Coca tea (known in Peru as mate de coca) , is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the coca plant. The coca leaf is cut and put in a tea bag and is used as a normal tisane: by dipping a coca tea bag in hot water. Mate de coca is a very popular tisane in Peru where it is consumed as a digestive tea and even to treat altitude sickness. (that’s why it is so popular among the mountaineers who climb the Andes).
Traditional medical uses of coca are foremost as a stimulant to overcome fatigue, hunger, and thirst. It is considered particularly effective against altitude sickness. It also is used as an anaesthetic to alleviate the pain of headache and sores, etc. Before stronger anaesthetics were available, coca leaves were also used for broken bones, childbirth, and during trephining operations on the skull.