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


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Coca Leaf, Hashish, & Poppy Juice – A Perspective From 1871

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Just as Coca Leaf was rather deliberately turned into the plague of Cocaine, the natural juice of the Opium Poppy was quite purposefully turned into the plague of morphine and heroin. But this wasn’t because people were growing their own Coca plants and Poppies and then setting up labs to convert their garden’s production into high powered toxic drugs that they used to addict little kiddos at the neighborhood playground. It was because the same commercial and political interests that profit today from the “War On Drugs” were around centuries ago profiting from taking pure, natural drugs like Coca leaf and Poppy juice and finding ways to make them irresistibly addictive in order to grow more rich and more powerful at the expense of millions of destroyed lives.

So as long as I have my wits about me – and at my age that is always an iffy proposition – I intend to keep speaking out on what I think is one of the great travesties in history which is the fear and loathing that established powers-that-be feel toward anything that is free and natural and potent and creates happiness and a desire for freedom from oppression. The withered souls that inhabit the halls of power, whether political, religious, corporate or inherited wealth have always opposed even the slightest degree of freedom for the People and have given way only inch by inch, and that grudgingly, as awareness of their evil game has increased over the years.

My hope is to move that frontier forward an inch or two by these efforts. Please join me any way that you can.

Opium And The Opium-Appetite: With Notices Of Alcoholic Beverages, Cannabis Indica, Tobacco And Coca, Coffee And Tea, And Their Hygienic Aspects and Pathologies Related By Alonzo Calkins, MD 1871

Chapter XXV: Opium And Cannabis Indica Contrasted

“Fallax Herba veneni.” – Virgil.

“That juice – the bane, And blessing of man’s heart and brain – That draught of sorcery, which brings Phantoms of fair forbidden things.” – Moore

The authorities upon Cannabis besides those to be specified are Rhases, Kaempfer, D’Herbelot, Herault, Mantegazza, and others. The solid extract (which is procured from the summitates of the herb) is called Hashisch in Arabia, Gunjah and Chumts in India (where it is also familiarly known as the “Herbe des Fakirs”), Bust or Shoera in Egypt, El Mogen by the Moors, and among the Hottentots Dacha or Dagga (Von Bibra). Bangue (Bang) or Bendji is the spirituous extract.

Cannabis as a stimulating narcotic has for some centuries at the shortest been known and familiarly used in India, Persia, Bokhara, and other countries, and in some of the Islands. In Egypt, particularly among the lower orders, it takes precedence of opium, and is chewed or sometimes smoked from the gozeh (Lane). Bhang – the more active preparation – is conspicuous for its inebriative and delirative operation.

The Massagetce (as is related by Herodotus), a people on the Araxes, had a seed (conjectured to have been this same seed of Indian Hemp or perhaps of the Datura), which thrown upon hot stones sent forth a vapor that excited boisterous mirth and shout- ing. Davis the navigator on visiting Sumatra found such a seed, a little only of which being eaten gave to every object a metamorphosed appearance and turned the man for the time into a fool. Dampier observed among the natives of this island an herb which produced exhilaration and then stupefaction, making the eater lively or dull, witty or foolish, or merry or sad, according to the predominant temperament.

Hashisch far surpasses opium in relative power. A dose of twenty centigrammes of the resinoid repeated three or four times shows activity in half an hour, but the full effect is not attained short of three times this space. The duration of action is three to four hours (Steeze of Bucharest). Irregularity and uncertainty in action are doubtless to be ascribed to adulteration (Schroff).

The full impression once produced the brain is speedily affected with a sensation of extraordinary elasticity and lightness and the senses become wondrously acute, a tingling as from an electric shock is felt shooting from the spinal centre to the periphery of the body, the vault of the cranium is lifted off as it were by the expansive force within, the skull seeming as if enlarged to the dimensions of a colossus; and now with one impetuous rebound the experimenter rises above this low commonplace of terrene existence to soar in a purer ether above.

If still conscious of a lingering upon the confines of earth he sways himself along in a balancing gait as though he were under a sort of ivresse. External impressions as from the pricking of a pin or a stroke from the hand may perchance pass unheeded. Objects in the immediate range seem invested with an unwonted splendor, human faces take on a seraphic lustre, and the man for the time feels himself to be possessed of the power of ubiquity. According to the varying humor things around may seem to have assumed a fantastic dress, when peals of laughter will break forth; or suddenly a change will have come over the spirit, when under the impressions produced by lugubrious images and depressing apprehensions the mind will be wrapped in cloudiness and gloom (Polli).

The appetite is assisted by moderate doses but made ravenous for the time by large ones, and the digestive function is correspondingly aroused while constipation is obviated, and the various secernent processes go on in their normal way (Dr. Teste). Not until after long-continued and excessive use does appetite decline, as is observable of the Arabs, says Auber, who finally get fleshless and withered as the general tendency to decay becomes more distinct and progressive.

An excessive dose hinders the approach of sleep; a moderate one brings on a sopor speedy and irresistible. This sleep may be profound and stertorous, or it may partake more of the dreaminess of ecstasy. In the story of Mahmoud lord of the Black Isles, the wife, to cover up her absence for the night, administers just before going out a powder that soporizes him immediately and effectually for the time, or until she shall return again to awaken him with a perfume placed under the nostrils.

This powder there is reason for believing was some preparation (simple or compounded) of the hemp. In another of the stories of the “Nights,” that of the Jew Physician, is a similar incident described. So the chamberlain of Ala-ed-Deen is suddenly thrown into a profound sleep by the use of a powder which Ahmed Kamakim an arch-thief throws upon his face. Unlike that after the opium-sleep, the sensation on awaking is one of refreshing.

The mental condition is an ideal existence, the most vivid, the most fascinating. Time and space both seem to have expanded by an enormous magnification; pigmies have swelled to giants, mountains have grown out of molehills, days have enlarged to years and ages. De Moria in wending his way one evening to the opera house, seemed to himself to have been three years in traversing the corridor. De Saulcy having once fallen into a state of insensibility following upon incoherent dreamings, fancied he had lived meanwhile a hundred years. Rapidity as well as intensity of thought is a noticeable phenomenon. De Lucca after swallowing a dose of the paste saw as in a flitting panorama the various events of his entire life all proceeding in orderly succession, though he was powerless in the attempt to arrest and detain a single one of them for a more deliberate con- templation. Memory is sometimes very singularly modified nevertheless, there being perhaps a forgetfulness not of the object but of its name proper, or the series of events that transpired during the paroxysm may have passed away into a total oblivion.

The normal mental condition is that of an exuberant enjoyance rather than the opposite, that of melancholy and depression, though the transition from the one state to the other may be as extreme as it is swift. Oftener the subject is kept revolving in a delirious whirl of hallucinatory emotions, when images the most grotesque and illusions the drollest and most fantastic crowd along, one upon another, with a celerity almost transcending thought (Mirza Abdul Roussac).

Command over the will is maintainable, but temporarily only. As self-control declines the mind is swayed by the mere fortuitous vagaries of the fancy; and now it is that the dominant characteristic or mental proclivity has its real apocalypsis. The outward expression may reveal itself under a show of complacency and contentment in view of things around, or suspicion, distrust, and querulousness of disposition may work to the surface, or maybe a lordly hauteur that exacts an unquestioning homage from the “profanum vulgus” by virtue of an affected superiority over common mortals, is the ruling idea of the hour; or peradventure the erotic impulses may for the time overshadow and disguise all others.

Amid the ever-shifting spectacular scene the sense of personal identity is never perhaps entirely lost, but there does arise in very rare instances the notion of a duality of existence; not the Persian idea precisely, that of two souls occupying one and the same body in a joint-stock association as it were (the doctrine as alluded to by Xenophon in the story of the beautiful Panthea), but rather the idea of one and the same, soul in duplication or bipartition else, and present in two bodies.

The rapturous deliglits inspired by the beatific visions thus find expression in an exclamation of an aged Brahmin: “O sahib, sahib, you can never know what perfect pleasure is until you see as I have seen and feel as I have felt – spectacles the most gorgeous, perfumes the most delicious, music the most transporting and bewildering.”

The inspiration of the Pythian priestess at Delphi has been attributed to opium and again to hashisch, and not unlikely both conspired to the effect. This improvisatore power was amusingly developed one day in a pupil of Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s, upon a trial of ten minims of the tincture. The young man in the ecstasy of the excitement assumed the airs and language of an Indian rajah, talking learnedly and haranguing with great volubility in a lively display of brilliant fancy and logical acuteness, to the admiration of friends no less than to his own astonishment as subsequently felt (for the recollection of his scenic personations survived the performance), inasmuch as a habitual taciturnity and an unostenta tious carriage were so congenial and habitual to the young man. The paroxysm having lasted six hours, a retransformation occurring somewhat suddenly was complete nevertheless.

Note. In a Prize-essay lately read before the American Philosophical Society by H. C. Wood, M.D., the Professor records an experimentation with somewhat unexpected results, as conducted upon himself. The preparation used was an extract made from Kentucky hemp, in quantity about half a drachm. The effect, which began in three hours, lasted into the following day. At midnight a profound sleep had come over him, and in the hours of waking there was noted an anaesthesia affecting the entire skin. The characteristic expansion of time and space was a conspicuous symptom. Mental action as an effect of volitional effort was mostly restrained, from the embar- rassment experienced in attempts towards a concentration of the thoughts. A sense of impending death besides hung over him at intervals. In a student who experimented with a grain dose, there was developed a hilarious excitement simply, with a sexual erethism ensuing which did not relax short of three days. This scientific paper (the first contribution of the kind to the medical literature of America) should command the attention of the Profession.

This singular excitant, extensively known in the age of the Crusades appears to have been used by the Saracens for a double purpose, to kindle up the ardor of the soldier against the Paynim, and in larger dose to beguile his adversary into a careless security and so to facilitate the stealthy use of the poignard. In the neighborhood of Mount Libanus there existed from the beginning of the twelfth century for about one hundred and fifty years a military organization, made up for the most part of rude hordes gathered out of the tribes of Kurdistan. Ishmaelitish by genealogy, vindictive in their passions and implacable in their resentments, while professing fealty to the Crescent they campaigned oftener in reality, “their hand being against every man and every man’s hand being against them. Their generalissimo was known as “Le Vieux de la Montagne” (Von Hammer).

At Allamut and Massiat were their famed gardens, secluded by high walls from the vulgar gaze but within adorned with every decoration and luxury that could entrance the vision and capti- vate appetite; and here presided girls of enchanting beauty and ravishing seductiveness, the houris of the scene. Into this “outer court of the temple,” the youthful aspirant to the honor of a matriculatory membership having been previously drugged with hashisch, was mysteriously conveyed, here to breathe the balmy airs of a terrestrial paradise, introductory to the solemn oath of covenant which at once exacted entire and unquestioning obedience and which denounced an abjuration on peril of life.

Such were the Herb-eating Assassins, the “Hashasheen” (De Sacy). A final dispersion was carried out by the victorious sword of Hulakii, when Aldjebal, Khalif of Baldrach, after sustaining a siege of three years was shut up in a tower by Ulau, there to perish in his solitude by a lingering death (Benjamin of Tudela).

Hashisch, more energetic in action than opium, is in comparison prematurely exhaustive also. Rapid deterioration of the physical forces is to be expected, and as is thought a determination towards phthisis may be established. The ultimate mental condition is that of dementia. The santons (holy men) of Egypt, those distinguished objects of popular veneration in their wanderings from town to town, are living illustrations of this degenerescence, in their corporeal as well as in their mental decay.

Quite unlike opium in one characteristic, hashisch is a powerful aphrodisiac (O’Shaughnessy), ranking second on the list perhaps, or after arsenic. The power of the latter indeed appears remarkable. In the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal is a case from Dr. Parker, that of a young man thirty years old at his death, who began the use at the age of four. A double effect ensued, a prodigious development of the sexual organs in size, and a proportionate exaltation of function amounting to an impetuous and uncontrollable salacity.

Deleterious as is hashisch in the ordinary habitual use, it may be counteracted or neutralized very effectually for the time by the free use of lemon-juice. Dr. Castelnuovo a resident in the country for thirty years observes, that the people of Tunis understand the secret thoroughly and avail themselves habitually of the benefits.

Bearing an analogy to the poppy from their more intimate relationship to cannabis are Hyoscyamus, Belladonna, and the Datura family. The first – reckoned by Von Hammer to have been identical in origin with the bendji – produces giddiness and stupidity. Belladonna, that “insane root that takes the reason prisoner” (rather is it one out of a number of such), excites delirium and the risus sardonicus (Ray).

The pathologic mental phasis is described by Winslow as a species of “hallucination without fantasia,” i.e. a metamorphosis of things actual in idea rather than a display of mere fanciful creations without analogies in natural things. A pathologic condition has been remarked simulating delirium tremens. The recollection of past phenomena is found to have been obliterated “at once and irrecoverably.”

