During our stint in South America, the United States, with its vast resources, tried to curtail the supply of coca leaves
at the source by funding the local governments to destroy coca crops.
"It was tough, but our guide explained to me and my friend that coca leaves
, if you chew on them, are very good for acclimatising to altitude."
have been an important part of "Boliviafn culture] since pre-Incaic times." (13) Bolivians chew coca leaves
for a variety of reasons and use them for cooking, religious activities, and medicinally.
In summer 2013, the Bolivian Government announced the launch of the industrial production of medicines from coca leaves
. Annually, approximately 75 thousand tons of coca leaves
are used to produce various medicinal tinctures.
Although Coca-Cola no longer contains cocaine, the company still uses an extract of coca leaves
in its beloved soft drink.
It is the only beer in the world whose ingredients include coca leaves
, which are also used to manufacture cocaine, reports The Drinks Business.
Weitzman explains that coca leaves
, the precursor to cocaine, are often cultivated to make tea, which in South American culture is analogous to wine in European culture.
"I chew coca leaves
every morning, and look at me!" [on natural health benefits, 2008]
If this was true, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people chewing coca leaves
on a daily basis would have died from overdoses.
He argues that chewing coca leaves
, which helps alleviate the symptoms of acute mountain sickness, is an integral part of the culture of the Andes.
Goat, coca leaves
. His clay horns, tongue's thorns,