machu picchu

Edible Business Card Fights Altitude Sickness

Cuzco, Peru sits at an elevation of around 11,200 feet. For newly arrived visitors, that means it’s more than the scenery taking your breath away. Locals often chew coca leaves to give them a jolt of energy and help them adjust to the altitude. Kokopelli Hostel had the great idea to create an edible business card made of coca leaf. You can just pop out the leaf-shaped section and munch on it while still maintaining all the important contact info. Read more about the making of the card here.

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Yes, coca leaf is used to make cocaine, which means bringing it into the U.S. in any amount or form (tea, candy, beer) illegal. Yet when I visited Cuzco last year, hotels had huge baskets of it for you to make tea with. Every restaurant had it on their menu and our porters on the Inca Trail chewed wads of it constantly. It was a bit bitter, but we noticed it did seem to make adjusting to the altitude easier.

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