Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca). Indigenous South Americans have been using the leaves as a stimulant for thousands of years and there is evidence that the cocaine trade also stretches back that far with traces of the drugs being found in Egyptian mummies.
The drug cocaine has many street names such as blow, gack, charlie, Bolivian marching powder to name but a few, and since its introduction as a lifestyle ‘party drug’, there have been many people who have even advocated its health benefits.
The health benefits of cocaine:
1.) Normalizes Bowel function
This is the most interesting health benefit of cocaine because conditions associated with imbalanced gut bacteria and bowel function are becoming ever more common across the western world.
2.) Topical analgesic
Cocaine has been used as a local anesthetics within surgical practice since the late 1800s and is still used today, albeit less frequently. (2) The drug is currently acknowledged as a schedule II drug which means it is recognized by the US government as possessing medicinal value.
3.) Promotes wound healing
Cocaine is vasoconstrictive which means that it reduces bleeding when applied topically. This makes it useful in minor surgery, especially in the field of cosmetics. As a topical gel, which combines adrenaline and cocaine, it has been shown to be beneficial in treating minor cuts and skin abrasions on children with no toxic side effects.
4.) Treats altitude sickness
Andean Indians are renowned for their physical stamina at extreme altitudes. Chewing of the coca leaf has often been attributed to this physical endurance ability. Recent research has been conducted on the physiology changes induced by the coca leaf chewing to test this anecdotal evidence.