The coca leaf itself is not harmful, and for centuries has been used for traditional and medicinal purposes and during rituals. The leaves are so common; you can purchase them at village markets. Also, the leaves are often used in teas or chewed and held in a wad in the cheek. The practice is called "acuillico" and is still upheld by at least one million Bolivians. In addition to all these culturally rich uses of the plant, the cultivation brings a much needed boost to the Bolivian economy.

A woman sells coca leaves at market in Bolivia
al Uses of coca
: helps with fatigue, hunger, and thirst. It is considered particularly effective against altitude sickness. It also is used as an
anesthetic to alleviate the pain of headache in a coca tea traditionally called mate de coca.

Mate de coca