Articles tagged with Cocaine As Medicine
Before the West came to South America, the coca bush was highly revered by its indigenous population as a "divine plant". The Incas used its leaves as currency. The Peruvians chewed them as fuel for high altitude treks and measured their journeys in "cicadas" - the time between doses of coca. In the 16th century, the Spaniards came and tried to eradicate its unholy use. They, however, learned their native slaves wouldn't work without it. It took until the mid-19th century for the industrialized West to get a taste of Peru's 4,000-year-old secret, as German pediatrician Albert Niemann extracted cocaine hydrochloride from coca leaves in 1860.