Coca Leaf Tea for Preventing Altitude Sickness in Cusco

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Coca Leaf Tea for Preventing Altitude Sickness in Cusco

When most of us hear the words ‘Coca leaf’, most people immediately think negatively of the leaf’s use. However, in Peru, the Coca leaf is sold openly in markets, supermarkets, on the street and for many centuries, the Coca leaf has been helping the highland people of Peru cope with the altitude. The local people have used the leaf to help them work and get through the day. Normally, they roll it into a ball and keep it in their month for most of the day. Coca tea for altitude sickness has proven to help prevent the effects of altitude sickness.

In Inca times, the Coca leaves were sacred and were believed to hold healing powers using the Coca for headaches, sore throats and stomach problems. When walking the streets of Cusco, you will often see the locals chewing the leaves and many locals drink the tea for breakfast as a way to kick start the day.

Coca leaf tea is best used for the treatment of altitude sickness, something that many visitors to Cusco experience. The properties are considered a miracle medicine and are very effective in treating the symptoms of altitude sickness. Remember, that the coca leaf is the principal ingredient in cocaine but the leaves themselves are not addictive are considered to be a drug. You can drink up to three or four cups of Coca leaf tea per day without any problems and most hotels in Cusco provide the tea free of charge to help you acclimatize.

You may ask what is altitude sickness? When one goes from sea level to high altitude, the body reacts differently to the changes in the oxygen levels. The higher you go, the air gets thinner, so every breath you take will be harder and harder for your body as the oxygen is decreasing. Eventually, your body will adapt and produce more red blood cells to cope with the change, but this takes a day or two, so if you go from low altitude to high altitude after you first arrive in Peru, you will most likely feel the effects of the sickness.

If you get a mild case of altitude sickness, this will not interfere with your normal activity. If you still feel unwell after several days, then you may need to visit a doctor in Cusco. Some of the symptoms of altitude sickness are headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, poor appetite, dizziness, disturbed sleep and difficulty climbing stairs.

Here are some tips to avoid altitude sickness:

Number 1: take it easy for the first day or so and limit the amount of physical activity you do. Do not arrive into Cusco and start a trek the next day as you will suffer.

Number 2: For the first few days, take it easy on the alcohol, drinking will make the symptoms worse, drink water instead.

Number 3: If you are feeling the effects of the altitude, then you may have to go to a lower altitude until the symptoms pass.

Number 4: As mentioned in the article, drink Coca tea

Number 5: Most hotels have a supply of oxygen, so if you feel the need for air, then ask the reception of your hotel. Some of the more luxurious hotels in Cusco have oxygen pumped into the rooms, so if you can afford a five-star hotel than you will have oxygen on tap.

Number 6:  Before you leave home, visit your doctor and ask for medication for the altitude, it is often better to have it just in case.

You might be wondering why visit Cusco city if there are so many problems with altitude? The reason is that the city and the surrounding valleys were home to the mighty Inca Empire. The city and surrounding areas are full of wonderful temples and wonderful plazas. The imprint that the Inca left on the city can still be seen today after hundreds of years, making the city a must-see.

There is a free walking tour Cusco Peru, that leaves one of the plazas every morning and takes in most of the important sites. Travel to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and discover some of the best examples of Inca architecture in existence. Further on from the Sacred Valley, is the most famous Inca site, Machu Picchu. Here, discover the magic and genius of the Incas, this magnificent site features on most people’s bucket lists and should be seen at least once in your lifetime.

There are many ways to arrive in Cusco, you may fly-which is the fastest way to get to the Inca city-or why not take the Lima to Cusco bus, to see the countryside. Whatever way you decide, a trip to Peru is sure to last in your memory forever.

Do not forget to plan your tour, to lessen the effects of the altitude and drink plenty of Coca tea for altitude sickness.


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