Association to the efficiency of Coca in the treatment of melancholia, and the benefit of Coca in a long list of nervous or nerveless conditions has been extolled by a host of physicians.”

(From) Erythroxylon Coca: By W.S. Searle, MD
New York, 1881

Coca Leaf & Opiate Addiction

“Perhaps one of the most valuable as well as wonderful properties of Coca is the facility with which it meets and extinguishes the craving for opium in the victims to that fearful habit. Professor Palmer, of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, has an article upon this subject in the Louisville Medical Journal, for 1880, and he therein narrates three cases in which he found the Coca a complete and easy substitute for the opium or morphine which had been habitually taken. One sufferer had been in the habit of taking thirty grains of morphine daily, and yet abandoned that drug wholly, and at once, and without the slightest difficulty, by resorting to the fluid extract of Coca whenever the craving attacked him.”

“Nor can this be considered simply an exchange of masters, since the uniform testimony of even those who have used Coca for a long time, and continuously, is that abstention from its employment is perfectly easy, and is not accompanied by any feelings of distress or uneasiness whatever.”

“Were Coca of no other use than this it would be a boon to afflicted humanity such as no one who has not been bound hand and foot in the slavery of opium can appreciate.”

From “Coca And Its Therapeutic Applications” by Angelo Mariani (1890)
Excerpt from Chapter V

Dr. Villeneuve, among other cases of morphinomania conquered by the combined use of the pate and the Vin Mariani, communicated to us in 1884 the following observation: “M. X , barrister, 32 years of age, five years ago began to use morphine preparations as a remedy against a very alarming chronic bronchitis and granulations in the throat, which were irritated constantly by cigarette smoking.”

“The patient at first only used morphine, but his physicians committed the imprudence of treating him by hypodermic injection. A notable change for the better was produced during the first month, but, unfortunately, abuse succeeded promptly the use of the medicament – so much so that when I commenced to treat the patient, he was taking daily from 1 gramme 50 centigrammes to 1 gramme 80 centigrammes of morphine hypodermically. When he was four hours without his dose there appeared insomnia, hallucinations and delirium; constipation lasting sometimes for fifteen days, which brought on in the spring a very alarming perityphlitis, jerking of the muscles, sudden frights, dyspepsia, and at last frightful congestion of the face whenever he drank a drop of wine or brandy.”

“After a month’s treatment I had succeeded in reducing the daily doses without causing alarming symptoms; the physiological functions seemed to awaken again. However, the congestion and especially the dyspepsia was very grave, and the cough which had been suppressed by morphine returned. It was then that I treated my patient with phosphate of lime, the pate and the Vin Mariani. Lacking his habitual stimulant, he was plunged in a semi-coma from which he could not always be relieved with weaker daily doses of morphine.”

“The danger I feared most was a relapse of bronchitis, and that the cough and expectoration might end fatally. But in about a week, during which he took ten doses of Pate de Coca daily, the cough became less fatiguing and disappeared entirely in about twenty days. The patient then commenced to take small doses of Vin Mariani (two Madeira-glasses a day). At first congestion appeared, but little by little, as digestion became more easy, my patient, who on account of his profound anӕmia could not tolerate any table wines, took at first a small glass, then two, then three glasses at a meal. Now he can go and take his dinner in town, which he had not been able to do for three years; he regained his former vigor, is able to undertake anew his occupations, and has entirely given up his morphine habit.”

From “The Treatment of Opium Addiction”
J.B. Mattison MD, NY 1885

“Should there be minor discomfort, one-half-ounce doses of fld. ext. coca, every second hour, have a good effect. Cases occasionally require nothing else. If, however, as usually occurs, despite the coca, the characteristic restlessness sets in, we give full doses of fluid extract of cannabis indica, and repeat it every hour, second hour, or less often, as may be required. When the disquiet is not marked, this will control.”

“Having thus crossed the opiate Rubicon, treatment relates, largely, to the debility and insomnia. For the former, of internal tonic-stimulants, coca leads the list.”

“On the discovery of cocaine, it was thought its use, hypodermically, might prove of value in the treatment of this disorder, and, on asserted foreign authority, somewhat extravagant claims. Statements were made of its merit in this regard; but repeated trials by the writer have failed to prove them, and, in his opinion, it is much inferior to a reliable fluid extract of coca.”