Datura brings spectral illusions, but leaves a persistent, perhaps incurable stupidity. A singular effect wrought upon the memory is in the interchanging of the names of objects, there being at the same time a conscious perception of the incongruities. The daturas possess strong erotic powers, and a species is used in India by courtesans upon themselves and for the benefit of their visiting friends. The cordial sometimes made by digesting the seeds in wine is especially dangerous to the sex by a double action, exciting physical desire most actively for the time and making the subject oblivious altogether of any faux-pas adventures hazarded


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Coca Leaf & Chronic Low-Level Whole Body Inflammation

                                   Tea Time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coca Leaf For Rheumatism – Bolivia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abstract (Excerpts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Coca Leaf And Congestive Heart Failure – Part 2

Coca & The Human Heart: Early Scientific & Medical Evidence

By the late 1800’s doctors were learning a great deal about the basic functioning of the body but were still reliant on observation of the living and autopsy of the dead for most of their knowledge. Obviously they had none of the technology that today’s physicians have at their disposal to examine the intricacies of organs, neither their living structure nor their dynamic functioning. The modern diagnosis of “Congestive Heart Failure” simply didn’t exist, although doctors had observed for many years that human hearts grow weak and give out over time, and that certain diseases weaken the heart and cause it to fail, and that some people are born with hearts that never function well and these unfortunates usually die at an early age.

Equally, by the late 1800’s the average lifespan of people in Europe and America was late forties to mid-fifties, so the degenerative processes that lead to CHF in today’s elderly never had a chance to develop in most people who died before they could develop CHF, while those few people whose strong constitutions allowed them to live into their 80’s or even 90’s also protected them from progressive heart failure and these stalwarts often simply died of “natural causes”.

These are all reasons why I find the references in the scientific and medical literature of the 1800’s on the medical applications of Coca Leaf to restoring heart health in people whose hearts were failing so fascinating – before the discovery of Coca by Western doctors there was absolutely nothing that could be done for sick hearts, and after its introduction the results obtained by those doctors enlightened enough to take advantage of Coca’s healing powers were often able to achieve what they viewed as miraculous results. In fact, they were able to achieve with simple infusions of pure, natural Coca Leaf what modern medicine still can’t achieve with all of its technology and pharmaceuticals – the healing of the human heart.

Even a cursory glance at the contemporary medical literature on Congestive Heart Failure will reveal that almost all “modern” doctors consider it a terminal condition that cannot be healed, and once it has been diagnosed doctors generally stop trying to heal and apply what they term “palliative care” – meaning that they try to make dying as painless as possible.

As the Church Lady used to say on Saturday Night Live – “Now, isn’t that special!”

If you’ve been following this blog for any time dear reader you already know how dismayed I am at the absolute refusal of “modern” medicine to consider and investigate the use of Coca Leaf for any of the dozens of diseases and conditions that 18th and 19th century doctors knew it could treat and often cure, so I’ll spare you the diatribe here. But as you read the following passages from the medical literature of those times please ask yourself why it is that such a simple, inexpensive, natural treatment and cure is not available to the tens of millions of elderly people in this country and around the world to give their failing hearts new strength and new life. Even if Coca Leaf didn’t add a single day to the lives of these people – our parents and grandparents, our friends and relatives, our spouses and ourselves – would it not be worthwhile to live one’s final days with a stronger heart and more alert brain than to lie in a hospital bed being given “palliative care” until all of your financial resources are completely drained into the pockets of doctors and the so-called “medical industry” and you are left lying in a pool of stale urine until your immortal soul is finally able to wrench free from your ruined body?

Think about it and, if you can find a way to do so, take action. Do not go gently into that dark night. Rage against the medical machine.

Speaking of the machine, here is the AMA Definition of CHF. Readers of previous posts in this blog will note that just about all of the symptoms in this definition are discussed in the Coca Leaf literature of the 1800’s as being treatable and/or curable with the leaf of the Divine Plant. You have to wonder if Pig Pharma is actively suppressing this knowledge because there is no way that they can control and profit from Coca Leaf, whereas it would virtually destroy a large part of their parasitical ‘industry’ if people were to finally awaken.

“Congestive heart failure is the inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with failure of the heart to pump blood with normal efficiency. When this occurs, the heart is unable to provide adequate blood flow to other organs, such as the brain, liver and kidneys. The symptoms can include shortness of breath (dyspnea), asthma due to the heart (cardiac asthma), pooling of blood (stasis) in the general body (systemic) circulation or in the liver’s (portal) circulation, swelling (edema), blueness or duskiness (cyanosis), and enlargement (hypertrophy) of the heart. The many causes of CHF include coronary artery disease leading to heart attacks and heart muscle (myocardium) weakness; primary heart muscle weakness from viral infections or toxins, such as prolonged alcohol exposure; heart valve disease, causing heart muscle weakness due to too much leaking of blood or causing heart muscle stiffness from a blocked valve; hyperthyroidism, and high blood pressure.”

The first excerpt I would like to present is from “Erythroxylon Coca: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustion As The Cause Of Disease” By William Tibbles, MD (1877)

“Coca-leaf when taken during prolonged mental or physical exertion, is capable of materially reducing the waste of tissue, and consequently maintaining equilibrium longer than would otherwise be maintained. For a short space let us enquire into the effects produced in the body by work, physical or mental, including voluntary muscular action, voluntary action of the brain, and the involuntary action of the internal organs – heart, lungs, &c. All work necessarily implies a transformation or transmutation of energy. In other words, work of the brain or the muscles implies waste, or transformation of the force or energy pent up or conserved in the body, and consequently implies consumption of the substance composing the body. And unless this waste is constantly replaced and the force as constantly transmuted from the food we eat, labour or work would be impossible to us, that, finally, we should die. But to supply this continuous drain upon our bodily resources we take into our bodies a certain amount of vegetable and animal food to supply what has become deficient. The average force-value of the food consumed daily by a working man is equal to about 5,000 foot-tons. The average daily work of a labourer is equal to 350 foot-tons. But, frequently with our ordinary work a much greater amount of the body’s energy and tissue is consumed than is actually necessary to accomplish a certain amount of work. Thus, a man, at one time, will perform an amount of work with a much less sum total of expenditure of the bodily forces than at another time. A man will be more easily fatigued at one time by a given amount of work than at another time. This is obvious from the fact that the man possesses, within his body, a greater amount of governing force than at another time; or, his powers may become exhausted, not from the amount of force he exerts in accomplishing his labour, but, because of the unequal or non equipoise in the action of the various internal organs. For instance, a man may be doing a piece of work which requires a certain definite amount of force to accomplish it and the force expended in maintaining the action of the internal organs, we will say, for the sake of illustration, is equal to (a); at another time the same man shall do a piece of work requiring the same definite amount of force, but the force expended, during that period, in the maintenance of the action of the internal organs may be very much increased, and even become equal to (b).

The heart under some conditions does an amount of work over and above its natural work, equal to 15, 20, or even 24 tons weight lifted one foot high, in 24 hours. In such cases the body becomes unnaturally weakened. What we have to establish here, is that coca-leaf prevents a too rapid waste of nervous force and tissue substance.

This is evidenced in three ways: 1, in the diminution in the production and excretion of urea, among other waste products; 2, in the maintenance of an equilibrium in the action of the heart and circulation; and 3, in the regulation of the respiratory movements and internal temperature of the body.

As all work implies waste, those waste products, the result of decomposition of the tissues into new compounds, which are of themselves injurious to the body, are eliminated or excreted through various portals, from the body. It is found that, when the body is in a healthy condition, the product of the excretions other than the alvine – bears a direct relation to the amount of force exerted in the body, and as the whole of the nitrogen of disintegrated tissue is excreted per kidneys, in the form of various chemical compounds, the most important, and the one which is always produced in the greatest proportion is Urea, it is obvious that if we determine the amount of this urea excreted in a given time we may calculate the amount of the body’s force expended in a given time.

Now it is found by experiment that the action of coca-leaf tends to lessen the waste of tissue substance, to diminish the amount of solids excreted in the urine – diminishes the amount of urea produced (this is a nitrogenous compound and is a constant production of the decomposition continually going on in the body, and the amount of it proportionate to the waste).

M. Bouchardat, a professor in a noted French University, terms it a “substance de epergne” or that which prevents waste of tissue substance. Sir Robert Christison, performed a series of experimental walks, a description of which has been given, and regularly during these walks he determined the amount of solids (waste products) eliminated from his body, per kidneys.

The following is a table by that gentleman of the respective amounts, determined from urine voided under three conditions; namely, first nearly at rest; second, under hard exercise without coca-leaf; and third, hard exercise with coca-leaf or cuca:UrineTable

Thus the total amounts eliminated during equal periods of time and under the three varying conditions: namely, at rest, 215.5 grains; exercise, 250.3 grains; exercise under influence of coca-leaf, 197.2 grains. This shows a great diminution in the production and excretion of solid waste products.

Coca regulates and greatly assists in maintaining that equilibrium of action of the heart and capillary circulation, which is so necessary to the maintenance of an un- exhausted state of the body. The muscles brought into action during the performance of manual labour are frequently eager for a greatly increased supply of arterial blood. To supply this increased want of blood necessarily entails an increase of vaso-motor action; thus in persons who have to make a little extra muscular exertion, the capillary vessels will necessarily dilate excessively, and if the action of the heart does not correspondingly increase in frequency and force, the tension of the vessels will fall, and if, in such a case, the pulse be felt, the artery conveys the sensation of a double or rebounding pulse. If, on the other hand, the heart be working excitedly, as when an individual receives some exciting impressions during the time he is performing simple labour which does not require a great increase in the supply of blood to the muscles; or, in other words, while the muscles do not require a supply of blood much greater than on ordinary occasions, the tension of the arteries, or the force of the blood contained in them, may be greatly raised, and the amount of heart-work further increased in order to force the circulation of the blood at the increased speed.

Mental labour is frequently productive of such arterial tension – an exhausted Brain, whereby its influence over the heart’s action is diminished, will give rise to it; the diminution of nervous influence over the excretory organs whereby an increased amount of urea is produced and collected in the blood will give rise to it; as will also abnormal nutrition during exertion. These variations are abnormal and give rise to ill effects. In extremely low tension of the arterial and capillary vessels, the increased supply of blood to the muscles causes anemia of (being a deficiency of supply of blood to) the brain, and there is produced a feeling of fatigue, giddiness, or fainting. In this condition there is abnormal rise in the internal temperature. On the other hand, if the arterial tension be increased, then the strain will fall upon the heart, which will become overtaxed, dilated, and in some cases entire failure will be produced, either by over-distention and paralysis, or, by gradually increasing signs of dilatation, producing breathlessness, a sensation of lightness in the head, coldness of the extremities, pallor of face, anxious expression, and the temperature is abnormally decreased. These are the results of discordant action of the circulatory system, produced by exertion or excitement.

It may be asked, what has all this to do with the action of coca-leaf? Well, it is found by experiment that coca-leaf regulates the action of the heart and circulatory system and thereby nearly altogether preventing such results as above recorded as the consequence of muscular exertion or mental excitement. I, myself, have made experimental walks and performed other forms of exertion, physical and mental, and during which I have observed various functional differences, and of these observed experiments many might be quoted, but let my own observations be exemplified by the following:

My pulse, normally are 70 per minute, and at the end of a sharp walk of two hours’ duration, had risen to 92 pulsations per minute, and did not subside until after a period of six hours had elapsed. A walk performed under like conditions of distance, speed, and with like dietary as before, but during which twenty-five drops of a concentrated preparation, representing twenty-five grains of coca-leaf, was twice taken; the first dose before starting and the second at the end of the first hour. At the end of this walk the pulse beat eighty-four per minute, and, in less than two and a half hours, subsided to a normal condition.

Sir E. Christison testifies to this very explicitly: After a walk of fifteen miles, he says, “The pulse naturally 62 at rest, was 110 on my arrival at home; and two hours later it was still 90. I was unfit for mental work in the evening.” After a walk of sixteen miles during which Sir E. Christison used coca-leaf, he “Had no sense of fatigue or uneasiness whatsoever On arrival at home, the pulse was 90, and in two hours had fallen to 72; the excitement of the circulation being thus ninth less, and its subsidence more rapid, than after the same amount of exercise without coca.”

