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Coca - from a cure to a drug

Many people immediately associate the word coca with the drink coca-cola. This association is also not entirely wrong, because in the early days of the successful drink, the leaves of the coca bush were still used as ingredients. In the real sense, however, the term coca means the dried leaves of the coca bush. Coca has been used as a natural jungle medicine by the indigenous people of Peru, Bolivia and Colombia for thousands of years. The leaves are placed under the tongue and are said to relieve hunger, make breathing easier and keep you awake. Indigenous peoples also use coca as a medicine for toothache, abdominal pain, depression and rheumatism. In Germany, the possession and cultivation of coca smoke is prohibited, since the drug cocaine can be isolated from the leaves. (vb)

(Photo 1: Ildi /

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