What is coca leaves used for in Bolivia?

What are the uses of coca leaves?

Despite safety concerns and illegality, the coca leaf is used to make medicine. People chew coca leaves to relieve hunger and fatigue and to enhance physical performance. Coca extracts are used for stimulating stomach function, causing sedation, and treating asthma, colds, and other ailments.

Is the coca leaf legal in Bolivia?

In 2005, cocalero union leader Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia. … Sales of coca leaf amounted to approximately US$265 million in 2009, representing 14% of all agricultural sales and 2% of Bolivia’s GDP. Coca is legally sold in wholesale markets in Villa Fátima in La Paz and in Sacaba, Cochabamba.

What did the Incas use coca leaves for?

Coca leaves have been chewed by South American Indians for many thousands of years to induce a mild, long-lasting euphoria. The Incas venerated coca. They used it in magical ceremonies and initiation rites.In the Inca period, the sacred leaf was regarded as far too good for ordinary Indians.

What do coca leaves taste like?

It is greenish yellow in color and has a mild bitter flavor similar to green tea with a more organic sweetness.

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How many coca leaves make a kilo of coke?

Rodrigo Abd/AP For the fresh leaf used in processing in Colombia, it takes somewhere between 450 and 600 kilograms of coca leaf to produce 1 kilogram of cocaine base, depending on the variety of coca plant used (some varieties have a higher cocaine alkaloid content).

Does Bolivia have drug cartels?

The Santa Cruz Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Santa Cruz) is a Bolivian drug cartel and criminal organization, said to be one of the largest in the country, headquartered in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Are drugs legal in Bolivia?

The current law prohibits drug use and punishes possession for personal use with internment and forced treatment. Domestically, a legal market for coca leaf has always existed and Bolivia is trying to change the international legal regime for the coca leaf.

Can you grow coca plants in the US?

The plant is grown as a cash crop in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, even in areas where its cultivation is unlawful. Coca leaves and coca extracts are both illegal in the US and considered schedule II just like cocaine and crack. Therefore the plants are illegal too.

Is coca tea addictive?

When the raw leaf is consumed in tea, between 59 and 90% of the coca alkaloid is absorbed. The coca leaf, when consumed in its natural form, does not induce a physiological or psychological dependence, nor does abstinence after long-term use produce symptoms typical to substance addiction.

Why do coca leaves help altitude sickness?

Among the ways people have traditionally relieved the symptoms of mild altitude sickness is by chewing or making tea with coca leaves. … The leaves of the coca plant contain alkaloids which–when extracted chemically–are the source for cocaine base.

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