Made and sold, c. 1880, Burnett’s Extracts contained coconut oil—not cocaine—as a primary ingredient. Since “modern medicine” in the late 19th Century seemed to favor cocaine, as an over-the-counter way to help people, companies making non-cocaine-containing products invented similar-sounding names to sell their wares. Burnett's Extracts is one example.


Albert Nieman, a graduate pharmacology student in Gottingen, Germany first isolated the alkaloid base of the coca plant in 1859. He called that base "cocaine."

Within a year after his discovery, small amounts of alkaloid were added to many different tonics, tooth-ache soothers, elixirs and over-the-counter products used by all kinds of people - including Presidents and Popes.

Small amounts of cocaine produced the same type of effects the ancient South American people experienced when they chewed coca leaves. Sigmund Freud described those effects in his July, 1884 paper Uber Coca:

Exhilaration and lasting euphoria, which in no way differs from the normal euphoria of the healthy person...you perceive an increase of self-control and possess more vitality and capacity for work.

In other words, you are simply normal, and it is soon hard to believe that you are under the influence of any drug... Long intensive mental or physical work is performed without any fatigue... This result is enjoyed without any of the unpleasant aftereffects that follow exhilaration brought about by alcohol... Absolutely no craving for the further use of cocaine appears after the first, or even repeated, taking of the drug; one feels rather a certain curious aversion to it.  (The Cocaine Papers by Sigmund Freud, ed. Robert Byck, pg 48.)

Freud even recommended cocaine as a treatment for dangerous addictions to drugs such as morphine. But that was before the hypodermic needle was widely used and before Freud nursed someone (Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow) through a cocaine-induced psychosis.

After that harrowing experience, Freud withdrew his paper and his recommendations.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jul 04, 2019

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"COCAINE AND THE COCA PLANT" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2001. Jan 18, 2020.
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