Hands on Coca Leaves

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Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby Piatek » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:06 pm

Hi,
I was just wondering if i can get my hands on coca leaves when i arrive to Lima.
I did not buy any altitude sickness drugs and i am not sure if i will buy them before i leave ( depends if i need a prescription for them ).
Just to stay safe, i would just simply get some coca leaves.
Does anyone know how to consume them ? Do i simply chew them ?

:mrgreen:
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby sinecure » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:13 pm

I have heard that it is available in Peru. HOWEVER, it is illegal to bring any back into this country. And you maybe doing your self a dis-favor if there's any residue or misplaced leaves on your person or luggage when you return to your Country.

Use at your own risk and peril.

Coca leaves contain cocaine alkaloids, a basis for the drug cocaine, which is a powerful stimulant.

Coca should not be confused with the similarly named South American cocoa bean from which chocolate is made.


If you are simply looking for the tea, you should not have any troubles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_de_coca
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby Piatek » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:17 pm

Thanks for a quick reply.
I am not planning to bring anything back to Canada.
I just wanted to buy them locally there so i have something on the Inca Trail ( in case of sickness )

=D
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby Macha » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:42 pm

Don't worry about getting them in Lima. You'll have ample opportunity in Cuzco or Ollantaytambo, or wherever you go before the trail. In fact, your guide will probably encourage you to buy coca leaves to share with the porters.
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby Piatek » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:42 pm

wouldn't porters be used to altitude already ?
oh well, coca for everyone !!!

:roll:
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby TravelFun » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:18 pm

Coca leaves isn't just used for altitude...it's mainly used by the miners to suppress hunger & thirst in order for them stay in the mines for longer periods.

As for how to consume them...you put a load into your mouth and chew slowly, just swallowing the juices. Keep adding more leaves as and when the amount gets less. You do not eat the leaves (the odd one is fine) and once dried out then throw the used leaves away...not onto the streets but to dispose of accordingly :)

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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby hamilh » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:11 pm

Our guide woke us up with a nice hot cup of Coca tea every morning. It was delightful! Oh, how I miss it.
It was also ALWAYS available in the hotel in Cuzco - just ask for it and you shall get it! It really did work for me!
"We have not inherited the world from our Fathers, We are borrowing it from our Children." - Lester R. Brown
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby coqui14 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:41 pm

Hello, all our hotels had leaves and a tea pot with ot water for you to do coca tea at any time. Is calculated that you need to drink around 12 kg of tea leaves as tea to get the same effect as coca (the drug)... that is a lot of tea...

Also, they sale the tea process in tea bags as a commercial product packed and process that is allow into US. I did bring one, declare it in customs and the guy said..NO PROBLEM. Remember there is not drug that will cure altitude sickness, they just help with the symptoms. The only cure for altitude sickenss is to go down in altitude.

Enjoy
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby TravelFun » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:25 pm

coqui14 wrote:Is calculated that you need to drink around 12 kg of tea leaves as tea to get the same effect as coca (the drug)... that is a lot of tea...


Just to clarify that Coca Leaves is NOT a drug but a suppressant and in no way causes addiction like cocaine...don't want anyone to get the wrong idea :shock:
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby Alpine_Resort » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:03 pm

We were in Peru in the spring and agree that coca leaf products are available everywhere altitude is an issue. I ate candy, cookies, drank tea and chewed the leaves and still suffered altitude sickness. My mouth went numb a few times though. lol. Who knows? It might have been worse had I not consumed the coca products. Coca tea is free and available in a lot of the hotel lobbies. It's a great way to rehydrate and tastes pretty good.
Even those on our tour who took the altitude meds suffered to some extent so it's not a guarantee either. No one knows how they're going to react until you're actually there. The only cure is rest, REST and go lower if you have to. When your guide says to rest, even if you feel fine then, REST. I didn't and regretted it later.
Have a great time! Peru is amazing!
Jodi from rural Ontario, Canada
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby Zuleika » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:26 pm

It is available everywhere where you are at altitude in Peru.
I definately recommend it.
The porters take it, because it also relieves fatigue - gets you over those hills!
Also, the effect it has is to relieve of what I can only describe as the 'room spin' effects that the lack of oxygen at altitude has on you. This 'room spin' is very likely to make you feel queasy and nauseous (like when you have had one too many beverages!)
When you take the leaves, our guide showed us how to fold it in to a little parcel, with a little of the 'rock' inside the parcel which acts as the catalyst.
Put this parcel inside your cheek and leave it there for several hours, or until you get room-spin again, then change it for another one. No need to chew it.
Perhaps ask a local to instruct you how to do it.
It totally kills the room spin feeling, immediately making you feel much better. Which is such a total relief. But room spin comes back as soon as you remove it.
Better than any prescriptions.
After 24-36 hours you are acclimatized and no longer need it, so sharing a bag is an option.
As others have said - it is no cure for full on altitude sickness, merely the nasty dizzyness and nausea that most people feel initially.
The tea is also very refreshing, but not strong enough on its own to rid the dizzyness.
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby littletomato » Tue May 04, 2010 9:18 am

A travel doctor told me that if I drink coca leaf tea on the trip, I'll test positive for cocaine for up to a month afterwards. I'm starting a new job after I get back, so I don't want to mess around in case my new employer asks for a drug test. I'm fairly sure they won't, but don't want to take the risk. Does anyone have any insight on whether it's true that drinking coca tea could make you test positive for cocaine?
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Re: Hands on Coca Leaves

Postby jessy27 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:24 am

Piatek,
You can get altitude sickness drugs across the counter at any drugstore. I would stay
away from the leaves if you have a job that does random drug testing, not worth
the risk. :)
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