From: “The Modern Treatment of Alcoholism and Drug Narcotism”
C.A. McBride, MD, New York 1910

Cocaine is an alkaloid obtained from the coca leaves. The leaves themselves have a very
stimulating effect upon those who use them. The Indians of South America are known to chew coca leaves in order to enable them to carry heavy burdens over long distances and to climb mountains without undue fatigue. When taken in this form, the habit does not seem to be contracted in the same way as when the alkaloid cocaine is taken by itself. We ourselves have tested its use in connection with our army in order to ascertain whether our men could stand a more fatiguing march by its use than otherwise. For some reason or another we have not heard any- thing further of its use in that direction.

Athletes at one time were accustomed to chew the leaves before entering upon some strenuous competition. To a great extent I believe that that has also dropped out of fashion, but it is said that in some of the recent Marathon races a well-known athlete used these leaves to sustain his strength during the contest. That he came in fresher than most of his competitors might be accounted for in this way.

There are several preparations upon the market containing an extract of the leaves and sold as tonics. The general public will be well advised to take none of these preparations without first consulting their doctor.

From “The Opium Habit And Alcoholism, Including Their Therapeutic Indications”
(by) Dr. Fred Heman Hubbard 1881

Case No. 2. Mrs. Julia L., 31 years old,, 5 years married. The incentive inducing her to take the drug, was association with a sister who was an opium eater.

She possessed a delicate organization, with hysterical tendencies, enjoying, however, apparently good health before forming the habit, although her immediate friends supposed her to be consumptive. Seeing her sister take the drug, she would occasionally indulge, and being frail and easily influenced, soon formed the habit.

Patient No. 2 on coming under our observation, was consuming twelve grains of morphia per day. When she was fatigued by over-exertion, the dose was increased; the morphia supporting her during such emergencies, as the power to undergo physical endurance under its action is wonderful. While prostrating in the end, its direct effects are to sustain the system.

Our patient’s natural tendencies rendered her susceptible to the pestiferous effects of the poison, so that she early foil under its influence and was reduced to a skeleton. In appearance her skin was dark and jaundiced, indicating a degeneration of the nutritive constituents of the blood; the hair and nails ceased to grow, the latter becoming brittle, showing a suspension of their nutrition.

As is usual with opium eaters, anorexia and constipation aggravated her case. She had not menstruated since forming the habit, and had imagined herself to be with child for some months. During the tenth month of the practice, her family were horrified by her having a
hemorrhage, apparently from the lungs. It did not suggest itself to them that the habit was the exciting cause of the suppressed menses and its vicarious elimination from the system, by hemorrhage. Her strength failed progressively from this time, the hemorrhages recurring, with some degree of regularity, every three or four months. She was given up as irrevocably doomed to slow consumption, a weak, hacking cough giving color to the supposition.

We considered her case a desperate one and so informed her family. She insisted, however, upon being treated, if only that she might die free from the monster, opium.
In order to decrease her consumption of morphia slowly, we prescribed:

Cannabis Indica, 3 v.
Belladonna Tr ? vi.
Glycerine, ; xv.
Alcohol, § xx.

Salt Baths were ordered to be taken three times a week; the diet to include a liberal allowance of fruit and vegetables and a lemon or orange was ordered to be taken
before breakfast and on retiring. If the bowels in these cases do not respond to a fruit diet, it is necessary to facilitate their action every other day by an enema, consisting of one ounce of castor oil. As there was general poverty of the nerve centres in this case, we ordered syrup of bypophosphites, taken alternately every other week, with the following:

IJ. Iodide Lime, gr. x.
Phosphate Iron, 3 i-
Quinia, 3 i-
Lactopeptine, 3 ii-
Syrup simple, 3 v.

M. Sig. Teaspoonful at nine, three and nine o’clock.

During the subsequent forty days this patient’s improvement was phenomenal, and was accompanied by a ravenous appetite. She gained flesh at the rate of three pounds per week. Her bowels did not, however, relax, or show any disposition to regulate themselves, displaying an atonic condition, which it was absolutely necessary to overcome before a cure could be effected. On the thirty- fifth day of treatment she had a hemorrhage, more profuse than usual, succeeded by hemoptysis for three days.

The lime, iron and quinia were discontinued, and the following pill was given: —

r£. Ferri sul. gr. xv.
Colocynth, ext. gr. x.
Henbane, ext. gr. iv.
Leptandrin, gr. lii.
Podophyllin, gr. li.
Aloes, gr. iv.
Capsicum, gr. v.

