Coca leaf is prohibited in Europe because of its association with cocaine. But coca leaves have a content so low of the psychoactive alkaloids present in cocaine, that it is ridiculous to think that it would make you high just by chewing it.
They have been cultivated since at least the Inca Empire and are used for a variety of medical and religious purposes in Bolivia. You can easily find a shop that sells it while strolling around La Paz.
Does it really help with altitude sickness?
To try the coca leaf you need to chew the leaves. Place one-by-one into the cheek, forming a small saliva ball and continue to chew until your cheek feels numb. Leave it for a few minutes and get new leaves in. I must say that the taste is disgusting so you can put something sweet inside your mouth to help with it.
In the first and only time I have tried it, apart from making my mouth numb, I did not think it help particularly with altitude sickness. What it did help was the coca leaf tea when I fell ill in Peru with food poisoning, what a miracle that was!
Tell me your experiences on this, do you think it helps or not really?