Coca-leaf influences the system whereby the respiratory movements and internal temperature of the body are regulated. During any severe exertion the respiratory movements are considerably increased in frequency. Thus in walking up a hill the breathing is quickened and great difficulty is frequently experienced in the performance of that function. But it has been found that coca-leaf enables a person to perform various forms of exercise without that abnormal symptom which usually denotes a certain condition of exhaustion. Von Tschudi observes that coca-leaf is found to be a preventative of the difficulty in breathing experienced during the rapid ascent of the Andes. Clements R. Markham, says “It enabled him to ascend the mighty passes of the Andes with ease and comfort.” And more recently, Dr. Walter Bernard during the ascent of Mamore hill, 1381 feet high, in Ireland, after a long walk, observed that, “Hurried breathing and fatigue began to be felt when about half way up.” He then took a few grains more of the coca-leaf, and, he says, “before I arrived at the top though I still continued my rapid pace, … my breathing was considerably relieved.”

Where by slight exertion of the muscles the tension of the arteries becomes low, we have an increase in the internal temperature. Where the reverse occurs – where there is strain upon the heart, then the temperature of the body is abnormally decreased. If a dose of the coca-leaf be taken before or during physical or mental exertion, the temperature will be kept in a more equipoise state, and will subside to its natural condition much quicker than without coca- leaf. Usually the temperature of my body is 97.5° F., but after a walk of two hours duration is raised to 99.50. However after a walk of a like distance and occupying the same time, during which I have taken coca-leaf, the temperature at the end of that journey was 98.50 and when at rest, its subsidence to normal was very quick. On the other hand, I have administered preparations of coca- leaf to persons whose temperature has registered over 100° F., and by its use brought the temperature down to a more normal degree, and the patient’s condition marvelously improved. And we have it on the authority of Dr. Bennet, of Edinburgh, “that it (coca-leaf) possesses the power of regulating the temperature of the body.”

Thus Erythroxylon Coca may be regarded as a preventative of exhaustion, as evidenced by the absence or diminution of the usual symptoms attendant upon exhaustion. This is also shown in the reports of coca-leaf given by various Peruvian travelers: Mr. Whittingham gives an account in Dr. Thompson’s Cyclopedia of Chemistry, of two men who had been buried in a mine for eleven days and when they were got out it was found that they had subsisted during that long period on a few coca leaves they happened to have with them. This brings us to point the Second. When administered during conditions of exhaustion, caused by mental or physical labour or disease, Coca-leaf is capable of restoring the body to a normal or equipoise state quicker than by ordinary food or medicine alone.

Seeing that the action of Erythroxylon coca is such as to greatly diminish the disintegration of tissue, as evidenced by diminished production and excretion of urea, and retards the progress of exhaustion, as evidenced by the diminution or increase (as the case may be) in the action of the heart and respiratory movements, and the retardation in the rise of the internal temperature on exertion, we may for a moment enquire in what manner these effects are accomplished.

Another excerpt from Dr. Tibbles:

“The action of coca tends to diminish the amount of solids in the urine – to diminish the amount of urea produced. This urea is a constant production of the body, and under the influence of bodily or mental exertion a greater amount is produced, and the amount of this urea is in proportion to the waste of tissue. Coca regulates and greatly assists in maintaining that equilibrium of action of heart and capillary circulation which is so necessary for the maintenance of an unexhausted and unfatigued state of the body. Exertion of the muscles frequently draws an increased supply of blood to the parts exercised, as in persons who have to make a little extra muscular exertion the vessels will necessarily dilate excessively, and if the action of the heart is not correspondingly increased in frequency, there will be an alteration in the arterial tension, it will fall, and the pulse will give rise to a sensation as though it were a double pulse. If, on the other hand, the heart’s action is excited and increased abnormally, while the muscles do not require a supply of blood much greater than ordinary, then the tension will be increased, and the great amount of obstruction caused by arterial contraction will throw a still greater amount of work upon the heart.”

And here are two excerpts from “History of Coca” (1901) by William Golden Mortimer, MD

From Chapter 14

“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. Shoemaker, of Philadelphia, has advocated the external use of Coca in eczema, dermatitis, herpes, rosacea, urticaria and allied conditions where an application of the Fluid Extract of Coca one part to four of water lends a sedative action to the skin. The influence of Coca on the pulse and temperature has suggested its employment in collapse and weak heart as recommended by Da Costa, and it has been favorably employed to relieve dropsy depending on debility of the heart, and for uraemia and scanty secretion of urine. In seasickness Coca acts as a prophylactic as well as a remedy. Vomiting of pregnancy may be arrested by cocaine administered either bv the mouth or rectum. In the debility of fevers Coca has been found especially serviceable, and in this connection Dr. A. R. Booth, of the Marine Hospital Service, at Shreveport, Louisiana, has written me that he considers cocaine one of the most valuable aids in the treatment of yellow fever. By controlling nausea and vomiting, as a cardiac stimulant, as a haemostatic when indicated, to hold in abeyance hunger, which at times would be intolerable but for the effect of cocaine. One who has seen a yellow fever stomach, especially from a subject who has died from “black vomit,” must have been impressed with the absolute impossibility of such an organ performing its physiological functions. Dr. Booth makes it an inflexible rule, never to allow a yellow fever patient food by the mouth until convalescence is well established. In cases of fine physique he has kept the patient without food for ten or twelve days, and in two cases fourteen and fifteen days respectively, solely by the judicious administration of cocaine in tablets by the mouth. Of two hundred and six cases of yellow fever treated in this manner there was not one relapse.”

from Chapter 15

“The mechanical act of respiration is eminently a muscular one, of considerable effort – though nominally performed unconsciously. The cycle being put in action involuntarily by a double nerve centre supposedly situated in the medulla; normally automatic in its action, though, it is capable of being influenced through the will and of being excited reflexively. This centre is stimulated by a venous condition of the blood, under which it may become so active as to excite the extraordinary muscles of respiration. Such labored breathing – due to deficient aeration of the blood – is called dyspnœa; while, if the blood be too highly charged with oxygen, as may occur in artificial respiration, the centre is not stimulated, and breathing ceases under the condition termed apnœa. The cycle, or rhythm of respiration, consists of inspiration, expiration and pause.

The number of respirations in one resting quietly varies greatly and it is difficult to fix a fair average, the frequency being greater in children than in adults. For a healthy adult at rest the normal may be from fourteen to eighteen per minute. This has been found to correspond relatively to the pulsations of the heart in the ratio of about one to four. In cases of diseased lungs the respiratory act increases beyond this proportion, while in affections in which the heart is more directly influenced the pulse relation becomes more rapid. An exact control of the respiratory muscles is of decided advantage to the best vocal effort, though it should be recalled that the breath must be delivered to the larynx in a quantity sufficient merely to set the vocal cords in appropriate vibrations, any excessive effort occasioning the fault known as “breathiness.” When the abdominal organs are distended there is necessarily an oppression in the chest, because the diaphragm is not afforded a free opportunity for descent. It is spasm of this muscle which constitutes the annoying factor in the sudden inspirations of hiccough, sobbing and laughing.

Each portion of the respiratory tract is liable to its particular derangement, the most common of which results from the congestive trouble commonly termed catching cold. In the upper tract this condition is frequently manifest through annoying catarrhal troubles, probably resulting from a persistent relighting of chronic local derangement in the nose or throat, or from an acute congestion. As a consequence the mucous membrane is swollen and gives out an increased secretion, a condition which may even be conveyed through continuity of tissue to the larynx or bronchial tubes. Here the effect of Coca is marked in lessening the profuse secretion by constringing the blood vessels while the muscular system is toned to favor repair.”

And to conclude, here is an excerpt from “Heart Strain and Weak Heart” by Beverley Robinson, MD published in “The Medical Record”, Feb. 26, New York, 1887.

These are Dr. Robinson’s observations regarding “Weak Heart”:

1. There is a class of cardiac disease to which the names of “heart-strain,” “heart over-strain,” or “weak heart” may be properly given at the present time, and until this class has been more carefully subdivided.
2. In this class are now included cases in which there are no marked physical changes, and in which the symptoms alone indicate cardiac weakness.
3. In many cases the physical cardiac changes are more or less marked, and usually show some dilatation, joined or not with slight or moderate thickening of the ventricular walls, and accompanied or not with mitral or aortic incompetency.
4. There are cases in which the heart is obviously somewhat enlarged, although there never have been any morbid symptoms which showed cardiac weakness.
5. The causes of these affections are numerous; among them, however, prolonged or excessive physical exertion is often, although not always prominent.
6. In some cases the disorder seems to be one more of neurosal than muscular deficiency, and may affect the function of the pneumogastric, the sympathetic or the intracardiac ganglia.
7. In several instances the causes for cardiac disorder are very obscure or wholly unknown; and in such instances we must admit the existence of a weak heart primarily, that is sometimes first recognized suddenly and without premonitory indications which shall enable as to foretell such condition of cardiac debility.
8. Absolute or relative repose, appropriate diet, change of scene, chalybeates, cardiac tonics, counter-irritation, etc., employed judiciously, will do much in most cases to restore real or apparent cardiac vigor for a shorter or longer period.

After noting the symptoms of “Weak Heart” Dr. Robinson’s overall conclusion regarding treatment with Coca Leaf is pretty clear:

“Among well known cardiac tonics and stimulants for obtaining temporary good effects, at least, I know of no drug quite equal to Coca. Given in the form of wine or fluid extract, it does much, at times, to restore the heart-muscle to its former tone. I have obtained the best effects from the use of Mariani’s wine. From personal information given me by this reliable pharmacist, these results are attributable to the excellent quality of the Coca leaves and of the wine which he uses in its manufacture.”


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Coca Leaf & Congestive Heart Failure – Part One

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In this excerpt from the writings of Dr. Searle (1881) ( full digitized text in “The Coca Leaf Papers”) you’ll find an enlightening discussion of the essential differences between Coca Leaf and Cocaine as therapeutic agents.

In 1881 when Dr. Searle was writing Cocaine had only recently been synthesized in Germany and doctors worldwide were experimenting with this potent extract from natural Coca Leaf. At the same time, the natural Coca Leaf itself had been in use to treat and cure disease for generations, so the question naturally arose – “Are there benefits to the use of the whole leaf that cannot be obtained with the extract, or is the extracted alkaloid Cocaine the entire source of Coca’s healing powers?”

Of course the scientist/entrepreneurs who had worked to identify, extract, refine and finally synthesize the alkaloid Cocaine were hoping – or rather intending – that its use would dominate the market and bring them untold wealth. Rather typical of the thinking of Western allopathic medical science these doctors reasoned that since Coca Leaf was such a remarkable medicine, one ought to be able to define the (single) source of its healing properties and just manufacture that compound. After all, no self-respecting scientist wants to believe that nature can do better than their own laboratory in producing healing medicines (sarc).

In the following passages you’ll read about many of the serious diseases and conditions that doctors were treating successfully with Coca Leaf – and a few that were being treated with Cocaine. It should be obvious to any careful reader that pure, natural Coca Leaf has a far higher therapeutic value than Cocaine, and of course that is the proposition to which I have dedicated this blog.

However, as you read through this material and review the conditions being successfully treated in the 1800’s with Coca Leaf, I ask that you to pay special attention to the references to the value of Coca leaf in treating heart conditions, and particularly the references to the treatment of “dropsy”.

That’s because what used to be called “dropsy” is now called Congestive Heart Failure – one of the leading causes of death and, prior to death, to loss of quality of life among older people. Doctors who specialize in treating people with CHF really have no effective treatment for the condition. They prescribe diuretics and “blood thinners” ( usually rat poison) to relieve the tissue edema that accompanies CHF, but this is not really an effective treatment, and the side effects of diuretics and blood thinners on kidneys and other organ systems are commonly devastating. Modern medicine takes the attitude that once a person has CHF they are on the road to death anyway so why worry about the side-effects of diuretics and blood thinners, since reducing edema at least gives the patient some improvement in quality of life.

What crap – to put it politely. In my next post, Coca Leaf & Congestive Heart Failure – Part Two, I will detail all of the evidence that far from being untreatable, CHF was being effectively treated (and, incidentally prevented) 150 years ago by the use of a few cups of Coca Leaf Tea a day. It is nothing short of criminal negligence on the part of the government, which makes Coca Leaf unavailable to Americans suffering from CHF, and the medical profession, which could advocate for this simple, natural, effective treatment but chooses instead to live and “practice” in complete ignorance of this option. Shame on all of you!

And dear reader, if you have a elderly family member who has CHF, and you are being told by their doctors that there is little that can be done except to give them diuretics and rat poison – please don’t let them get away with this crap. Please confront them with the evidence that I am making available to you. If you do a “find” search of my ebook “The Coca Leaf Papers” for the words “dropsy” and “heart” you will find dozens of instances of physicians and scientists speaking about the efficacy and safety of Coca leaf Tea in treating and reversing this fatal condition.

And just in case you think that this is a cynical attempt by me to sell you a book, if you’ll go to the “Request A Free Book” page of this blog you’ll find that I am offering you “The Coca Leaf Papers” at no cost, unconditionally. Just fill out the contact sheet and press “Send” and I’ll receive your request by email and will send you the complete ebook as a multi-platform .mobi file attachment. Of course it would be nice if you could afford the $3.99 the book costs on Amazon, but if you want to have it for free just ask – if enough people have this information and confront their doctors with it perhaps we can change the cynical, ignorant positions of the government and the medical community.

