Coca and cocaine as medicines:
an historical review

Grinspoon L, Bakalar JB
Department of Neurology,
Massachusetts General Hospital,
Boston 02114
J Ethnopharmacol 1981 Mar-May;3(2-3):149-59


Coca has been used in folk medicine in South America for thousands of years both as a general stimulant and for more specific medical purposes. It remains one of the most commonly used medicines in some areas of Bolivia and Peru. The medical use of coca and cocaine in the industrial world has a more dramatic and varied history. Coca extract and cocaine were introduced as pancreas for a wide variety of complaints in the late 19th century. Cocaine was the first effective local anesthetic; prescription drugs, patent medicine, and soda drinks containing it were also popular. When its dangers became apparent and substitutes became available, its medical use went into decline, especially when, in the 1930s, amphetamine began to replace it for some purposes. Today its only generally accepted medical use is as a topical anesthetic in certain kinds of minor surgery and other clinical procedures. There are, however, some recent and so far uncertain signs of reviving interest in cocaine and even coca itself for other medical purposes, in research as well as in diagnosis and treatment.

Inca tea
Coca cola
Coca paste
Oral cocaine
Coke v crack

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Wirehead Hedonism
Utopian Pharmacology
The Hedonistic Imperative
When Is It Best to Take Crack Cocaine?

swan image
The Good Drug Guide
The Responsible Parent's Guide To
Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family