The coca plant is the source from which cocaine is derived. The natives of Peru and Bolivia have chewed the leaves for centuries, after discovering that this gave them a moderate buzz.

Cocaine was originally used in the product Coca-Cola, which is why this product bears the name of the coca leaf.

The coca leaf is not to be confused with the cocoa leaf which provides chocolate.

Co"ca (?), n. [Sp., fr. native name.]

The dried leaf of a South American shrub (Erythroxylon Coca). In med., called Erythroxylon.

⇒ Coca leaves resemble tea leaves in size, shape, and odor, and are chewed (with an alkali) by natives of Peru and Bolivia to impart vigor in prolonged exertion, or to sustain strength in absence of food.

Mexican coca, an American herb (Richardsonia scabra), yielding a nutritious fodder. Its roots are used as a substitute for ipecacuanha.


© Webster 1913.

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