Just remember the core fact here – Coca Leaf is not Cocaine, and furthermore, Coca Leaf is 100% legal in both Bolivia and Peru so it isn’t as if the whole world agrees that Coca Leaf is an evil drug that should be banned. When you combine this indisputable fact with the equally indisputable fact that hundreds of thousands of elderly people were being routinely cured of “dropsy” in the 1800s, isn’t it time that Americans began insisting that the negligent slaughter of literally millions of our elderly parents and grandparents by government “drug war” bureaucrats, Pig Pharma, and willfully ignorant doctors cease altogether?

A New Form Of Nervous Disease Together With An Essay On Erythroxylon Coca
By W. N S. Searle, A.M., M.D., Fellow Of The Medico-Chirurgical Society Of New York, Etc., New York: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1881.

The Discovery Of Cocaine & The Neglect Of Coca

In considering the action of any of the Coca alkaloids on man, it may be well to suggest that possibly one cause of conflicting testimony may have resulted from reporting the influence of the alkaloid upon animals, the effects of which are not always uniform with their action on man. In experiments upon animals those symptoms which follow doses full enough to create some outward sign are alone seen, while the agreeable exaltation such as would be experienced in man from a relatively much smaller dose can not be appreciated. A dose of cocaine which in one of the lower animals would cause depression, would under the controlling influence of a greater cerebral development in man occasion exhilaration, an effect probably resulting from inhibition of certain of the brain cells, thus inducing slight loss of coordination similar to that following a small dose of opium or alcohol. Both alcohol and opium seriously disturb the normal relations of one part of the brain with another, the nerve centers being paralyzed in the inverse order of their development. The primary exhilaration being succeeded by a narcotic action when the inhibitory paralysis permits the emotions full sway. Coca, however, appears to stimulate the brain by an harmonious influence on all the brain cells so the relation of its functions is not deranged.

Essential Differences Between Coca & Cocaine

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.

Coca Leaf As A Safe And Effective Medical Treatment

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.

Shoemaker, of Philadelphia, has advocated the external use of Coca in eczema, dermatitis, herpes, rosacea, urticaria and allied conditions where an application of the Fluid Extract of Coca one part to four of water lends a sedative action to the skin. The influence of Coca on the pulse and temperature has suggested its employment in collapse and weak heart as recommended by Da Costa, and it has been favorably employed to relieve dropsy depending on debility of the heart, and for uraemia and scanty secretion of urine. In seasickness Coca acts as a prophylactic as well as a remedy. Vomiting of pregnancy may be arrested by cocaine administered either bv the mouth or rectum.

In the debility of fevers Coca has been found especially serviceable, and in this connection Dr. A. R. Booth, of the Marine Hospital Service, at Shreveport, Louisiana, has written me that he considers cocaine one of the most valuable aids in the treatment of yellow fever. By controlling nausea and vomiting, as a cardiac stimulant, as a haemostatic when indicated, to hold in abeyance hunger, which at times would be intolerable but for the effect of cocaine. One who has seen a yellow fever stomach, especially from a subject who has died from “black vomit,” must have been impressed with the absolute impossibility of such an organ performing its physiological functions. Dr. Booth makes it an inflexible rule, never to allow a yellow fever patient food by the mouth until convalescence is well established. In cases of fine physique he has kept the patient without food for ten or twelve days, and in two cases fourteen and fifteen days respectively, solely by the judicious administration of cocaine in tablets by the mouth. Of two hundred and six cases of yellow fever treated in this manner there was not one relapse. A similar use is made of cocaine to abate the canine hunger of certain cases of epilepsy and insanity, as well as to appease thirst in diabetes.

The Peruvian Indians employ Coca to stimulate uterine contractions and regard it as a powerful aphrodisiac. Leopold Casper, of Berlin, considers Coca one of the best of genital tonics, and many modem observers concur in this opinion. Vecki says that cocaine internally to a man aged fifty-six invariably occasioned sexual excitement and cheerfulness. The Homœopaths who have long regarded Coca as a valuable remedy, employ Coca in sexual excesses, especially when dependent on onanism. Allen has given a “proving” of Coca that covers twelve pages, and Bering’s Materia Medica gives provings by twenty-four persons, and recommends Coca in troubles coming with a low state of the barometer.

Hempel says: “I have found a remarkable aversion to exertion of any kind in consequence of nervous exhaustion frequently relieved with great promptness by Coca.” But it is not my intention to here enumerate the various symptoms for which Coca is regarded as a specific. I have only space to briefly suggest its possible application as a remedy. A resume of the various conditions in which Coca has commonly been found serviceable, and its relative employment as classified from the experience of several hundred physicians, correspondents in this research, will be found tabulated in the appendix. Coca may be given in doses equivalent to one or two drachms of the leaves three or four times a day, either as an infusion or as a fluid extract or wine; the latter especially being serviceable for support in acute disease as well as an adjunct indicated in those conditions where its use may tend to maintain the balance of health.


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

The Scope Of The Problem

While the negative effects of aging on mental performance have been part of the human experience seemingly forever, as with many other diseases and conditions both Alzheimer’s and Dementia seem to be getting more widespread. Whether this is because people are living longer, or because they are being systematically poisoned by our industrial foods, polluted environment, and artificial lifestyles, the outcome is the same – millions of people worldwide spend the last years of their lives in a drooling, hopeless fog.

Please don’t think I am cruel or heartless when I describe the last years of life this way. My wife and I have cared for three of our four parents in our home during their last years and we have first-hand experience with the terrible downsides of the deterioration of mind, body and spirit that aging people (and their families) must endure.

Update! Lisa Gonzalez has just sent me an excellent set of resources that she has complied for caregivers, which I include here with my thanks:

Parent’s Guide: Helping Children & Teens Understand Alzheimer’s

Preparing Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide

Another World: People With Alzheimer’s Share Their Perspectives

Alzheimer’s Aggression: Causes & Management

Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

Dementia Assistance Dogs

Caring for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Helping Alzheimer’s Sufferers Cope with the Loss of a Loved One: A Guide for Caregivers

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 Million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and 500,000 die each year from causes linked directly to the disease, while 1 out of 3 people die of either Alzheimer’s or one of the other forms of Dementia. Alzheimer’s alone is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. In some ways an even more important stat is that 15.5 million Americans provide 17.7 Billions hours of unpaid care to their elderly family members with these Dementias. This statistic alone means that at a wage level of $10/hour, Alzheimer’s and related Dementias cost the United States $180 Billion in lost productivity – what these 15.5 million care-givers could theoretically make at a minimum wage job rather than caring for their elderly family member without compensation.

A few additional pieces of information before we get into the purpose of this blog post:

1. Almost 65% of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
2. More than 60% of caregivers for Alzheimer’s and related Dementia victims are women
3. Women are 2.5 times more likely to be providing 24/7 unpaid care for an Alzheimer’s/Dementia victim than men
4. For a women in her 60s, her estimated lifetime risk for Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6, compared with 1 in 11 for breast cancer.
5. It is estimated that by 2050 the number of victims of Alzheimer’s/Dementia in the US alone will triple to nearly 50 million people.

Could There Really Be A Simple Solution?

The conservative answer is – probably not, but maybe.

The optimistic answer, based on what I have learned about the effects of Coca Leaf tea and tonics on mental function – almost certainly yes, at least to some degree.

I believe that Coca Leaf can provide at least a partial solution, and at least some relief from the steady, inexorable deterioration that is the hallmark of these horrendous plagues. Equally important, Coca Leaf can offer at least some relief for those who love those who suffer this terrible, and possibly avoidable fate, and are willing to dedicate their lives to caring for them.

Parenthetically, if you are a caretaker for a parent who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and if your family has the financial means to do so, why not consider taking your parent on a 30 day trip to a nice spa in either Peru or Bolivia, where Coca Leaf Tea is readily available and simply see if 6 cups a day might make a difference? If you do, please document the results and let me know so that I can share them on this blog. In a few months I plan to set up a CrowdSourcing campaign on either Indiegogo or KickStarter to raise funds to allow me to go to Peru and Bolivia and set up a network of participating spas, therapists, healers and physicians for families who could benefit from 30 days of CLT treatment, but in the meanwhile if you are caring for a loved one with the beginnings of this terrible condition and can afford the trip, please consider trying this approach.

OK – big claims here. What’s the evidence? For that we have to look at the research and writings of physicians and scientists from the 1800s who were working and healing people using Coca Leaf tea and tonics long before Alzheimer’s was a known diagnosis, but who were intimately familiar with the process of mental deterioration with age.

The following brief citations are just a small selection of the observations of many talented physicians and scientists writing primarily in the 1800s about their experiences in treating people for a wide range of diseases and conditions with Coca Leaf. If you would like to browse an extensive collection of these writings, along with an equally extensive bibliography that I’ve hyperlinked to original source materials from the 1700s and 1800s, you’ll probably find my ebook “The Coca leaf Papers” worth reading.

“Erythroxylon Coca: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustion As The Cause Of Disease”, By William Tibbles, MD (1877)

Case 3. In 1875, a lady aged 78 years was suffering from extreme debility with sickness, faintness, loss of memory, and fretfulness; her friends expected every hour her decease, but, to the surprise and wonder of her friends, after a month’s treatment with coca she was restored to her usual health and activity.

I have, with success, treated hundreds of cases of debility, of which the above are examples. In some cases I have used “cocaine”, the active principle of Erythroxylon coca. I can fully endorse the statements of the scientific gentlemen quoted in your article in respect to the efficacy of coca in prolonged exertion.

“An Essay On Erythrolylon Coca” (in) “A New Form Of Nervous Disease” By W.S. Searle, M.D. (1881)

Coca regulates and greatly assists in maintaining that equilibrium of action of the heart and capillary circulation, which is so necessary to the maintenance of an un-exhausted state of the body. The muscles brought into action during the performance of manual labour are frequently eager for a greatly increased supply of arterial blood. To supply this increased want of blood necessarily entails an increase of vaso-motor action; thus in persons who have to make a little extra muscular exertion, the capillary vessels will necessarily dilate excessively, and if the action of the heart does not correspondingly increase in frequency and force, the tension of the vessels will fall, and if, in such a case, the pulse be felt, the artery conveys the sensation of a double or rebounding pulse. If, on the other hand, the heart be working excitedly, as when an individual receives some exciting impressions during the time he is performing simple labour which does not require a great increase in the supply of blood to the muscles; or, in other words, while the muscles do not require a supply of blood much greater than on ordinary occasions, the tension of the arteries, or the force of the blood contained in them, may be greatly raised, and the amount of heart-work further increased in order to force the circulation of the blood at the increased speed.

Mental labour is frequently productive of such arterial tension – an exhausted Brain, whereby its influence over the heart’s action is diminished, will give rise to it; the diminution of nervous influence over the excretory organs whereby an increased amount of urea is produced and collected in the blood will give rise to it; as will also abnormal nutrition during exertion. These variations are abnormal and give rise to ill effects. In extremely low tension of the arterial and capillary vessels, the increased supply of blood to the muscles causes anemia of (being a deficiency of supply of blood to) the brain, and there is produced a feeling of fatigue, giddiness, or fainting. In this condition there is abnormal rise in the internal temperature. On the other hand, if the arterial tension be increased, then the strain will fall upon the heart, which will become overtaxed, dilated, and in some cases entire failure will be produced, either by over-distention and paralysis, or, by gradually increasing signs of dilatation, producing breathlessness, a sensation of lightness in the head, coldness of the extremities, pallor of face, anxious expression, and the temperature is abnormally decreased. These are the results of discordant action of the circulatory system, produced by exertion or excitement.

It may be asked, what has all this to do with the action of coca-leaf? Well, it is found by experiment that coca-leaf regulates the action of the heart and circulatory system and thereby nearly altogether preventing such results as above recorded as the consequence of muscular exertion or mental excitement.”

“An Essay On Erythrolylon Coca” (in) “A New Form Of Nervous Disease” By W.S. Searle, M.D. (1881)

Now to the question as to how and in what manner coca-leaf accomplishes the results which are consequent upon its use. It has been shown that all the various processes are under the influence and governance of the force conveyed through the medium of the brain, spinal cord, and their continuations – the nerves. Such being the case we may justly infer that Erythroxylon Coca influences the various functions by its action upon the great centres of the body; for it is only through these that a restorative action can be induced.

