Pope tries coca leaf drink: Pope Coca Drink
Published: July 9, 2015
Pope tries coca leaf drink: Pope Coca Drink, It’s the brew of popes: coca, the main ingredient in cocaine, has been enjoyed by three popes.
Pope Francis drank a tea of coca leaves, camomile and anise seeds on the plane to Bolivia from Ecuador this week, pope John Paul II drank tea made from coca leaves during his 1988 visit to Bolivia, and pope Paul VI drank the special tea during a visit to the Andes in 1968, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The coca leaf is not a fringe product in Bolivia. Locals compare its use to coffee, and staunchly defend the coca custom even after it was declared an illegal substance in 1961 by the UN convention on narcotic drugs.
But cultural use of the drug has remained strong in Bolivia.
Bolivian president Evo Morales defended the use of coca – and even farms it himself.
Morales told a 2007 UN general assembly, “This leaf represents the hope of our people.”
As well as warding off altitude sickness, chewing coca leaves (which are held in the cheek) or drinking a brew, just like the pope, provides physical and mental stimulation but nothing like the cocaine high.
It’s also an ingredient in toothpaste, lotions and shampoo (in Bolivia that is – don’t try to drink your shampoo at home to get high). A 1995 report by the World Health Organisation said there were “no negative health effects” from coca use in leaf form.
As well as helping the pope get over his altitude sickness, the coca leaf can suppresses hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue. Sounds like a miraculous brew.
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