The Andean indigenous peoples have taken advantage of coca leaf for centuries for its benefits as a digestive aid, immune system booster, and to combat altitude sickness.
It Aids Digestion
Coca tea helps to improve digestion due to its effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Apart for being overall gut-friendly, it is a traditional folk remedy for indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and even dysentery. The pectin content of coca leaf is what makes it a powerful treatment for diahrrea, as it helps to absorb and retain water that would otherwise be passed out of the body.
It can restore healthy gut function and reduce inflammation of the colon (both large and small intestines). Thanks to a component called papain, it is reputed to speed up digestion. An interesting side note: papain is also found in the papaya fruit. Despite being named after this luscious fruit, coca leaf contains more papain that the papaya itself!
The digestive benefits don’t stop there, though. Coca improves the symptoms of heartburn (acid reflux) and also aids in the treatment and healing of oral sores, ulcers and toothache. It’s a veritable gastrointestinal cure-all!
Oh, there’s also the other end of the digestive tract to consider… There’s no polite way of putting this, it helps reduce the production of flatulence (farting), especially for those who consume a lot of animal products in their diet.
Coca is a well-known natural pain reliever.
Infusions of coca leaf are very useful to gargle for sore throats, for nervous pains, headaches, as well as to relieve infections and inflammations in the eyes, including conjunctivitis.
Mixed and macerated with alcohol, a salve can be prepared, which is excellent for relieving rheumatic pain.
The Andean peoples also use infusions of coca leaves to relieve arthritis and muscle soreness.
Coca tea contains alkaloids that can help promote weight loss. These alkaloids can increase lipolysis, or the mobilization and degradation of fatty acids for energy in your body.
The mobilization of fat stores from adipose tissue, or fat cells, to your muscles for energy increases your metabolism and preserves muscle glycogen, increasing your body’s natural fat burning ability.
When consumed on a regular basis, coca tea can promote the reduction of body fat with few side effects.
Provides Energy To The Body
The leaves of the coca plant contain compounds that provide a stimulating effect on your body, similar to caffeine, which can increase energy and mental focus.
Coca tea contains inulin, a type of naturally occurring polysaccharide produced in some plants that provides a stimulating effect similar to that of coffee.
In addition, its content of flavonoids such as tannin and lignin give strength to the muscles.
Immune System Booster
Coca tea contains high concentrations of vitamins that can have antioxidant properties.
Coca leaves are rich in vitamins A, B2, B6, C and E, all of which stimulate the proper functioning of your immune system.
To these vitamins are added fiber that strengthen the colon and stimulate the mobility and expulsion of feces and other waste.
In addition, its flavonoid content stimulates the bone marrow and the production of red and white blood cells.
The antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E can help reduce the risk of developing various types of cardiovascular disease.
Control The Effects Of Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is a set of symptoms caused by low levels of oxygen present beyond 3,000 meters above sea level.
Both the chewing of coca leaves and the consumption of tea increase the absorption of oxygen in the blood, benefiting many Bolivian and Peruvian communities that are even close to or above 4,500 meters, which represents a great effort to lungs.
WARNING: This article should not be considered the equivalent of a professional medical consultation. Consult your trusted doctor if you have any questions about this or any other issue related to your health. But it’s not