What I here want to show is that coca-leaf produces these results by imparting nerve food which is converted into nervous energy and thus increasing the total amount of nervous energy and consequent governing force. The functions of the nerves are only restored, when they have become exhausted by physical or mental toil or disease, till after rest etc., proportioned to the amount of exhaustion. And if it can be shown, as we have done, that coca-leaf is capable of either retarding or preventing the condition of exhaustion, and likewise of restoring an actually exhausted body; and if this can only be done by restoring the natural or normal condition of the brain and nervous system, then, we may fairly conclude that the results proved to be consequent upon the use of Erythroxylon coca are brought about simply and only by its imparting to that centre and diverging branches an amount of force which otherwise might only be obtained after partaking of rest and other things proportioned to the exhaustion.

It is evident, therefore, that the prevention of that vacillating action of the internal organs generally consequent upon exertion, and likewise that the restorative action in cases of physical or mental exhaustion and in disease, is due to this increase in the governing force of the nervous system.

Editor’s Note: Perhaps it isn’t so far-fetched to think that Coca Leaf tea could play an important role in treating Alzheimer’s when you consider the following two research studies on other natural medicinal plants. Neither of these studies deal with Coca, of course, but the fact that there appear to be multiple promising natural medicines from various parts of the world argues in a powerful way for testing of the potential of Coca for this purpose.

Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014 Jun 24. pii: S0378-8741(14)00494-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.06.046. [Epub ahead of print]

Screening and identification of neuroprotective compounds relevant to Alzheimer׳s disease from medicinal plants of S. Tomé e Príncipe.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:
Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) neuropathology is strongly associated with the activation of inflammatory pathways, and long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs reduces the risk of developing the disease. In S. Tomé e Príncipe (STP), several medicinal plants are used both for their positive effects in the nervous system (treatment of mental disorders, analgesics) and their anti-inflammatory properties. The goal of this study was to determine whether a phenotypic, cell-based screening approach can be applied to selected plants from STP (Voacanga africana, Tarenna nitiduloides, Sacosperma paniculatum, Psychotria principensis, Psychotria subobliqua) in order to identify natural compounds with multiple biological activities of interest for AD therapeutics.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Plant hydroethanolic extracts were prepared and tested in a panel of phenotypic screening assays that reflect multiple neurotoxicity pathways relevant to AD-oxytosis in hippocampal nerve cells, in vitro ischemia, intracellular amyloid toxicity, inhibition of microglial inflammation and nerve cell differentiation. HPLC fractions from the extract that performed the best in all of the assays were tested in the oxytosis assay, our primary screen, and the most protective fraction was analyzed by mass spectrometry. The predominant compound was purified, its identity confirmed by ESI mass spectrometry and NMR, and then tested in all of the screening assays to determine its efficacy.

RESULTS:
An extract from the bark of Voacanga africana was more protective than any other plant extract in all of the assays (EC50s≤2.4µg/mL). The HPLC fraction from the extract that was most protective against oxytosis contained the alkaloid voacamine (MW=704.90) as the predominant compound. Purified voacamine was very protective at low doses in all of the assays (EC50s≤3.4µM).

CONCLUSION:
These findings validate the use of our phenotypic screening, cell-based assays to identify potential compounds to treat AD from plant extracts with ethnopharmacological relevance. Our study identifies the alkaloid voacamine as a major compound in Voacanga africana with potent neuroprotective activities in these assays.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014 Mar 28;152(3):403-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.12.053. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

The treatment of Alzheimer’s disease using Chinese medicinal plants: from disease models to potential clinical applications.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the sustained higher nervous disorders of the activities and functions of the brain. Due to its heavy burden on society and the patients’ families, it is urgent to review the treatments for AD to provide basic data for further research and new drug development. Among these treatments, Chinese Material Medica (CMM) has been traditionally clinical used in China to treat AD for a long time with obvious efficacy. With the further research reports of CMM, new therapeutic materials may be recovered from troves of CMM. However, So far, little or no review work has been reported to conclude anti-AD drugs from CMM in literature. Therefore, a systematic introduction of CMM anti-AD research progress is of great importance and necessity. This paper strives to systematically describe the progress of CMM in the treatment of AD, and lays a basis data for anti-AD drug development from CMM, and provides the essential theoretical support for the further development and utilization of CMM resources through a more comprehensive research of the variety of databases regarding CMM anti-AD effects reports.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Literature survey was performed via electronic search (SciFinder®, Pubmed®, Google Scholar and Web of Science) on papers and patents and by systematic research in ethnopharmacological literature at various university libraries.

RESULTS:
This review mainly introduces the current research on the Chinese Material Medica (CMM) theoretical research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), anti-AD active constituent of CMM, anti-AD effects on AD models, anti-AD mechanism of CMM, and anti-AD effect of CMM formula.

CONCLUSION:
Scholars around the world have made studies on the anti-AD molecular mechanism of CMM from different pathways, and have made substantial progress. The progress not only enriched the anti-AD theory of CMM, but also provided clinical practical significance and development prospects in using CMM to treat AD. Western pure drugs cannot replace the advantages of CMM in the anti-AD aspect. Therefore, in the near future, the development of CMM anti-AD drugs with a more clearly role and practical data will be a major trend in the field of AD drug development, and it will promote the use of CMM.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


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

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

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

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

Coca Leaf As A Therapeutic Agent

Weil AT

Abstract

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

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

The Therapeutic Value Of Coca In Contemporary Medicine

Weil AT

Abstract

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


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Coca Leaf And Metabolic Fire

Coca Leaf And Metabolic Fire

Editor’s Note: Not everyone in the scientific community is completely ignoring the medical potential of Coca Leaf, as evidenced by the following article in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry from 2010.

While the findings of this study on the effects of Coca Leaf on altitude sickness are quite modest and do not begin to reflect the enormous range of healing potential of Mama Coca’s gift to her people and, through them, to all of Earth’s people, it is studies like these that will ultimately lay the foundation for refuting the propaganda of the ruling classes and their pet monkey experts who have spent many generations and literally billions of dollars creating the illusion that the Coca plant and its products are a great evil to be eradicated without mercy.

In spite of such fools, the spirit of Mama Coca continues to thrive, and will ultimately regain her rightful place in the healing apothecary of natural plants.

Before looking at this contemporary research into Coca Leaf and altitude sickness, it’s worth remembering that physicians and scientists in the 1800s already knew of these benefits of Coca Leaf and used that knowledge to go far beyond simply documenting that, yes, Coca Leaf does the job.

After all, altitude sickness is really the manifestation of the impact of oxygen deprivation on human metabolism, and the scientists of the 1800s were studying the impact of Coca leaf on metabolism from many different angles. The original studies included in “The Coca Leaf Papers” are rich with references to the beneficial metabolic impact of Coca Leaf on many conditions and diseases – not just its role in helping people function remarkably well at high altitudes. In my mind, by far the most valuable contribution of this contemporary research is contained in the last paragraph. “It is also possible that the beneficial effects of chewing coca leaves are related to the flavonoids found in the coca leaves and not because of release of the cocaine.” Could it be any more clear that the healing properties of Coca Leaf are NOT about the Cocaine in the leaf but about the whole properties of the leaf? The leaf is the gift – not the single alkaloid. For those who understand – enough said.

Indian J Clin Biochem. 2010 Jul;25(3):311-4. doi: 10.1007/s12291-010-0059-1. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Does chewing coca leaves influence physiology at high altitude?

Casikar V, Mujica E, Mongelli M, Aliaga J, Lopez N, Smith C, Bartholomew F.

Abstract

Andean Indians have used coca leaves (Erythroxylon coca and related species) for centuries to enhance physical performance. The benefits and disadvantages of using coca leaf have been a subject of many political debates. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chewing coca leaves on biochemical and physiological parameters. Cutaneous microdialysis catheters were used to estimate systemic biochemical changes. We subjected 10 healthy adult males (local residents) in Cajamarca (Peru, altitude 2700 m) to a standardised exercise routine on a stationary cycle ergometer. The blood pressure, oxygen saturation (digital), pulse, VO2 max and ECG (Holter monitor) were recorded before the exercise. Cutaneous microdialysis catheters were introduced in the forearm. The subjects were given to chew 8 g of coca leaves with a small amount of lime. They were then placed on the cycle ergometer for 20 min. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, pulse, ECG and VO2 max were recorded. Pyruvate, glucose, lactate, glycerol and glutamate levels were estimated. Oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and pulse rate did not show any significant changes between the two groups. Glucose levels showed hyperglycaemic response. Glycerol, Lactate and Pyruvate increased. Glutamate remained unchanged. Similar changes were not seen in the controls. These results suggest that coca leaves have blocked the glycolytic pathway of glucose oxidation resulting in accumulation of glucose and pyruvate. The energy requirement for exercise is being met with beta-oxidation of fatty acids. The glycerol released was also getting accumulated since its pathway for oxidation was blocked. These experimental findings suggest that chewing coca leaves is beneficial during exercise and that the effects are felt over a prolonged period of sustained physical activity.

Introduction

Andean Indians have used coca leaves for centuries to enhance physical performance. The modern methods of obtaining cocaine were not known to the Andean culture. The benefits and disadvantages of using coca leaf had been a subject of many political debates. Spielvogel et al. [1] and Favier et al. [2] have reported the physiological benefits of coca leaves. The latter concluded that the beneficial effects of coca chewing on exercise tolerance were not related to either improved maximal exercise capacity or increased work efficiency. The beneficial effect on fatty acids was alluded to in their report. Hanna 1971 [3], concluded that heart rates and oxygen intake were not significantly different between those who chew coca and those who do not. Carter and Mann [4] have demonstrated, through a study of over 3,000 leaf users, that mine workers, the largest consumers, chew an average of 13 oz a week, i.e. extracts an average of 3.9 net grams of alkaloids per week. Therefore, the theoretical maximum dose is half a gram, in a period of 24 h (always assuming 100% efficiency in mouth extraction).

A recent investigation conducted by Instituto Boliviano de Biologica de Altura (Gregorio Lanza) [5] disclosed that after chewing about 30 g of leaves, blood cocaine contents can be traced to around 98 ng using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. That is 0.000000098 g! Paracelsus [6] commented, “Every element in nature has its own poison and its antidote as well. There is a need to revert to the natural sources for remedy.” We would like to make a distinction between chewing coca leaves by the Indians of Andes and using cocaine as a recreational drug by the western cultures.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chewing coca leaves on the biochemical and physiological parameters. Based on our earlier experience with the biochemical changes at high altitude [HA] [7], we decided to study the biochemical parameters as markers of adaptation to HA. Cutaneous microdialysis is now known to reflect systemic biochemical changes [8, 9]. We chose to use this technique as it is relatively non-invasive and it is possible to monitor the changes continuously over a long period of time.

Materials and Methods

The Ethics Committee, Andean Institute of Andean Biology, Lima, Peru, approved the study protocol.

We subjected 10 healthy adult males (local residents) in Cajamarca (Peru, altitude 2700 m) to a standardised exercise routine on a stationary cycle ergometer. The blood pressure, oxygen saturation (digital), pulse, VO2 max and ECG (Holter monitor) were recorded before the exercise. Blood samples were drawn to estimate the hormone levels (testosterone and progesterone). Only four of the subjects who chewed coca leaves agreed to give two blood samples. All the controls were happy to provide the blood samples.

Cutaneous microdialysis catheters (Mfg. CMA Microdialysis AB, Sweden) were introduced in the forearm and attached to the pump. At the end of 20 min the perfusate sample was collected. The subject was given to chew 8 g of coca leaves. They were then placed on the exercise machine for 20 min. The rate of revolution was maintained between 80 and 100 cycles/min. At the end of 20 min, the perfusate of the microdialysis was collected. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, pulse, ECG and VO2 max were recorded. The subjects were allowed to rest for 20 min. All the above parameters were again recorded and the perfusate was collected. The subjects were again reintroduced to the exercise program. This cycle was repeated eight times. The subjects were chewing the coca leaves during the entire period of the experiment.

Four adult male subjects who were also residents of Cajamarca were used as controls. The same exercise routine was followed, but these did not use coca leaves. The VO2 max in sub-maximal exercise was measured in cycle ergometer by the Fox test. The values were calculated using the Fox equation for men (VO2 max = 6.3 – 0.0193 × FC). The values were corrected by the factor for the age.
Pyruvate, glucose, lactate, glycerol and glutamate levels were estimated in the microdialysis samples using the standard analyser provided by the company. The values of three subjects who had used coca leaves were excluded, as the volume of the perfusate was insufficient due to improper placement of the catheter.

Statistical Analysis

The changes in serum analyte measurements during the experiments were computed from start to finish of each test period for each subject. These were calculated as a net change and also as a percentage change as follows:

Percent Change = 100 X (finish – start)/start

Positive values indicate an increase in value. Differences in baselines between test and control groups were tested using the Mann–Whitney U-test. Mean differences in change between exposed and control groups were tested using Mann–Whitney U-test at a significance level of 0.05. All calculations were carried out using statistical software (SPSS for Windows).

