Almost anyone who has visited Peru knows about
Actually, considering the nutritional value of this plant, it would likely be touted as a superfood in much the same way as Acai berries and Noni have been. That would only be if cocaine wasn't made from it. The push to outlaw these leaves is something that has been pushed since the illicit use of coca. The U.S. regardless of the fact that huge amounts of imports are allowed from the Coca Cola Company, Peru is constantly told to destroy crops by its government. However, the leaf on its own bears little resemblance in properties to the drug. Not only does it not share the negative qualities, it packs enough nutrition to actually sustain a person on its own. Typically, in high altitudes the diet is a poor one and this means that coca can be an integral dietary supplement. The leaf has a traditional use by the native people for fatigue and to curb the appetite. This made it extremely useful for long days of work or for traveling great distances. There isn't the same nervous energy from chewing the leaves like there is when using cocaine. Actually, it's an endurance enhancing energy as opposed to being used as a stimulant. Also, this is used for teeth. Certainly, if you chew enough of the leaves, your mouth can start to feel numb which makes it great in the case of toothaches. Although, the high calcium and phosphorous that is found means that it can be helpful for strengthening teeth and bones. It also contains a great deal of protein, which may account for its ability to help with endurance. It's also high in Vitamin A and iron and contains a fair amount of many other vitamins and minerals. Other medicinal uses that have long been promoted are for throat problems, digestive issues, rheumatism and other pain conditions. Doctors believe it to be a particularly useful antidepressant. Regulating blood sugar and being a cardiovascular tonic, it can be particularly helpful for people who suffer from diabetes. It can even be used topically for burns and sores.