This article was originally published on Psychedelic Spotlight and appears here with permission.
I tried chewing coca leaves for a week; here's what happened.
Earlier this month, I decided to venture out into the grey market that is psychedelic and psychoactive to procure new and exciting plant-based helpers for my everyday life. You might be wondering how I decided on chewing Coca Leaf for a week. Well, I'm busy. I have a full life replete with running a psychedelic news publication, a lifestyle brand, and a passionate music production hobby, plus I'm a family woman. I've got a partner, a teenaged daughter who lives with us, a son who I transmit frequencies to across the country, and an extended family network that is part of my conscious and unconscious maneuverers. I may be tired and frazzled at times. This is precisely why I've been diving into biohacking and plant-based modalities of human optimization. There's a lot to do and more to be done. So, I entered a particular dispensary here in Vancouver and tried my first Coca Leaf latte. I loved it. I bought 10 grams of Coca Leaf and brought it home. My plan involved chewing Coca Leaf for a week to see if I got a bit of a boost!
First, Let's Get Into a Bit of History About the Coca Leaf!
Coca Leaf, native to South America, has been used for centuries by the region's indigenous people as a stimulant. Coca Leaves have also long been associated with spiritual ceremonies and rituals due to their psychoactive effects. In addition, Coca leaf was historically used as an offering in Incan culture.
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Among the many rituals that have included Coca Leaf for hundreds of years, one of the most interesting is the Coca Leaf Divination Ritual. The purpose of this ritual was to seek guidance. However, the most practical and everyday use of Coca Leaves is to treat altitude sickness and physical pain!
Coca Leaves are harvested in the mountainous and jungle regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Coca Leaf plants usually grow to an average height of two meters with large branches that contain oval-shaped leaves. Coca Leaves have a dark green colour on top, with a lighter underside which makes them easy to pick. Coca Leaf is often picked manually using hands!
When consuming Coca Leaf, there are two traditional methods: chewing and brewing into tea. However, today Coca Leaf is also infused into different beverages like cappuccinos or hot chocolate. My favourite recipe is a shot of Coca Leaf and espresso mixed with caramel syrup and oat milk!
While I always seek guidance from the universe, I didn't turn to a Coca Leaf experiment for this reason. While I live in the mountains of North Vancouver, I do not need altitude sickness alleviation. What got me interested in trying Coca Leaf were the other …