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Mechanics & Inner Workings

Means of Ingestion

Coca leaves are used to reduce symptoms of mountain sickness or general fatigue.
  1. The leaf is retained in the mouth while gently chewing, trying not to crush them completely.
  2. After chewing for a few moments, a numbing effect occurs on the cheeks, throat, tongue and sometimes the intestinal tract.
  3. Many times after consumption, can reduce the symptoms of headaches, teeth, intestinal cramps and feelings of hunger, thirst and fatigue.
Infusions of lime, salt, water or gasoline into coca candies and cookies are popular ways of discreetly ingesting the effects.
The leaf's anesthetic properties stabilize fatigue and stress for many field workers.    Far away in the many highlands and mountain roads, a tea is brewed from boiling coca leaves to induce its effects faster that just eating.

Manufacturing process

Religious Ritual

The coca leaf has been considered sacred since the mud millennium. It follows a strict ritual, specific to it, that involves:
  1. Join three coca leaves with two hands
  2. Blow them into the sky as a sign of respect and offering to the gods of nature
  3. Only then, can you chew your own piece


Work Stimulant

Only certain people are allowed to consume the coca leaf:
  • Chasquis who ran through the mountains
  • Children who would be sacrificed in the capacocha ritual
  • Cases of famine in the population.
Item type
Consumable, Food / Drink
Related ethnicities
Owning Organization
Controlled Substance
Raw materials & Components
  • Coca Leaves
  • Hot Water
  • Carrying Bags
  • Boiling Pot
Capacocha Ceremony
Tradition / Ritual | Mar 26, 2022
Item | Jan 2, 2021

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Cover image: Maca, Coca and Lucuma by


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