Results

Oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and pulse rate did not show any significant changes between the two groups. The ECG recording (Holter monitor) did not show any changes during the entire period. The VO2 max (ml kg−1 min−1 was 53.02 ± 3.06 in the coca chewers (Table 1). Among the non-chewers, it was 66.59 ± 6.33 (Table 2). The differences were not statistically significant. The aerobic capacity (VO2 max) was classified as either excellent or average according to the classification of American Heart Association 1972 [11].

Table 1
VO2 max in coca-leaf chewing group
Alt_Table1

Table 2
VO2 max in control group
Alt_Table2

The changes in the biochemical parameters are shown in Tables 3 and and 4. The glucose levels showed a hyperglycaemic response to coca chewing even after the exercise was completed.

Table 3
Absolute changes in analytes
Alt_Table3

Table 4
Percentage changes in analytes
Alt_Table4

The glycerol values showed accumulation at the end of the second episode of exercise. This was seen in two of the control subjects as well. The pyruvate was seen accumulating in almost all the coca-chewing volunteers. Two controlled subjects also showed pyruvate accumulation, but to a lesser degree. The lactate was getting progressively accumulated in volunteers chewing coca. There was also an accumulation of lactate in the controls, but the magnitude was not as high as in those who were chewing coca leaves. The glutamate values were more or less unaffected among the coca chewers. It showed a significant increase in the controls.

Discussion

The purpose of this pilot study was to determine if there were any subtle biochemical changes, which were influenced by chewing the coca leaves. Standard methods of assessing a person’s response to continued exercise such as blood pressure, pulse rate, VO2 max and ECG changes did not show any significant changes between the two groups.

The experimental findings suggested that chewing coca leaves induces biochemical changes that enhance physical performance at high altitude. These changes appeared sustained and were detectable at the later stages of the experiment.

During normal short-term exercise carbohydrates are the primary source of energy. In this situation the respiratory quotient (RQ) remains near 1. The glucose, glycerol and pyruvate did not accumulate as they were utilized as soon as they were formed. However, lactate accumulated as its utilization by the liver in re-conversion to glucose and glycogen lagged behind. This was probably taking place during the resting period.

Under endurance of long-term exercise the carbohydrate reserves being small the energy source is switched over to fatty acids and fats. The RQ under this condition is below 1. The fats are hydrolysed into fatty acids and glycerol. The glycerol enters the glycolytic pathway and metabolised to glycerol pyruvate pathway. The fatty acids undergo beta-oxidation entering Krebs cycle as acetyl-coenzyme A.

It seems that coca leaves have blocked the glycolytic pathway of glucose oxidation at the Pyruvate Dehydrogenase level resulting in accumulation of glucose and pyruvate. The energy requirement for exercise is being met with beta-oxidation of fatty acids. The glycerol released was also getting accumulated since its pathway for oxidation was blocked.

These experimental findings suggest that chewing coca leaves gives a beneficial effect during a performance of exercise and that the beneficial effects are felt over a prolonged period of sustained physical activity. Perhaps this gives the users energy to function at a sustained level over long periods of time.

Lipid fuel sources are energy substrates during prolonged exercise of moderate intensity. Plasma and muscle triglycerides and free fatty acids make a significant contribution to lipid metabolism. Grant [11]. The individual contribution from each of these towards skeletal muscle mechanism is discussed in detail by Turcotte [12].

Aerobic Glycolysis is a major producer of usable energy during high endurance physical activity. The aerobic Lipolysis provides energy through Krebs cycle during sustained low levels of activity. The switch over from Glycolysis to Lipolysis is an adaptation to prolonged low levels of activity and efficient use of energy sources. It is possible that coca leaves have adaptogens, which are capable of influencing the switch depending on the level of activity [13, 14].

The duration of the experiment was for a period of two and half hours. Perhaps if this experiment had been continued for a much longer period the affects could have been more clearly visible.

It is also possible that the beneficial effects of chewing coca leaves are related to the flavonoids found in the coca leaves and not because of release of the cocaine. The amount of cocaine that is released in the process of these customary chewing coca leaves is extremely small and unlikely to be off any physiological benefit. Further research into the effects of flavonoids is being looked into. It is also planned to perform the field experiments on a much larger population over a longer period of time to evaluate this problem further.

References
1. Spielvogel H, Caceres E, Koubi H, Sempore B, Sauvain M, Favier R. Effects of coca chewing on metabolic and hormonal changes during graded incremental exercises to maximum. J Appl Physiol. 1996;80:643–649.
2. Favier R, Caceres E, Koubi H, Sempore B, Sauvain M, Spielvogel H. Effects of coca chewing on hormonal and metabolic responses during prolonged sub maximal exercises. J Appl Physiol. 1996;80:650–655.
3. Hanna JM. The effects of coca chewing on exercise in the Quechua of Peru. Hum Biol. 1971;42:1–11.
4. Carter, Mann. Chapter II, Coca leaves: scientific aspects. In: Gumuciol JH, editor, Cocaine the legend. La Paz, Bolivia: Hisbol; 1995.
5. Lanza G. Coca prohibited, Chapter I. LaPaz, Bolivia: Hisbol; 1995.
6. Paracelsus. Theosophy 1938 March;26(5):197–204.
7. Nagabhushana S, Venkatesh T, Casikar V. The olfactory system regulates acute mountain sickness. J Stress Physiol Biochem. 2009;5:4–15.
8. Anderson CD. Cutaneous microdialysis: is it worth the sweat? J Invest Dermatol. 2006;126(6):1207–1209. doi: 10.1038/sj.jid.5700221.
9. Muller M. Microdialysis has wide applicability for in vivo measurements. BMJ. 2002;324:588–591. doi: 10.1136/bmj.324.7337.588.
10. Pechar G, McArdle W, Katch F, Magel J, DeLuca J. Specificity of cardiorespiratory adaptation to bicycle and treadmill training. J Appl Physiol. 1974;36(6):753–756.
11. Grant R. Energy systems used during exercise: online article. Articlesbase 2008; posted online Dec 3rd.
12. Turcotte LP. Role of fats in exercise: types and quality. Clin Sports Med. 1999;18(3):485–498. doi: 10.1016/S0278-5919(05)70163-0.
13. Kumar R, Grover SK, Shyam R, Divekar HM, Gupta AK, Srivastava KK. Enhanced thermo genesis in rats by a composite Indian Herbal preparation—I and its mechanism of action. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;5(3):245–251. doi: 10.1089/acm.1999.5.245.
14. Graver SK, Divekar HM, Kumar R, Pashwa ML, Bharadwaj SK, Gupta AK, Srivastava KK. Experimental evaluation of a composite Indian herbal preparation—II (CIHIPII) as an adaptogen and its mechanism of action. Pharm Biol. 1995;33:148–154. doi: 10.3109/13880209509055216.


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Healing With Coca Leaf: Part Two

This series of posts – this is the second – will consist of a sampling of the Coca Leaf-based remedies for a wide range of diseases and conditions explained by Dr. William Tibbles, MD in his remarkable bookCoca Erythroxylon: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustionin 1876.

ASTHMA

This is a chronic spasmodic affection of the air passages of the lungs, which comes on by paroxysms, usually at night, accompanied by difficult and short respiration, wheezing, tightness across the chest, cough, etc.

Symptoms

There is great tightness of the chest, and intense difficulty of breathing, with a loud wheezing noise and dry cough; the patient lays hold of anything near him so that all the muscles of inspiration may be brought into action; face pallid; perspiration rolls down the brow; pulse, small and weak; and the patient in the paroxysm, appears to be on the verge of suffocation.

Causes

This affection is decidedly nervous in its origin, dependent upon muscular contraction of the fibres of the bronchial tubes; the seat of the irritation may be in the pulmonary nerves, or in the medulla oblongata, or it may be due to irritation of the gastric portion of the pneumogastric nerve. The exciting causes may be stated to be, sudden changes of temperature; disorders of the digestive organs; certain effluvia; long continued nervous depression; gout, etc.

Treatment

The sponge bath should be daily used. Give alternate doses of the Brain Feeder and Cherry Bark Cough Balsam in one tablespoonful of the following mixture:

Pleurisy Boot, one ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of water, ten minutes,

Pour on to three quarters of an ounce of Black Cohosh Powder,

Let them stand twenty minutes, strain, and bottle for use.

An emetic powder may be given once a week, before and during its action drinking freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine in warm sweetened water.

2. Let the above general directions be minutely followed out, and then, with the administration of the following mixture, a cure will be speedily obtained.

Rp.

Coca Leaf 1/2 ounce.

Lobelia Powder ½  dram.

Black Cohosh Powder 1/2 ounce.

Composition Powder 1 teaspoonful

Pour on the above one pint of boiling water, let them stand for twenty minutes, strain, add a little sugar, and bottle for use.

Dose

Two tablespoonsful to be taken three times a day. Keep the bowels in a regular condition. Let the feet be kept perfectly dry, and avoid exposure to cold.

COUGHS

Coughs are generally the result of improperly treated or neglected colds; when they do occur they should never be slighted, but promptly and effectually met and removed, if allowed to continue, a cough may become a serious precursor of that terrible disease – Consumption.

Common Cough is the one we shall treat of here, others, such as whooping, and consumptive coughs will be considered in their respective places.

Treatment

Give a vapour bath twice a week; apply hot bottles to the feet; use all means to promote and equalize the circulation of the blood. And, as the cough is the result of deficiency of nerve force, all means, medicinally, must be used to raise the vital power of the patient. Give a dose of the Brain Feeder twice a day; and likewise a dose of the Cherry Bark Balsam twice a day in decoction of Yarrow and Pleurisy Root; keep the temperature of the room as equable as possible.

Let the patient have a sponge bath every morning on rising from bed. The patient should drink freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine, and take two or three of the Chionanthus Liver Pills daily. If the patient be under twelve years of age give, as a medicine, doses of the Child’s Restorer in marjoram tea, and the Cherry Bark Balsam twice a day. He should have warm baths on going to bed; and in the morning cold sponge baths.

Or the treatment (medicinal) of a common cough may consist of the following:

Rp.

Pleurisy Root bruised … 1 ounce.

Liquorice Root bruised … ¾ ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of water for five minutes, then add

Slippery Elm bark 1 ounce.

Boil again for ten minutes, then strain the boiling liquid on to the following ingredients:

Coca Leaf 1/2 ounce.

Lobelia Herb powder … 1/2 teaspoonful.

Composition powder … 1/2 teaspoonful.

Let them stand 15 or 20 minutes, strain, bottle.

Dose

For a child, one to two teaspoonsful according to age; for an adult, one to two tablespoonsful to be taken every two, three, or four hours, according to the severity of the complaint.

Perseverance with the above medicine, together with careful attention to the general directions laid down will, in all cases, speedily result in the desired end – the cure.

HOOPING COUGH

This is a contagious and infectious disease, characterized by a peculiar cough – termed a hoop – occurring in fits, usually terminated by vomiting. It is caused primarily by the action of a specific poison on the system of nerves presiding over the functions of respiration. It is a disease of childhood and most frequently occurs between the ages of four months and six years.

Symptoms

The patient is usually attacked with fits of violent, rapid, interrupted coughing, alternating with long- drawn, shrill, crowing inspirations; the seizure usually ending with the expectoration of a thick, glairy mucus, or in actual vomiting. During the fits the features become red, or bluish, the eyes start, and the child appears to be threatened with instant suffocation. It is a disease which generally runs a certain course, and rarely attacks the same person twice; it may coexist with other diseases, such as small-pox, measles, etc., but it also sometimes disappears on the appearance of an eruptive disease. Treatment. Many cases of hooping cough are so mild as to need no other treatment than hygienic care, and a proper regard to the temperature of the room the child occupies in the cold seasons of the year.

In children over three years of age the disease is usually slight and regular. The following medicine is excellent in all cases of hooping cough;

Rp

Pleurisy Root, bruised … 1 ounce.

Boil in half a pint of water for ten minutes,

Pour the boiling liquid on to Black Cohosh powder … 1 ounce.

Let it stand until cold, strain, and

Add two tablespoonsful of the Cherry Bark Cough Balsam; mix well.

Dose

Half a teaspoonful to two teaspoonsful to be taken every two or three hours. The quantity regulated according to age.

A strong tea of red clover heads and leaves is a good thing in severe cases of hooping cough.

Where the little patient is emaciated, friction over the whole surface of the body with warm olive oil will be found to aid in the support of the body.

In winter the child should be kept in an equable temperature, but with free ventilation; its diet, milk and bread, raw eggs, ripe fruit; no sugar if the patient has been weaned; if it is still at the breast the mother must live on good nourishing diet. Olive oil will be found an excellent aperient for children suffering from this disease.

Or, following the general directions, give the patient doses of the following mixture:

Rp.

