coca

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coca

(kō`kə), common name for shrubs of the genus Erythroxylum, particularly E. coca, of the family Erythroxylaceae, and found abundantly in upland regions and on mountain slopes of South America, as well as in Australia, India, and Africa. Certain South American peoples chew the leaves of one of several species mixed with an alkali, lime, which acts with saliva to release the drug cocainecocaine
, alkaloid drug derived from the leaves of the coca shrub. A commonly abused illegal drug, cocaine has limited medical uses, most often in surgical applications that take advantage of the fact that, in addition to its anesthetic effect, it constricts small arteries,
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 from the leaves. In the low doses obtained in this way, the drug acts as a stimulantstimulant,
any substance that causes an increase in activity in various parts of the nervous system or directly increases muscle activity. Cerebral, or psychic, stimulants act on the central nervous system and provide a temporary sense of alertness and well-being as well as
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 and an appetite depressant with physiological effects similar to those of tobaccotobacco,
name for any plant of the genus Nicotiana of the Solanaceae family (nightshade family) and for the product manufactured from the leaf and used in cigars and cigarettes, snuff, and pipe and chewing tobacco.
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. Coca leaves have been used for at least 8,000 years. Until the time of the Spanish conquest, only the Inca aristocracy was privileged to chew the coca leaves, but afterward, the Spanish encouraged the enslaved Native Americans all to use coca in order to get them to endure long periods of heavy labor and physical hardships. A cocaine-free extract of coca leaves is used in some soft drinks. Coca, a different plant than the cocoa plant cacaocacao
, tropical tree (Theobroma cacao) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculia family), native to South America, where it was first domesticated and was highly prized by the Aztecs. It has been extensively cultivated in the Old World since the Spanish conquest.
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, is grown commercially in the N and central Andean countries and in Sri Lanka, Java, and Taiwan. Much coca is also grown in Andean countries for the illegal international drug trade. Coca is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Linales, family Erythroxylaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Coca

 

(Erythroxylon coca), a shrub of the tropical family Erythroxylaceae, measuring 1–3 m high (sometimes 5 m). The leaves are broadly elliptical or obovate. The flowers, which are in the axils, are small, yellowish white, and five-petaled. The elongated red fruits are drupes. The coca bush almost never grows wild. It is cultivated in the tropics of South America and Asia. Coca leaves contain cocaine (up to 1.3 percent) and other alkaloids. One bush yields up to 5 kg of dry leaves per year. The leaves are harvested three to five times per season.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

coca

[′kō·kə]
(botany)
Erythroxylon coca. A shrub in the family Erythroxylaceae; its leaves are the source of cocaine.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

coca

1. either of two shrubs, Erythroxylon coca or E. truxiuense, native to the Andes: family Erythroxylaceae
2. the dried leaves of these shrubs and related plants, which contain cocaine and are chewed by the peoples of the Andes for their stimulating effects
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In all the meetings we had attended, the Latinos emphasized that their indigenous people had been chewing coca leaves for centuries to cure altitude sickness, with no harmful effects.
Coca leaves contain alkaloids, which are chemicals in plants that contribute to many well-known flavors.
Bolivia is the world's third largest supplier of coca leaves. According to the UN, the first place is after Peru, the second - Columbia.
It is incorrect to say that coca does not contain cocaine, but the cocaine alkaloid content of coca leaves is less than 1%.
Morales recently organized a new holiday, the National Day of Coca Chewing, to protest the UN's refusal to remove coca leaves from Schedule 1 of the 1961 Single Convention on narcotics.
Long before the arrival of European explorers to South America, the Incas had discovered that chewing a concoction made by mixing coca leaves with lime had a stimulating effect and warded off hunger.
Many people there earnmoney from processing the coca leaves used to make cocaine, and thus the locals are wary of him.
The traditional process of extracting cocaine base from coca leaves is concentrated in Colombia, but Europe is specialised in second-hand production.
Earsarkul stressed the fact that his company only produces Red Bull Energy Drink which is not made from coca leaves and thus cannot contain cocaine.
Other Bolivian violations of UN decrees had been revealed by Evo Morales himself in a March Op-Ed to the New York Times entitled "Let Me Chew My Coca Leaves." In the piece, Morales explained his case for the "reversal of a mistake made 48 years ago"--i.e.
The Bolivian president spent several nights on a mattress on the floor of Bolivia's presidential palace, surrounded by banners and supporters and chewing coca leaves to ward off hunger after beginning the strike.
The drink also is formulated with kola nuts and coca leaves, which were the basis of the first colas developed.