M. Pills xxv. Sig. One pill after meals.

Some years previous to forming the habit, the patient had suffered dysmenorrhcea and leucorrhcea, receiving treatment at that time for ulceration of the os-uten An examination displayed a congested and thickened os with two or three cicatrixes, the results of former ulceration. On the seventieth day of treatment, she experienced for the first time expulsive pains, severe in character accompanied with backache and followed by leucorrhcea. Warm injections of castile soap water, preceded an injection of tea twice the strength of that commonly used at the table, and as warm as was consistent with comfort. The next morning we ordered the castile soap water repeated, using the following as a final vaginal injection.

5- Glycerine, iii.
Carbolic acid, 3 ii.
Camphor aqua, 3 i.
Aqua, 3 x.
This, in a measure, controlled the symptoms, but we were hastily called three days afterwards, and found the patient suffering general prostration. The bowels had not acted for three days, the movements excited by injections were unsatisfactory, giving no relief. Anorexia being complete, the sight or smell of food induced nausea.

With our present experience we would not pursue the course resorted to in her case, where the bowels were unrelaxed. As it was, the prescriptions Nos. 1 and 2 were stopped and baths ordered. Electricity was applied with sponges over the abdominal viscera and rectum, exciting a passage, which was, however, scant, and forced, and not sufficient to relieve the system. Calomel of the tenth trituration, with full doses of podophyllin, was administered during the evening. At four o’clock the following morning, we were called and informed by the messenger that our patient was dead, having breathed her last a few moments before. She was indeed dead to all appearances, being in hysterical catalepsy, with no appreciable action of the heart or respiratory muscles.

She had suffered greatly during the night, vomiting incessantly, with no action upon the part of the bowels. We administered, hypodermically, one-half grain of morphia, when a little cold water sprinkled in the face excited reflex centric spinal action and revived her.

This instance only confirmed the conviction that it is impossible to cure the opium habit, and bridge the patient over the crisis, without having the bowels freely relaxed.

The condition unmistakably indicates – and the indication should not be misinterpreted – a state of the nerves’ periphery, which affects the system at large by a reflex action, showing that nature is oppressed by some obstacle which precludes the possibility of an immediate cure. The indications are broadly presented, demanding that no further effort be made to reduce the dose. The patient should be put on the smallest amount of opium consistent with a quiescent state of the nerves, and means should be taken to build up the general health by the judicious administration of tonics, to excite deposits of nutritive principles that give tone and strength to the nervous system.

A rule, scrupulously to be observed, is not to allow the patient to advance into the crisis until the bowels have freely relaxed, involving the entire canal. The crisis is a condition following the withdrawal of the last infinitesimal amount of opium. In preparation for it, patients may be kept as near the verge as the physician wishes, and they will improve, it being only a question of time when their improvement will revivify theantonic nerves.

The activity of the nerves’ periphery, presiding over the abdominal viscery, will be a true criterion of their condition throughout the system and a signal for the treatment to be resumed in safety, with victory near at hand. Drastic cathartics will not facilitate the action of the bowels, as paralyzed nerves recognize no such master.

We kept our patient on a small quantity of opium, slowly reducing that amount every third day, allowing the system time to recuperate. We prescribed the following:

IJ. Morphia, 3 ii.
Alcohol, 5 v.
Glycerine, 3 vi.
Aqua, I vii

M. Sig. Teaspoonful after meals.

Bottle No. 2 contained :

B/. Cannabis Indica, 3 vi.
Belladonna Tr. § iii.
Alcohol, 3 iv.
Ginger Tr. 3 v.
Gentian comp. Tr. 3 vi.
Syrup Ferri Iodide, 3 iv.

M. sig. Every third day replace what is taken from

No. 1, with the above.

“We directed the patient’s husband to inform us at once when her bowels fully relaxed. Thirty-seven days afterwards our presence was requested ; we found her greatly improved in every respect, presenting quite a natural appearance, her bowels having relaxed the previous night, moving twelve times before morning, with accompanying expulsive pains and profuse vaginal secretions, her catamenia appearing for the first time in three years. The attendants kept the first large discharge for our inspection, as it excited their curiosity by its peculiarity of character. It consisted of a mass of black coagulated matter, thickly studded with fibrinous laminae, or flakes, emitting a putrid odor; also a mass of remarkably bard scybala, baving stamped on their surface the imprint of numerous crescentic folds from the columnar epithelium, showing that it must have remained impact in one spot for some time. The relief experienced by the patient was complete, although she was exhausted. Prescriptions Nos. 1 and 2 were stopped and the patient was given one grain of quinia every hour, with instructions to chew coca leaves, retaining the juice extracted, which enabled her to pass safely through the crisis, without suffering nervous irritability. Within five days she was doing housework.”

