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Coca tea from Peru - about us

The idea for Inka Verde- Mercado Inka store was born during an amazing trip to my husband’s homeland of Peru in 2007.  We had come to celebrate our youngest son’s 1st birthday and experience Machu Picchu.  As soon as we arrived in Cuzco, we were given coca tea to drink.  The coca leaves used to make coca tea (mate de coca) stimulate respiratory functions and prevent altitude sickness. They also aid in preventing vertigo and nausea.  This was especially important to me as I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease  a few years earlier. 

The coca tea was amazing! Not only did none of us suffer any ill effects of the altitude (Cuzco is 3300 m (10800 ft) above sea level, but we had this great energy level similar to caffeine, but without the jittery side effects.  Throughout our adventures, as we sipped this wonderful tea we talked to more and more people about the benefits.  We discovered that there is a cornucopia of uses for this sacred plant. 

Historically, coca leaves were foremost used as a stimulant to overcome fatigue, hunger, and thirst. As we experienced, they are considered particularly effective against altitude sickness. They can also be used as an anesthetic to alleviate the pain of headache, rheumatism, wounds and sores. Before stronger anesthetics were available, the leaves were also was used for broken bones and childbirth. Indigenous use of coca has also been reported as a treatment for malaria, ulcers, asthma, as a guard against bowel laxity, as an aphrodisiac, to improve digestion and credited with improving longevity. 

Modern studies have supported a number of these medical applications.  The more we learned, the more excited we became to share this amazing plant with our friends and family and eventually we created Inka Verde – a place where anyone could learn about and have access to this miracle herb.