Since the time of the Incas, Cocaleros have been carefully cultivating this crop which plays an important role in Ansean culture.
Coca leaves are used to suppress altitudes and to reduce feeling of hunger, thirst and pain. They also provide energy and stamina. As part of rituals, coca leaves are used as offerings to apus (mountain), inti (sun), and pachamama (earth). Coca leaves are thought to protect from curses and bad energy, to bring good luck and to help predict the future.