Coca: “medicinal” plant with anesthetic action due to cocaine, indicated, for example, in dentistry. However, cocaine is less and less used in medicine because of laws that restrict it.


English name: Coca
Binomial name: Erythroxylum coca Lam.
French name: Coca
English name: Coca
German name: Koka , Koka-Strauch
Italian name: Coca




Cocaine, … various other alkaloids, flavonoids.

parts used


coke effects

Local anesthetic (effect of cocaine), stimulant (effect of cocaine), helps fight hunger and cold (eg if the leaves are chewed).

Coca indications

Pain (toothache, in the region of the nasal cavity,…), to anesthetize, (nausea), (vomiting), (asthma)…

Heads up! The cocaine found in coca is considered a narcotic product, and therefore, the preparation of cocaine-based medicines will be done under the strict supervision of a doctor and a pharmacist.

Secundary effects

Ask a specialist for advice (in internal use, we emphasize that cocaine is a narcotic). We know that after a heavy consumption of chewed coca leaves, the person can have hallucinations or psychic disturbances.


Ask a specialist for advice (in internal use, we emphasize that cocaine is a narcotic).


Ask a specialist for advice (in internal use, we emphasize that cocaine is a narcotic).

Coca-based preparations

– In the form of cocaine extracted from coca: only for external use (preparation prepared by a pharmacist) for its anesthetic action.

– In some places in South America, coca leaves are chewed, stimulating action.

Where does coca grow?

Coca is native to South America, mainly Peru and Bolivia in the Andean region. Coca is a shrub that grows up to 1.8 m tall when cultivated. She needs shaded parts to grow.

When to harvest coke?

Coca leaves are harvested when they begin to curl (source: Larousse Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Ed 2001)



Coca is a very interesting plant at the historical and political level (drug trafficking), first of all thanks to this plant that the famous Coca Cola ® was born (responsible for the word Coca from Coca Cola ®, kola nut or cola being the origin of the second word).

An Atlanta pharmacist, John Pemberton, created the famous drink in the late 19th century, he sought to develop a drink to fight fatigue, so he used coca leaves and kola nut, rich in caffeine.

Since 1903, Coca Cola ®, a few years after it was put on the market, no longer contains extracts of coca leaves (and therefore cocaine). However, the coca plant has influenced the taste of the world’s best-selling soft drink and marked modern history. Coca Cola ® is, according to Google, one of the most expensive brands in the world.


Coca is mainly harvested in South America (50% of the cocaine production market), it is a dangerous drug and unfortunately “fashionable” for some young people in Europe, North America and throughout Latin America.

Cocaine trafficking is a huge market, responsible for thousands of deaths among traffickers (in Mexico for example) and terrible damage to the health of consumers (depression, violence). Cocaine promotes the release of the “pleasure hormone”, dopamine, in the brain. This results in a significant number of people a high dependency (addiction). Until recently, cocaine was mainly consumed by snorting. In recent years, the drug has been consumed more and more in the form of crack, that is, it is no longer inhaled but smoked, causing terrible damage. Crack has destroyed the lives of millions of people and families around the world, especially on the American continent. Brazil is very affected by crack, a real public health problem, which mainly affects the lower classes of the population.

Coca leaves, Andes

In South America (eg Bolivia, Peru, Colombia), where coca leaves are harvested mainly for drug trafficking, people chew coca leaves. It is a long tradition that goes back to the time of the Incas.

Apparently, when the coca leaf is chewed and not snorted (inhaled) like cocaine itself, the health risks are reduced. The chewed coca leaf has a stimulating effect that increases resistance to malnutrition, cold or fatigue, often restricted to these poor and resistant areas located in the Andes Mountains.

Some Bolivians and other Andean peoples also consume coca tea, a tea made from coca leaves, a popular beverage in Bolivia.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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