Traditional Uses of the Coca Leaf

"Coca has traditionally been used in one of two ways: either as a chew or in coca tea.45 Coca leaves contain many nutrients, including vitamins A and B, phosphorus, and iron.46 In high-altitude communities where green vegetables are scarce, the extra nutrients provided by coca leaves are often much needed.47 Coca is also widely used to diminish the effects of the decreased oxygen at high altitudes, as any visitor to an Andean city will discover.48 Much like coffee, coca is a mild stimulant and is the social drink of choice for many. Coca is also believed to be a panacea for numerous ailments and is even used as an aphrodisiac.49"

Source: 

Reisinger, Will, "The Unintended Revolution: U.S. Anti-drug Policy and the Socialist Movement in Bolivia," California Western International Law Journal (San Diego, CA: California Western School of Law, Spring 2009) Volume 39, Number 2, p. 248.
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