Family: Erythroxylaceae.

From time immemorial the coca leaves have been used for chewing by the natives of the South American Cordilleras3). It is only in recent times, however, that, because of their alkaloidal content4), they have acquired significance in medicine5).

The volatile oil contained in the leaves was first observed and prepared by Niemann6) and Lossen7) in 1860.

According to their stage of development, the coca leaves8) from Erythroxylon Coca, Lam. van Spruceanum, Brck. (family Erythroxylaceae) contain varying amounts of volatile oil. Thus van Romburgh9) obtained 0,13 p. c. from young, undeveloped leaves, and but 0,06 p. c. from the fully developed ones. It consists principally of methyl salicylate with traces of acetone and methyl alcohol.

1) H. terMeulen, Recueil trav. chim. des P.-B. 24 (1905), 480.

2) F. J. Bernays, Buchner's Repert. f. d. Pharm. 88 (1845), 387; Pharm. Zentralbl. 1845, 735.

3) Pedro Cieza de Leon, Parte primera de la Chronica del Peru. Sevilla 1553. Royal Commentaries of the lncas. By the Inka Garcilasso de la Vega. Translated by Clemens R. Markham. London, Hakluyt Society, 1871. Vol. 2, Chap. 15, p. 371. - W. H. Prescott, History of the conquest of Peru. ). B. Lippincott & Co. 1881. Vol. 1, p. 143. - Wittmack, Berichte d. deutsch. Bot. Ges. 4 (1886), 25. - Kew Bull. 1889, Mr. 33, p. 222.

4) Berichte d. deutsch. pharm. Ges. 9 (1899), 38.

5) Pharm. Rundsch. (New York) 9 (1884), 262.

6) De foliis Erythroxyli, Dissertatio. Gottingen 1860.

7) Clber die Blatter von Erythroxylon Coca Lam., Dissert., Gottingen 1862.

8) Comp. C. Hartwich, Beitrage zur rXenntnis der Cocablatler, Arch, der Pharm. 241 (1903), 617.

9) Recueil trav. chim. des P.-B. 13 (1894), 425. - Verslag 's Lands Plan-tentuin te Buitenzorg 1894, 43; Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1895, 50 and April 1896, 69.