Have you ever heard of Coca tea? For centuries, this tea has been used by the indigenous people who live in the Andes mountain range in South America. This tea is known to have quite a few benefits as it contains compounds such as inulin, phytonutrients, and alkaloids. Coca leaves also contain Vitamins A, C, E as well as B2 and B6.
Also, this herbal tea has its own set of side effects as well. Read on to know more about coca leaf tea and how healthy it can be for you.
Benefits Of Coca Tea:
Here are the coca tea benefits:
1. Boosts Energy:
The leaves of the coca plant contain a compound called inulin that gives off a stimulatory effect. According to researchers, it is this compound that makes coca tea boost energy levels in your body. It also helps in stimulating mental focus. This tea’s stimulatory effect is similar to coffee, but as coca leaves lack in caffeine, the cellular mechanisms it works through are different.
2. Boosts Immune System:
There are high levels of various vitamins in coca tea that may have antioxidant properties. These vitamins may play a role in boosting your immune system. This means that the ability of your body to destroy compounds in your bloodstream that are potentially toxic is significantly increased.
3. Lowers Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease:
According to research, Vitamins C and E and the antioxidant properties they possess make coca tea beneficial to health. It is these nutrients and their antioxidant action that may help in lowering the risk of developing different types of cardiovascular disease.
4. Alleviates Altitude Sickness:
For centuries, coca tea has been used in South America to relieve the various symptoms of altitude sickness. You can prevent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomach by sipping on coca tea. Researchers believe that it is the presence of B vitamins and alkaloids that gives this herbal tea its effect on altitude sickness. This is because coca tea may help in improving the oxygen uptake and blood flow at high altitudes.
5. Relieves Indigestion:
The same alkaloids and vitamins that are present in coca tea make it an effective remedy for indigestion. You can gain relief from gastrointestinal problems by drinking this herbal tea. It is commonly used in South America as an effective natural treatment for many problems that are associated with indigestion.
6. Regulates Blood Glucose:
Coca leaves also contain calcium, iron, and riboflavin. With Vitamin A, these nutrients may help in regulating blood glucose in your body. This, in turn, enhances metabolism and may play a role in reducing the risk of diabetes, as well as obesity.
7. Promotes Weight Loss:
According to experts, certain alkaloids that are found in coca tea may have the ability to promote weight loss. These alkaloids may play a role in increasing lipolysis that is the process of mobilizing and breaking down fatty acids in your body for energy. When you drink this tea on a regular basis, it may increase your body’s natural ability to burn fat and ultimately help reduce body fat.
[ Read: Benefits & Side Effects Of Cranberry Tea ]
Side Effects Of Coca Tea:
How safe is coca tea? This is a question that is often asked by people who have heard of this herbal tea and are considering it as a beverage in place of other teas or coffee. Well, decocainized coca tea, or the tea made of leaves without the cocaine, is quite safe for most people, especially if taken in normal amounts (1). The process that is used to make coca tea is very different from the process that is used to extract and make cocaine from coca leaves.
There are precautions that you should take if you are planning to drink coca tea. Let us take a look at some of the coca tea effects:
1. May Cause Miscarriages, Etc.:
It is recommended that pregnant women avoid coca tea. This is because the cocaine present in coca leaves may cause miscarriages or birth defects. It may also cause SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastfeeding mothers should also stay away from coca tea as it may have adverse effects on infants.
[ Read: Benefits & Side Effects Of Hibiscus Tea ]
2. Worsens Asthma:
For asthma patients, avoiding coca tea is a good idea (2). The cocaine present in coca leaves, even in trace amounts, can make the condition worse. It is best not to use coca in any form if you suffer from asthma.
3. Worsens Heart Disease:
Again, due to the cocaine present in coca, it is best for patients of heart diseases to keep away from coca tea. It can worsen your condition and may cause complications.
4. May Increase Blood Sugar Levels:
Coca may spike blood sugar levels in certain people. If you are a diabetic, you should avoid coca as it may affect blood sugar control.
5. May Increase Hypertension:
Coca may cause high blood pressure in some people. If you are prone to hypertension, you should avoid it. You should also avoid coca if there is a risk of having a stroke or if you have a history of having one. The cocaine present in the plant raises the risk of dying from a broken blood vessel in the brain.
While coca tea has quite a few benefits, it does come with side effects as well. It is important to keep these in mind before deciding to consume this beverage. As with all herbal substances, you should consult your healthcare provider before you make coca tea a part of your daily routine.
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