Coca Wine
256 pages, 20.3 x 25.4 cm , 1644 g.
Coca Wine
Angelo Mariani's Miraculous Elixir and the Birth of Modern Advertising
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A lavishly illustrated history of coca wine and the revolutionary advertising methods that made it a world-wide success

One of the oldest and most potent natural stimulants, the leaves of the coca plant are the organic source from which cocaine is synthesized. Fresh coca leaves and products made from them have verified medicinal and healing properties--and not the same addictive qualities or negative side effects as cocaine. In the late 19th century coca products became hugely successful in Europe and the United States. The most famous was Vin Mariani, a coca-based tonic wine developed by Corsican pharmacist Angelo Mariani (1838-1914). Many celebrities sang its praises, including Pope Benedict XV, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Edison, H. G. Wells, and the doctors of Ulysses S Grant, who credited Vin Mariani with giving him the strength to finish his memoirs before his death.

In this full-color illustrated history of coca wine, author Aymon de Lestrange follows Mariani's interest in coca from its medicinal applications as an anesthetic to the creation of the tonic wine. The author explores the botany of coca, how it differs from cocaine, its traditional use in pre-Columbian America, and scientific studies on coca from the 17th through 19th centuries, including from Sigmund Freud, who was a known user.

Looking to the future of coca, the author shows how it has gained renewed interest in the scientific community for its therapeutic and nutritional properties and in the spiritual community, which is seeking to rehabilitate the reputation of coca, the sacred plant of the Incas.
PublisherInner Traditions Bear and Company
Author(s)Aymon de Lestrange
Article IDart-55360


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