“Our mother’s fragrance” Coca chewing as a vehicle for revelation
May 26, 2022
Coca leaf chewing is a highly valued ancient practice used to acknowledge and maintain social bonding among prehispanic and contemporary Amazonian and Andean populations. The leaves are used as a stimulant, as an anesthetic, to suppress appetite, fatigue, and altitude effects and imbibed as a tea to combat many illnesses. It plays an important part in their nutrition. Coca is higher in calories, carbohydrates, and protein than the average of fifty other vegetable products commonly consumed in Latin America.