“A letter from her brother, who is also a physician, written two years later, gives a glowing account of her perfect health, hemorrhages and other phthisical symptoms having disappeared, menstrual functions being normal, while her former frail state was entirely gone and replaced by robust health.”

Editor’s Conclusion

I have a wide range of friends and colleagues in and outside of the medical and scientific communities, and I am always impressed by the range of reactions that they have to information from their long-ago peers – the doctors and scientists of the 18th & 19th Centuries. On any given subject their opinions generally fall on a normal curve.

On one tail of the normal curve are those who, while not doubting the sincerity of these long-dead writers, simply don’t see how the knowledge that they gathered during their lifetimes of research and practice could possibly be relevant today. There is simply no arguing with these people – one can usually spot them because of how fond they are of using the royal “We” when talking about the medical approach they are taking, e.g. “We believe that this treatment will be best for you…”

On the other tail of the normal curve are those who feel that for all the advances in medical hardware technology, bio-technology, diagnostic and imaging technology etc – they feel that these old-time doctors who had only their hands, eyes, ears, nose, and a lifetime of being intimately involved with their patients, must have had a set of sense-based tools that modern physicians simply don’t have. As an example I have one doctor friend who tells me, and I completely believe her, that she can smell certain kinds of cancer long before it is detectable by technology. Well, it is well-known that there are dogs that can do this – so why not humans? And of course there are many, many doctors who turn to the ancient herbal remedies and give them a chance to do their healing work long before they are forced to use the toxic tools of Pig Pharma.

And then there are all those physicians and practitioners who fall under the great central bell of the curve. They don’t think much about the knowledge of the past, but they don’t discredit it either. The problem that this group has is that the knowledge of the past is almost totally lost to both them and to society. Physicians don’t encounter it in their medical training, and scientists only encounter it as a vague set of building blocks upon which modern medicine and technology has been erected (unless they are those rare birds who actually study the history of science and medicine).

In this blog I am working to discover and bring forth lost knowledge for the potential benefit of those doctors and scientists who dwell in the progressive forward tail of the curve and all those moderate souls who are positioned under the great center of the curve. I try not to speak for the voices of the past but to recover them and give them a venue where their knowledge is available to be re-discovered, by doctors and scientists certainly but more importantly by intelligent people from all walks of life who are seeking to understand the great secrets of living long, and well, and in the full vigor and creative energy that is life at its best.

Those who have ears, let them hear; those who have eyes, let them see.

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Coca Cola Crushes Innovative Coca Leaf Startup

If we allow our imaginations to drift forward a few years it’s possible to envision a time when the health benefits of pure, natural Coca Leaf are so widely understood that there will be strong voices calling for this natural medicine to be legalized just like Medical Cannabis is today.

One source of opposition that will have to be dealt with in the case of legal Coca Leaf that isn’t present with legal Medical Cannabis is an 8000# Gorilla named the Coca Cola Company. (With my apologies for the analogy to all Gorillas everywhere.)

You see, this clan of billionaire hucksters believe that they own the word “Coca” when it comes to naming beverages and a wide range of other types of products, and they have literally an army of lawyers and (no doubt) heavily bribed government officials to help them enforce their grip on the concept.
An excellent case in point is what happened in 2012/13 to s small group of visionary entrepreneurs in Venezuela when they tried to produce a bottled Coca Leaf drink as part of their natural foods restaurant and health spa operation in Caracas. They began by working with a group of indigenous people in Colombia, who are able to grow Coca plants legally as part of their cultural heritage, and developed a carbonated Coca leaf drink named “CocaSek” that took off quickly and soon became quite popular. Nothing on a grand scale, but these young people had a following for their restaurant and for their natural healing center as well as for their “CocaSek” product.

Their vision, according to their now-inactive website:

“The Coca Tea Company is an artisan company (cottage industry) located in Caracas, Venezuela which imports, distributes and manufactures teas, infusions and other products made from the coca leaf including coca flour, coca candy, coca liquor, culinary sauces and other products. Our company imports its products directly from Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.”

