Kelly wrote:We bought chocolate covered coca leaves somewhere between Cusco and Manu - yum.
I don´t know what it is, I just seen Mate de coca and some coca candies as an attempt to market coca products. But all these wouldn´t have any real effect. Coca leaves are not yummy. You have to chew quite a number of them, maybe hundred or more, to feel something. You don´t get ´high´ like on drugs, but they certainly have something in them. Obviously, people can produce cocaine from large amounts of coca leaves, and that´s why there is a ´controversy´ surrounding this plant, up to prospects of being arrested for posession in some places.
As an example, many people working in sugar cane fields of Lambayeque province, chew them when they work. They cut sugar cane with machete all day, and in warmer time of year this is not an easy job at all. They work outside in scorching sun, high temperatures and high humidity, in dusty desert. Most people would collapse after an hour or so doing that. Now these guys chew coca, don´t drink and don´t eat anything all day. Which obviously means that they are affected by a powerful substance. I wouldn´t call it ´drug´ in sense of ´narcotic´, as they don´t seem any addicted to it. This is something that doesn´t cause intoxication in common sense of the word. But of course it affects one´s body, and it would prevent altitude sickness in a similar fashion.