Coca Leaf 1/4 ounce.

Clover Leaf and Heads 2 ounces,

Black Cohosh Powder ¼ ounce

Pour on to these ingredients half a pint of boiling soft water, let them stand for twenty minutes, strain, add a little sugar if necessary

Dose: One to three teaspoonsful, according to age, to to be taken every three hours.

CROUP

This disease is confined to childhood. It is one of the most alarming diseases to which children are subject, being sudden in its attack, and rapid in its results.

Causes

The application of cold is an exciting cause, and, as a consequence, it occurs more frequently during the winter months; damp, changeable atmosphere ; insufficient clothing; epidemic miasma.

Symptoms

It is ushered in, usually at night, by a loud ringing and hoarseness of the voice, sometimes a rattling in the throat during sleep is heard. Afterward the breathing becomes rapid and difficult, and the voice husky or absent, and the breath as if passing through a narrow tube, and in speaking or coughing it acquires a shrill and peculiar sound, similar to the crowing of the cock. Quick pulse, thirst, hot and dry skin. The cough is dry, but after a time a viscid matter is brought up, and in some cases flakes or tubes of false membrane, with efforts often so distressing as to threaten suffocation.

The inflammation is peculiar, as depending on plasticity of the blood. The difficulty of breathing arises from the formation of a false membrane in the larynx, or from spasm.

Treatment

Promptness and decision are always necessary to successfully treat this disease, delay or inattention may result in a fatal termination.

When the symptoms commence, give, as soon as possible, closes of the following mixture:

Rp.

Blood Root, in powder 1/4 ounce.

Pour on this half a pint of boiling water, let it stand for ten minutes, strain

Add two teaspoonsful of Compound Essence of Cocaine. Keep it warm.

Let the patient drink one or two teaspoonsful every twenty minutes.

Apply externally, to the throat a flannel wrung out of the following mixture:

Hot Vinegar 4 ounces

Compound Essence of Cocaine one tablespoonful, mix, keep it warm

Change the flannels every five or eight minutes. Continue this treatment until the urgent symptoms are somewhat abated, the medicine may then be given at longer intervals.

If the disease is very severe give an emetic powder. Let the patient drink freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine in warm sweetened water.

Or, let the following treatment be carried out.

Rp.

Lobelia and Blood Root, in powder, of each 1 teaspoonful.

Composition Powder … half a teaspoonful.

Pour on the above half a pint of boiling water, let them stand for ten or fifteen minutes, strain, slightly sweeten, keep warm.

Dose

One to three teaspoonsful every twenty minutes until the more urgent symptoms are abated.

Prepare the following mixture and apply externally: Cayenne Pepper, one teaspoonful, boiling Vinegar, half a pint, salt, a tablespoonful, mix; keep warm, and apply cloths wrung out of it to the throat. Foot baths are useful. The patient may drink infusion of Coca Leaf with advantage.


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Healing With Coca Leaf – Part One

The next few posts will consist of a sampling of the Coca Leaf-based remedies for a wide range of diseases and conditions explained by Dr. William Tibbles, MD in his remarkable book Coca Erythroxylon: A Treatise On Brain Exhaustion” in 1776.

 The remedies in this and other upcoming posts are taken from Part Two of Dr. Tibbles book; Part One, his actual treatise on Brain Exhaustion, is included in the original source materials for my eBookThe Coca Leaf Papers”.  

Dr. Tibbles’ observations, diagnoses, and prescriptions for treatment are noteworthy for several reasons. First, he was writing before the role of bacteria and viruses in causing disease and death was even suspected, and well before the discovery of antibiotics. This alone makes his emphasis on such things as sickroom sanitation and hygienic wound care a perspective centuries before its time. In the time period when Dr. Tibbles wrote, for example, surgeons routinely re-used their saws and scalpels on one patient after another without cleaning them, much less sterilizing them, and hand-washing was for sissies.

 And of course even today CDC estimates that 781,000 hospital-acquired infections are caused largely by failure to follow such simple hygienic procedures. ( CDC. National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Progress Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mar 2014)  

 Another thing that makes Dr. Tibbles’ observations quite remarkable is his almost universal inclusion of some form of Coca leaf in all of his remedies – whether a simple hot water extract of Coca Leaf, or a more complex “Compound Of Essence Of Coca Leaf”. You will see as you browse the next few posts that Dr. Tibbles employed wide-ranging combinations of traditional herbal medicines in specific ways for each kind of disease or condition that he was treating. Many modern herbalists will recognize these medicinal herbs as being still among the most powerful in our natural apothecary.

 In many of his remedies Dr. Tibbles also includes compounds like “Aperient Pills” and “Composition Powder” that he gives the recipes for in an appendix to his book. 

My intent in posting these Coca Leaf-based herbal remedies and – as Dr. Tibbles sometimes asserts – cures for everything from the common cold to cancerous lesions, is to demonstrate that as long ago as the time of the American Revolution doctors understood the role of Coca Leaf in effectively treating and curing disease. Some may snicker at some of Dr. Tibbles’ observations as being quaint, but that would be simple intellectual snobbery. When one considers that this Doctor was writing in an age when nobody on earth had a clue regarding, for example, the causes of infection, and one sees that even though he knew nothing of these causes he nevertheless emphasized care and treatment practices that address these unknown causes directly and effectively, one must treat what he writes with the greatest respect.

 Finally, the reader will note that in many of his remedies Dr. Tibbles includes as part of the treatment one or more of his proprietary “treatments” such as his often-mentioned “Brain Feeder”. He doesn’t reveal what these potions are, and in the back of his book he includes descriptions of their benefits in sometimes rather lurid prose – clearly wanting the reader to rush out and buy his products. I hope that we can all forgive the good Doctor for this bit of entrepreneurial spirit, because the fact is that Doctors in his time were rarely paid for their services, and of course there was no such thing as insurance, so Doctors had to figure out how to make a living. The fact that so many quacks and charlatans touted completely useless “snake oil” medicines during these times should not detract from the sincere efforts of a talented physician to offer sick people proprietary remedies that he clearly believed, through his own experience, were safe and effective working in combination with his published Coca Leaf-based remedies.

INFLAMMATIONS

Inflammation is a process into which many morbid changes enter; changes in nervous force and influence; changes in condition of the blood vessels; changes in the condition of the blood; and changes in the nutrition of the part. The symptoms generally characteristic of inflammation are: varying degrees of pain, swelling, heat, and redness, a tendency to the effusion of serum, from the blood vessels, which speedily assumes the form of coagulated lymph or pus.

Theory of Inflammation; In inflammation there is a series of progressive changes of organic structure; two conditions are necessary for the production of this, as all other diseases viz., a predisposition to the disease in an organ, and, second, an exciting cause.

The predisposed organ is attacked by some exciting cause, and the first thing which takes place is to telegraph, as it were, to the brain for more force with which to combat the foe, a reply is immediately sent with more force, and a quickened movement of the blood in the minute capillaries takes place, owing to the greater influence of the brain and nervous system whereby the capillaries become contracted; this continues until either the nervous force has overcome the exciting cause and an equilibrium regained, or until the power of the nerve is overcome or suspended.

Then a second process commences, the contraction of the muscles being superseded by a state of relaxation – and an opposite or dilated condition of the capillaries is observed — the blood is retarded, and in some it stops entirely, owing to the removal of the nervous influence whereby the contractibility of the coats of the capillaries is entirely destroyed for the time, whereas all round the part the blood is quickly circulating in tortuous and distended vessels, and still further off it moves quickly, but through less distended vessels. And as a consequence of this diminished nervous influence and stagnant state of the blood in the affected part, decomposition of the blood takes place and, as a further consequence, the nutrition of the part is retarded, and, if a reaction does not take place, decomposition of the tissues of the organ commences, purulent matter is formed, or, in other cases, actual mortification or death of the part may result.

COLDS – INFLUENZA

The old saying that “Colds are the foundation of all other diseases” is true to a large extent. Dr. G. Gregory, says “Cold is the most important of all the existing causes of internal inflammation. There is scarcely any form of it which does not occasionally owe its origin to cold; and many inflammatory affections …. have no other cause of the smallest practical importance.”

A cold is a form of disease which is generally treated lightly, indeed with much too little gravity. It is frequently allowed to proceed unchecked until it takes such firm hold of the attacked individual as to become a serious affection and the precursor of other and more grave diseases, and this it does simply because it is an effect, which, if its progress is not prevented soon resolves itself into actual inflammation – either general or local.

Symptoms

A cold commences with aching of the limbs, then we have, as an accompaniment, weight and pain in the head, oppression of the chest and slight difficulty of breathing ; a sense of fullness and stopping, or continual running of the nose ; watery and inflamed eyes ; soreness of the throat; cough; cold shiverings succeeded by flushes of heat. When the symptoms are very severe with greatly increased flow of secretion from the nose and lungs, hoarseness and soreness of the throat and lungs, we then term the complaint Influenza.

Causes

The chief causes are obstructed perspiration caused by the application of cold to the body, such as that occasioned by sudden departure from an over heated room into a cold atmosphere; sitting on the ground, damp, etc. In either case the exposure to the exciting cause gives an individual a cold by the action on the nervous system. The impression made on the extremities of the sentient nerves of the skin is conveyed to the nerve centres, and these so influence the nerves which govern the walls of the blood-vessels that the would-be intruder is warded off so long as the local force is able to withstand the external force. If the external force is the greater, then, the blood-vessels of the skin are partially paralyzed and we have set up a condition of congestion — the blood circulates only very imperfectly in the skin, and hence the deeper seated blood vessels are over- loaded and distended – which condition, if active remedial means are not used, soon progresses to actual inflammation.

Treatment

When there is reason to suspect an attack of cold, the first thing that should be done is to take one teaspoonful of the Compound Essence of Cocaine in half a tumbler-glass of hot sweetened water, and two or three Chionanthus Virginica Liver Pills. Then have a vapour bath, or, if this is inconvenient, put the feet into water, as hot as can comfortably be borne, in which is mixed one tablespoonful of ground ginger and one tablespoonful of mustard; this will tend to equalize the circulation of the blood.

Now go to bed and drink of the following mixture:

Rp.

Pennyroyal Herb … 1 oz.

Boiling water 1 pint. Let it stand 20 minutes; strain, then add

Essence of Cocaine 1 tablespoon full.

Brain Feeder 1 tablespoonful.

Sweeten with treacle.

Dose

Two tablespoonsful every half hour.

Continue the administration until free perspiration is induced, which keep up for several hours. As a general medicine let the patient take doses of the Brain Feeder, repeated three or four times a day; the Compound Essence of Cocaine in milk as a diet drink.

Sponge the body well each morning, after which rub the body with a rough towel. Regulate the bowels with the Chionanthus Liver Pills. If there is much cough take occasional doses of the Cherry Bark Cough Balsam.

Let me here say, that, to ministers and others who are compelled to speak in over-heated rooms, and then enter into an atmosphere which is cold and damp, the Compound Essence of Cocaine is an invaluable preventative against colds, sore throats, &c, when taken on lump sugar. The lump of sugar is soaked with the Essence and put into the mouth just before leaving the room. Many have proved it.

If the patient is under seven years of age, then the treatment should consist of alternate doses of the Child’s Restorer and Cherry Bark Cough Balsam in the infusion of Pennyroyal. The occasional use of hot water baths to promote perspiration. The bowels to be regulated by occasional doses of the Aperient mixture.

Those who prefer to make up their own medicines may, with great advantage, pursue the general course laid down as above. The medicine should consist of repeated doses of the following mixture:

Rp.

Yarrow 3/4 ounce.

Pleurisy Root, bruised ¾ Ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of water for ten minutes; remove from the fire and pour the boiling liquid on to the following:

Coca Leaf 1/2 ounce.

Composition Powder ¾ ounce

Let them stand for half an hour, strain, and sweeten with 4 ounces of treacle. Dose: Two tablespoonsful every half an hour until perspiration is thoroughly induced. The dose may then be given every three hours.

Regulate the bowels with occasional doses of the aperient mixture.

INFLAMMATION OF THE LUNGS, BRONCHITIS, AND PLEURISY

These three diseases are so nearly allied that we shall treat of them collectively. In inflammation of the lungs, or pneumonia, the cellular tissue or substance of one or both of the lungs is inflamed; in bronchitis the inflammation is seated in the bronchial tubes or air passages; and in pleurisy the lining membrane which covers the lungs, called the pleura, is the seat of inflammation.

Symptoms

These diseases generally set in with a chill or shivering fit, followed by an intense feeling of heat ; there is afterwards, tightness of the chest; lassitude; pain in the limbs; thirst; hot and dry skin; tongue furred, white; little or no appetite; bowels usually confined; urine, thick and scanty.