The first hint they had of trouble was that their bottling company – the only one in Colombia – told them that they would no longer be able to bottle their product for them. No explanation – just “Sorry”. Or actually, “Tough Shit.”

So, according to the group’s website they pulled an end run and found a bottling plant in Bolivia that would produce their CocaSek product in 12 ounce cans. They were pretty happy about this because even though Bolivia was further away than Colombia the regulatory authorities were much friendlier and the use of cans instead of glass bottles actually reduced transportation costs a bit in spite of the greater distance.

Unbeknownst to them the Coca Cola Company was not happy that they had failed to strangle the young company by cutting off its bottling resource in Colombia so the gloves quickly came off to reveal the fist of steel. Within a short time the folks producing CocaSek found themselves facing hostile, aggressive hitmen sent from Atlanta not with guns but with briefcases, and very soon they found that all avenues for selling their CocaSek product were closed to them.

The story I am telling here is explained in far greater detail on their own website, which looks like it has been dormant since 2013 but which still offers visitors an astounding set of information resources, especially on their blog which also appears to be inactive.
When you do spend time on their website you’ll find some of the best analysis ever written of the cozy relationship between the Coca Cola Company and the successive US government agencies tasked with criminalizing drugs – the Bureau of Narcotics, then the Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs, and now the DEA. David Wright, one of the company founders, is a brilliant researcher who – unlike so many researchers these days – understood that sometimes you have to go and dig through physical records to track down the trail of the bad guys. David spent lots of time at the National Archives and at a university where Harry Anslinger’s memorabilia are archived. David has published original photographs and scans of reams of correspondence between top government officials and top Coca Cola Company representatives that shows unequivocally that Coca Cola did ( and does) have the US government doing its dirty work throughout the hemisphere.

Actually, come to think about it, that was probably more the reason that Coca Cola Company went after little CocaSek than any real concerns over trademark infringement. How dare David Wright make these records public? Well, he did, and the world owes him a great big thank you. If there was ever any doubt, now we know.

From a distance it looks like the Coca Cola Company must have succeeded in killing off this innovative little product before it could gain a foothold in the market. Of course the Coca Cola Company does this all the time. Anyone who tries to develop any kind of product with the word Coca as part of the product name will quickly be paid a visit but the suits from Atlanta. (In fact I kind of wonder where the thugs in suits are now that I’ve published “The Coca Leaf Papers”.)

But the point of this post is to say that somehow the worldwide grip that the Coca Cola Company has on the word “Coca” is going to have to be broken before Coca Leaf medicinal products can be developed and marketed.
Peru Cocaine Runways Photo Gallery
However, as an interesting aside, the government of Peru produces and markets a nice line of Coca products – teas, tonics, and other medicinal and nutritional products with brand names like “Mate de Coca” and we don’t see the Coca Cola Company interfering with these products at all. Could that be because the company depends on the importation of a huge tonnage of Coca Leaf from Peru every year in order to make its “secret formula”? So they will cut deals and keep hands off when their own interests are at stake but will fall on and crush anyone not protected by the power of the state.

It seems to me that this highly selective enforcement of their trademark and copyright interests in the word “Coca” might create a legal opening if there were legal minds astute enough to make the case that “Coca” cannot be owned by a company that is only a hundred or so years old when the word itself goes back thousands of years and is, among other things, the name of one of the most important spiritual beings among the peoples of the Andes.

I hope that the people behind the Coca Leaf Tea Company somehow manage to get out from under the claws and fangs of Coca Cola and find a way to begin producing CocaSek again, but given the terrible economic crisis now gripping Venezuela life must be very difficult. I am keeping my eye out for a book being written by one of the company’s founders David Wright – details can be found on the company website.

I encourage readers of this blog to visit the company’s website and find a way to send messages of encouragement to this band of courageous spiritual pioneers.

Hasta pronto CocaSek!

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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 As A Travel Necessity

I enjoy re-reading my collection of old books on Coca because no matter how carefully I pay attention to the rich treasure of history and thought they represent, my mind is always drawn to whatever aspect of the current quest is most important, thus passing over information and insight that, in retrospect, was as vital and interesting as the object of the initial quest.

