Origin : Native to Peru and Bolivia, but now also cultivated elsewhere in South America and in Asia, usually illegally.
Background : Early European travelers to the Andes noted that the indigenous Indians chewed coca leaves as a stimulant. Coca contains cocaine, a narcotic drug that has spawned a huge illegal industry.
Preparation : The leaves are dried, powdered, and macerated in alcohol.
Remedy Profile : Coca is most appropriate for people who alternate between complete exhaustion and great mental excitement. They may be timid and antisocial, and have a sense of impending death and auditory hallucinations, or they may be extremely talkative and experience blissful visions. Their brains may feel muddled, and they can lose their sense of right or wrong and neglect their appearance. It is often used for symptoms associated with altitude sickness. Athletes and elderly people with symptoms of breathlessness or asthma may also be treated with Coca, since the classic physical symptom picture includes breathlessness.
Symptoms Better : For rapid movement; for open air; after sunset; for wine.
Symptoms Worse : For cold; for ascending to high altitudes; for physical and mental exertion.