coca


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to coca: Coca plant, Erythroxylum coca

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,
..... Click the link for more information.
 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
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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).
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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 ?
On the steep slopes of the region's valleys, the lush forest is pockmarked with small plots of coca arranged in terraces.
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, beautifully illustrated throughout, notably comprehensive, exceptionally well written, organized and presented for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Coca Wine: Angelo Mariani's Miraculous Elixir and the Birth of Modern Advertising" is a unique, extraordinary, and highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library collections.
The president said that "the most prestigious research centers in the world," including Harvard University, have recommended the use of coca leaf.
Shifter added that he views Morales' grip on the coca growers union as an attempt to shore up eroding support among his political base, which primarily consists of the South American country's poor and working class, including indigenous groups.
President Ronald Reagan launched the struggle to stop Andean farmers from growing coca leaf.
Anthropologists tell us that the latter image--that of a benign plant with ritual uses as well as medicinal and nutritional benefits--predates by millennia coca's association with cocaine and the view of coca as a scourge to be eradicated.
National resources such as water, coca and oil have played a key part in awakening political consciousness in Bolivia.
Gomez plans to breed the moths and release them en masse near coca cultivations, initially across Colombia's coca-plagued nature reserves.
State Department, in collaboration with the Colombian government, has spent roughly $3 billion from 2000 to 2004 to put a stop to the cultivation of coca and thus reduce its availability in the United States.
The essays deal with imported tobacco as against native tobaccos consumed by the Aborigines of Australia; tobacco consumption by natives in Papua-New Guinea; alcohol and the slave trade in west Africa and the fur trade in New France and English North America; the consumption of rum and marijuana by workers in the Trinidad sugar industry; alcohol consumption and labor in Namibia and Botswana; coca in Bolivia; and caffeine found in a variety of products including coffee, tea, and chocolate.