So it is with this passage from “The History of Coca” by Dr. Golden Mortimer (1912). Buried deep in Chapter Seven, this passage not only describes the diverse ways in which the indigenous people of the Andes use Coca to sustain themselves while journeying through the high mountains, it also offers the careful reader some fascinating insights into the world that these people inhabited in the past – the same world where they live their lives to a large extent today, in spite of centuries of outside interference and exploitation.

For example, the brief note that while in the process of mining silver the women charged with evaluating each piece of ore brought to the surface could, at a glance, tell how much silver the piece contained and if it was less than 20% silver, down the mountainside it went and onto the trash pile. 20% silver! Of course this isn’t news to modern-day miners who have worked these “trash piles” for many years, but it does give you an idea of how rich the original mother lodes were, and how expert and intuitive the women were whose job was to sort the keepers from the rejects. 

And then Dr. Mortimer goes on to note that men could do exactly the same sort of quick sort as they walked through a Coca patch. With just a glance, and using who knows what other senses, the man could tell immediately which plants would yield the highest quality Coca Leaf and which were destined to be not worth further effort. I have to wonder if that ability persists today among the indigenous Coca growers of the Andes, or if it has been lost and replaced by technology.

Finally, because this post contains multiple references to the use of “Lime” in the chewing of Coca Leaf, it seems a good place to reiterate that we are talking about calcium carbonate as in limestone or seashells, not as in Margaritas and Key Lime Pie. Just a small point to keep in mind should you be fortunate enough to find yourself in possession of some fine quality Coca leaf. 

(Excerpt from Chapter VII in “The History of Coca”)

The Indians chew Coca just as they do everything else, very deliberately and systematically. The mouthful of leaves taken at each time is termed acullico, or chique, which is as carefully predetermined as would the skilled housewife apportion the leaves of some choice bohea intended for an individual drawing. In preparing the chew the leaf is held base in between the two thumbs, parallel to the midrib, the soft part of the leaf being stripped off and put in the mouth. From the constant presence of this quid through many years the cheek on the side in which it is usually held presents a swollen appearance known as piccho. It is an error to suppose that the Indian journeys along and plucks the Coca from bushes by the wayside to chew, for the leaf must be carefully picked, dried and cured, and, just as tobacco or tea or coffee has to undergo certain processes before ready for consumption, so the full property of the Coca leaf is only developed after a proper preparation. Usually carried in the chuspa, or huallqui with the leaves, or fastened to it outside, is a little flask or bottle made from a gourd and called iscupuru, The word is not Quichua, but belongs to the dialect of the Chinchay-suyus along the banks of the Marañon. The Spanish authors termed it poporo. In this gourd is carried a lime-like substance made from the ashes left after burning certain plants or by burning shells or limestone. This, which they term llipta, or llucta is intermixed with the leaves when chewing by applying it to those in the mouth with a short stick dipped into the gourd from time to time. After this application the lime left on the stick is wiped about the head of the gourd in an abstracted way, leaving a deposit of lime which increases with time, for the Indian never parts with his poporo. M. Gaugnet presented M. Mariani with a poporo, brought from Colombia, a cast of which in my possession well represents this formation.

The operation of chewing is termed in Bolivia and Southern Peru acullicar while in the North it is called chacchar. The llipta is made in different localities from various substances; in the South from the ashes of the algarroba, the fruit of which has an immense reputation as an aphrodisiac, the mass being held together with boiled potatoes, while in the North quicklime is used, and in some of the Montaña regions ashes of the musa root or that of the common cereus are employed. The ashes of the burnt stalk of the quinoa plant, chenopodium quinua, mixed with a little lime, is the ordinary preparation. In Caravaya the llipta is made in little cone-like lumps; in other places it is found in flat dried cakes, which are scratched into a powder with a stick as it is required for use. Tschudi mentions the use of sugar with the leaves, but this must have been a European innovation which was supposedly an improvement, but not warranted by local customs. In Brazil, Coca – or ypadú as there termed – is powdered and mixed with the ash of Cecropia palmata leaves.

Ernst has traced the derivation of a number of the terms which are applied to the use of Coca among the Colombian Indians. These have been built up from the name of the gourd used to carry the lime or from the little sack in which the leaves are carried, which is always worn by the Indian. Thus the Chibchas term the alkali anna, which signifies a bluish lime.