The following are the distinctive symptoms of these diseases:

 Inflammation of the Lungs

The patient generally lies on his back, has a frequent, harsh, and grating cough; rapid and difficult breathing. During the height of the disease the respirations may reach 40 per minute; the cough is attended with a scanty, tenacious, rusty-coloured, or bloody expectoration, which is got up with difficulty; pulse, quick and soft; occasionally there is delirium at night, and a dull pain is felt on inspiration.

Bronchitis

The patient complains more or less of fever, a dull oppressive pain, or soreness of the chest. The cough is loose, deep, and diffused; expectoration copious, at first glairy, or frothy, and almost transparent, but afterwards it is opaque.

Pleurisy

An attack of this disease manifests itself by the appearance of sharp pains in the side, increased by breathing or coughing; the patient generally lies on the unaffected side; cough, hard, dry, and short, but no rusty-coloured expectoration; pulse, quick and often hard.

Causes

The exciting causes of these inflammatory affections may be stated as being generally one or more of the following: Sudden transition from heat to cold, or anything that obstructs the free circulation of the blood in the skin, such as sleeping in damp places, wet clothes, undue heat, violent exercise, local congestion, blows, an altered condition of the blood, &c.

The development of one of the forms more than another – of inflammation of the lung substance, of the bronchial tubes, or of the Pleura – depends solely upon the predisposition of the individual attacked.

Treatment

When the disease occurs in a mild form in adults, then bathe the feet well in hot mustard and water for fifteen or twenty minutes, dry them well; and afterwards keep them well warmed by a fire, or, if necessary, let the patient go to bed, put to the feet a bottle of hot water, around which is wrapped a wet vinegar cloth; during the foot-bath, give the patient a strong dose of the Compound Essence of Cocaine.

When in bed give the patient doses of the following

Rp.

Pleurisy Root, bruised 1 ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of soft water for 15 minutes.

Strain, sweeten slightly, and then add two tablespoonsful of Brain Feeder and one tablespoonful of Compound Essence of Cocaine.

Dose

Two tablespoonsful every hour until the patient is somewhat easier; then give the closes at intervals of two or three hours. Each close should be given warm. If the cough is troublesome, give, every three hours, a dose of the Cherry Bark Cough Balsam, in a little of the above mixture, warm. Regulate the bowels with the Chionanthus Liver Pills.

If the patient is an infant – that is under 7 years of age – then the treatment may be as follows:

Let the feet be occasionally bathed in warm water in which has been thrown a little soda. Keep the bowels regular by the administration, now and then, of doses of the aperient mixture.

Give the following medicine:

Take of Pleurisy Root, bruised, half an ounce; boil in three-quarters of a pint of water for ten minutes; pour the boiling liquid on to half an ounce of Pennyroyal Herb, let it stand for ten or fifteen minutes, strain, and add a small quantity of sugar.

Dose

One to two teaspoonsful every hour or two, according to age and the severity of the complaint. Give a dose (size according to age) of the Cherry Bark Cough Balsam in a little of the above infusion, warm, every three or four hours. Apply warmth to the body. If the above treatment is carried out there is no doubt the little sufferer will be speedily brought round.

If the case is severe an emetic powder may be given, the patient drinking freely of the Compound Essence of Cocaine before and during its action. The inhalation of the vapour of vinegar; or of the steam from a hot infusion of herbs. The application of a poultice to the chest, is also valuable. Be sure that the bowels are not allowed to become costive.

2. Or, following the above general course, the medicinal treatment may consist of the administration of repeated doses of the following mixture :

Rp.

Liquorice Root, bruised 1 ounce

Pleurisy Root, bruised 1 ounce

Boil in one and a half pint of water for ten minutes; while still hot pour on to the following :

Coca Leaf 1 ounce

Boneset 1 ounce

Composition Powder a teaspoonful

Let them stand 15 or 20 minutes; strain.

Dose

One teaspoonful to two tablespoonsful every one or two hours, according to the age of the patient and severity of the disease.

Regulate the bowels by the use of the Aperient mixture. In the first instance use all reasonable means to induce perspiration.

If the patient is an infant, omit the Composition Powder in the above recipe. Under all circumstances the diet should be of a light and nourishing character, consisting chiefly of mucilaginous drinks, as barley-water, &c, &c.

Milk and a little of the Compound Essence of Cocaine is very valuable as a diet drink in inflammatory diseases.

Editor’s Note: In the next post, which will follow in a few days, we’ll look at how Dr. Tibbles suggests treating a number of very serious diseases including Asthma and Consumption (Tuberculosis).


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The Global Potential Of Coca Leaf Cultivation

 

Front_02

Mama Coca Welcomes Pizarro In Peace & Friendship

(And we all know how well that turned out.)

While today most of us associate the production of Coca Erythroxylon with Peru and Bolivia, during the 1800s adventurous scientists and entrepreneurs trekked around the world looking for locations where the Divine Plant would thrive. Coca cultivation was well adapted to many different parts of the globe, as shown by the following passages from The History of Coca (1901) by W. Golden Mortimer MD, excerpted from my book The Coca Leaf Papers.

For example,  for well over a century a very high quality Coca was grown by the Dutch in Java, and I don’t doubt that a bush or two still lives in the back woods there. Perhaps as more people realize the outstanding natural healing powers of this plant, opportunities will open up around the world once again for people to grow their own powerful, safe, pure Coca Leaf medicine.

“The Coca which comes to the markets of the commercial world is broadly grouped in two varieties, the Bolivian or Huanuco and the Peruvian or Truxillo variety, the characteristic difference between the two varieties being that the Bolivian leaf is thick, dark green colored above and yellowish beneath, while the Peruvian leaf is smaller, more delicate, light color and grayish beneath. Manufacturers of cocaine use practically nothing except the Bolivian or Huanuco Coca, which contains the highest percentage of cocaine and the least quantity of associate alkaloids, which cocaine manufacturers have regarded as “objectionable” because they will not crystallize. While medicinally the Coca yielding a combination of alkaloids is preferred, the two varieties of leaf are entirely distinct as to flavor, being more pronouncedly bitter in proportion to the relative amount of cocaine present.

“The Coca collected by Jussieu was from the Yungas of Bolivia, while the bulk of Coca used by the Andeans is grown in Peru. It is the plant used by these Indians, the properties which have been exalted from the time of the Incas, to which all the traditions of Coca are attached, and really one would be more justified in saying that the specimens sent by Jussieu from Bolivia were a modification of the historical Incan plant than to say that the Peruvian grown species is a variation. The Indians prefer Peruvian Coca, and but for the importance to Bolivian Coca through cocaine less of the latter variety would be grown. Any attempt to describe Coca as a whole from any one variety, it will be seen, must be confusional, Bolivian Coca being rich in cocaine, while Peruvian Coca is richer in aromatic alkaloids. This variation is still maintained in the plants grown artificially at Paris and in the East.

“Plants and seeds of several varieties of Coca have been distributed to the botanical gardens of the English colonies at Demerara, Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Alipore, where they are cultivated in a commercial way and where they have been carefully studied under the new conditions of environment. Having in mind the history of cinchona, which had been taken from its native home in the Montaña of Peru and so successfully cultivated in the East, it seems a natural inference that Coca may also be grown scientifically under similar facilities where the possibility for distribution would be superior to the crude Andean methods. Certain parts of Java are particularly suggestive of the Coca region of Peru. The country is traversed by two chains of mountains which are volcanic, and, as in the Andean region, the vegetation varies with the altitude. From the seaboard to an elevation of 2,000 feet the growth is of a tropical nature, and rice, cotton and spices abound. Above this to 4,500 feet coffee, tea and sugar are raised, while still higher, to 7,500 feet, only the plants of a temperate region can be grown.

“There are many details essential in the cultivation of tea and coffee which suggest similar necessities in the cultivation of Coca. In Ceylon the best coffee is grown from 3,000 to 4,500 feet above the sea, where rain is frequent and the temperature moderate, and, like Coca, the higher the altitude in which the shrub can be cultivated without frost, the better is the quality of the product. Although the yield may be less, the aromatic principles are more abundant and finer than that produced in the lowlands. Similar hilly ground where there is good drainage is best adapted for the growth of tea. The shrubs do not yield leaves fit for picking before the third year, the produce increasing yearly until the tenth year. The yield from the tea plant is about the same as that from Coca, but the young leaves of tea are usually gathered, while only the matured leaves of Coca are picked.

“The climate, the environment, the method of cultivation and even the uses all seem paralleled in tea, coffee and Coca, but the benefits of application are immensely in favor of Coca. Tea and coffee were introduced into Europe in the sixteenth century, about the period when we have the first historical record of Coca. They were not then popular beverages as now, and it was only after much prejudice had been overcome that they were considered necessary. As the properties of Coca become better appreciated there is every reason to suppose this substance will come into as general use in every household as a stimulant – rendering a clear head instead of the hot and congested one so apt to follow the use of coffee or tea – Coca does not impair the stomach, while it possesses the added advantage of freeing the circulation from impurities instead of, like tea and coffee, adding additional waste products to the blood stream, as has been suggested by Morton and by  Haig.

In addition to Dr Mortimer, Angelo Mariani outlined some of the other locations where Coca cultivation was attempted in his book “Coca And Its Therapeutic Applications” (1890), also featured in The Coca Leaf Papers. Unfortunately, so far as is known there was never any attempt to establish Coca cultivation in the mountains of the Western US although, of course, these mirror-images of the Andes would offer thousands of perfect micro-climes for the highest quality Coca cultivation.

“Erythroxylon Coca appears to have come originally from Peru, and from there its cultivation was carried into Bolivia, Ecuador, New Grenada, and Brazil, in a word, throughout the entire torrid zone of South America.

“For some time, as a result of the extended consumption of Coca and for a still stronger reason, now that the day is at hand when the consumption of Coca will assume greater proportions, numerous plantations of Coca trees have been laid out in regions where that shrub was formerly unknown. We take pleasure in recording that these attempts have proved successful in the Antilles, thanks to the disinterested sacrifices of our friend, Dr. Bétancès. It is also with pleasure that we present anew an interesting communication made by the learned doctor to the ” Société d’Acclimatation de France ” as appeared in the Revue Diplomatique, 17th of March, 1888.

“Dr. Bétancès has succeeded in acclimatizing Coca in the Antilles. At considerable expense and after numerous shipments of seeds and the transportation of plants (this with the greatest difficulty) to Porto Rico and San Domingo, Dr. Betances had the pleasure of receiving a fine branch of Coca in full bloom, which was sent to him by Monseigneur Mereño, Archbishop of San Domingo. This twig, which the members of the Society were enabled to examine, excited the most lively curiosity and won the commendation of M. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. It was raised from a plant which had been only eighteen months under cultivation.”

“In Porto Rico the plant reaches a greater height than in Peru.”

“A box filled with beautiful leaves has also been received by Dr. Bétancès and forwarded to Mr. Mariani. This also came from Monseigneur Mereño.

“It is therefore evident that the plant can be cultivated in the Antilles and that it may become a source of wealth to that country.”

“Plantations like this would probably thrive in Corsica or Algeria, countries where the temperature at certain points is somewhat analogous to that of the tropics.

“It is a fact that this shrub does not attain its complete development except in countries where the mean temperature is from fifteen to eighteen degrees centigrade.

“But heat does not suffice; great humidity is also necessary to Coca Therefore it is met with principally on the sides of hills and at the bottom of wooded valleys which abound on both sides of the Cordillieras. Unfortunately, these regions are rather distant from the coast and they are, furthermore, devoid of easy means of communication; it is above all to this particular cause, the difficulty of transportation, that we must attribute the relatively high price of Coca leaves.

“The cultivation of Coca trees is begun by sowing the seed in beds called Almazigos. As soon as the plant appears it is protected from the heat of the sun by means of screens and matting; when it reaches a height of from 40 to 50 centimetres, it is transferred to furrows 18 centimetres in length by 7 in depth, care being taken that each plant is separated from its neighbor by a distance of a foot.

“During the first year maize is sown in the interspaces, rapidly overreaching the shrub, and taking the place of the screens and mats. The growth of the shrub is rather rapid, reaching its full height in about five years. But the time when it becomes productive precedes that at which it attains its complete height by about 3.5 years after being planted. After that, when the season has been especially damp, it yields as often as four times a year.

“Attempts have been made to acclimatize it in Europe, but so far without success. As early as 1869 the cultivation of it was tried in the Botanical Garden of Hyeres, but no satisfactory result was obtained. We presented, in 1872, two samples to the appreciative and learned Director of the Garden of Acclimatization of Paris, M. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, and notwithstanding all the care taken of the young plants, they failed to reach their full growth. Several frail Coca plants may be seen in the conservatories of the Jardin des Plantes de Paris, in the Botanical Gardens of London, of Brussels, etc., likewise at several great horticulturists of Gand, notably Van Houten’s.”