Dr. Monardes speaks of the use of tobacco combined with Coca and says of the Indians: “When they will make themselves to be out of judgment they mingle with the Coca the leaves of the tobacco, at which they totter and go as though they were out of their witts, or if they were drunk, which is a thing that doth give them great contentment to be in that sorte.” Tobacco is still mixed with Coca by some of the Colombian Indians, but it is doubtful if such a mixture alone would produce the effect described. The hallucinations and narcotic action attributed by early writers to Coca are largely confusional from imperfect facts. Some of the Indians gather the leaves of a plant they term huaca or huacacachu. It is a running vine with a large obvate leaf, pale green above and purple beneath, growing in the Montaña only upon ground where there has previously been a habitation; for what is now an apparent virgin forest it is thought may three or four hundred years ago have been thickly inhabited. No scientific facts are known regarding this leaf as far as I could learn after submitting specimens of it to several of our leading botanists. The Indians term so many things huaca – which is a name they apply to anything they consider sacred – that it is very difficult to determine simply from the name. Von Tschudi probably refers to this leaf in what he describes as bovachero, or datura sanguinea. Several writers refer to the use of this leaf as a remedy for snake bite and against inflammations. A liquor is prepared from the leaves which the Indians term tonga, the drinking of which, they believe, will put them in communication with their ancestors, and from its strong narcotic action perhaps it may. Tschudi describes the symptoms observed in the case of an Indian who had taken some of this narcotic. “He fell into a heavy stupor, his eyes vacantly fixed on the ground, his mouth convulsively closed and his nostrils dilated. In the course of a quarter of an hour his eyes began to roll, foam issued from his mouth, and his body was agitated with frightful convulsions. After these violent symptoms had passed off a profound sleep followed of several hours’ duration, and when the subject recovered he related the particulars of his visit with his forefathers.” Because of this superstitious property the natives termed huaca “the grave plant.”

The Indians have fixed places along the road where they rest and replace their chews of Coca. Usually it is in some spot sheltered from the wind; and if near one of these retreats, they will hurry until reaching there, where they may drop exhausted, and after resting for a few moments will begin to prepare the leaves for mastication. In about ten minutes they are armado – as it is termed, or fully prepared to continue their journey. The distance an Indian will carry his ccepi – or load, of about a hundred pounds, under stimulus of one chew of Coca is spoken of as a cocada, just as we might say a certain number of miles. It is really a matter of time rather than distance, the first influence being felt within ten minutes, and the effect lasting for about three-quarters of an hour, during which time three kilometres on level ground, or two kilometres going up hill, will usually be covered. Although the roads are marked out with league stones, the exact number of miles these represent is a varying quantity, and travelers soon fall into the local habit of computing distance by the cocada as more exact.

These ccepiris – or burden bearers, which is the Quichua term or cargaderos – as they are termed on the coast, commonly travel six to eight cocadas a day without any other food excepting the Coca leaf used in the manner as indicated. It is not at all unusual – as related by numerous travelers – for a messenger to cover a hundred leagues afoot with no other sustenance than Coca. The old traditional chasqui, or courier, who has been continued since the time of the Incas, is still given messages to carry on foot rather than by horse or mule. He always carries a pack, which is fastened on his back and to his head also, leaving both arms free; and where the road is so steep that he cannot walk he will scramble along on all fours very rapidly. When the Indians come to their resting place they throw off their burdens and squat down, and the traveler might just as well decide to rest here as to attempt to go on. All persuasion would be just as useless to induce a resting Indian to proceed as it would be in the case of their favorite beast of burden, the llama, which is as unalterable of purpose as is his master.

The amount of Coca that is used by an Indian in a day varies from one to two handfuls, which is equivalent to one or two ounces. The leaves are not weighed out, but are apportioned to each man in accordance with the amount of work that is to be done. As an extensive operator in Peru expressed it to me, “the more work the more Coca,” while conversely, the more Coca the more work they are capable of doing. If the placid calm of an Indian is ever ruffled, it is only manifest through his taking an extra chew.

Away up in the cold and barren regions of the mountains wood and brush are too scarce to supply fuel, so the dried droppings of the llama are used instead; and as no one ever thinks of having a fire in this region merely for the purpose of keeping warm, this fuel is only used for cooking and necessity soon corrects any over-fastidiousness in the epicure. One of the remarkable peculiarities of the llama is that the beast deposits this mountain fuel always in the same places; a whole herd will go to one fixed spot, and so greatly lessen the labor of gathering the dung. In some of the particularly dangerous passes in the mountains there are rude crosses erected, which have been set up by the missionaries to mark the piles of sacred stones of the early Incan period. These stone piles are often far removed from loose stones, which must be carried for a long distance in anticipation of adding to the heap.

As the Indian makes his offering he also expects all travelers as they pass to make a like obeisance to the god of the mountain, expressive of gratitude for a journey that has been safe thus far, and imploring a favorable continuance. Often these places are decorated with little trinkets, which are hung upon the arms of the cross or thrown upon the pile of stones. Any object that has been closely attached to the person is offered; sometimes this may be even so simple as a hair from the eyebrow, but commonly the cud of Coca is thrown against the rocks, the Indian bowing three times and exclaiming ‘Apachicta’ which is an abbreviation of the term Apachicta-muchhani “I worship at this heap,” or “I give thanks to him who has given me strength to endure thus far.” The offering is made to Apachic, or Pachacamac, of whom the stone pile is an emblem. It is a curious fact that diametrically opposite on the globe, in that portion of Chinese Tartary where the priests are called Lamas, offerings are made by the natives to similar stone piles which are there termed obos.

Arduous as may be the task of the cargo bearer, the severest trial the Indian is subject to is mining. They commence this labor as boys of eight and spend the greater part of their lives in the mines. These places are wet and cold, and the work is very hard. In getting out the ore the workers must use a thirty-pound hammer with one hand, while the carriers are obliged to bear burdens of about one hundred and fifty pounds up the steep ascent of the shaft to the surface. This mining is continuous, being carried on by two gangs of men, one of which goes on duty at seven at night, working until five in the morning, when, after a rest of two hours they continue until seven at night, and are then relieved by the other party. Some of the silver mines employ thousands of operatives, both men and women, the men working in the mine and the women breaking and sorting the ore which is brought to the surface. Unless there is at least twenty per cent, of silver in the ore it is cast aside; and these women are so expert that as they break the stones into small pieces they determine instantly how it shall be sorted.

A similar cleverness is shown on the part of the Indians who select the Coca or cinchona plants. They will walk rapidly through a nursery and determine at a glance the value of individual plants or of the whole field without apparent hesitation. The Indians do not always select mining through choice, but are almost driven to it through the influence of the authorities. They have a dreadful fear of temporal powers and dare not disobey, even though their inclinations might suggest that they were born agriculturists. But these people have no inclinations; they have always been taught to do as commanded. It is suggestive of an instance I once met with when a physician, in reprimanding his colored servant, asked him why he did a certain thing, to which the poor fellow started to explain by “I thought.” “Thought!” said the doctor – “there you go thinking again; you have no right to think!” And so it is with these poor Indians; they can have no opinion, they have no right to think.

The Incas did a prodigious amount of work in their mining efforts, which, even if primitive, were forcible and effective. A system of waterways, similar to the extensive aqueducts of the coast, was made use of to conduct these operations, and several of these canals still exist, some many miles long. They are from three to five feet wide, and five to eight feet deep; in places cut through the solid rock, and in others, when over a porous soil, they are lined with sandstone. Numerous smaller ones were extended from the main canal, generally ending in reservoirs, from which sluice gates might be opened to permit the pent-up volume of waters to suddenly rush down a hill, carrying with it hundreds of tons of golden gravel. At the same time other streams were run along the base of the cliffs, undermining them, and by this ancient method of hydraulic mining, continued through centuries, whole mountains have been washed away. At Alpacata, in the upper part of Aporoma, at an elevation of seven thousand five hundred and fifty feet, is still to be found one of these old canals, together with the huge tanks for storing water, in a fair state of preservation.

An engineer, extensively interested in mining interests, who spends several months of each year in Peru, has described to me the peculiar methods followed by the Indians, who sometimes conduct their gold washings in the streams to their own profit. Selecting a part of some river bed that is left without water during the dry season, the Indian paves it with large sloping stones, forming a series of riffles. When the freshets of the rainy season cause the stream to rise and overflow these paved spots, any gold carried down is caught between the stones and is gathered during the following dry season. The annual returns from such farms are almost exactly the same each year, so that the Indian may count with as great accuracy on the yield of gold from his several mining chacras as he would upon the products of his corn or Coca fields. This primitive form of mining is still carried on to a limited extent, and these gold farms are handed down from father to son as regular property. The Indians appear to have an intuitive and very accurate knowledge of the relative richness of the various streams, but their natural reticence makes it extremely difficult to gain this information from them.