In the old book ‘Erythroxylon coca: a treatise on brain exhaustion, as the cause of disease” by W. TIBBLES, MD. A disorder is described we do not recognize anymore: brain exhaustion.

Dr. Tibbles believed coca leaves is the remedy of choice….

Brain exhaustion was a special case of nervous exhaustion, states of the nervous system we now know that those are probably related to slow inflammation. For symptoms of tiredness, irritability, lack of energy, chronic pain in the past doctors could only diagnose these as ‘exhaustion’.

For pain relief and for inhibiting inflammation, most patients choose:

  • PEA capsules produced in the Netherlands by Russell
  • PEA tablets produced in Italy by Epitech

Why palmitoylethanolamide is used.

Nowadays we know much more. For such states, the natural anti-inflammatory compound and supplement palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) seems quite a good fit.

Many patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome have benefited from PEA (eg. 2-3 times daily 400 mg). Patients often prefer the PeaPlex capsules, because the biological and physiological normalizing action of PEA has been supported by a special selection of low dose vitamins of the B group, suited to support the immune system and the nervous system.

Here we disclose an old text on brain exhaustion, part 9, from Chapter 2, on Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate.


There are two kinds of tea, imported into this country, black and green, both contain tannin and an alkaloid called theine, which has a powerful action on the nervous system; the proportions of these ingredients vary in different samples of tea. Green tea possesses the greater amount of theine; a strong infusion of green tea has a tendency to enfeeble the sensibility of the nerves, and the irritability of the muscles; hence some invalids, after drinking a cup of strong tea, have feelings of depression, accompanied with various abnormal nervous sensations, others experience feelings indicative of derangement of the digestive organs; but these are rather exceptions from which no general rule can be deduced. The healthfulness of the infusion, when used with moderation, to the general mass of the community is established by evidence sufficient to outweigh any argument founded on individual cases. It must, however, be admitted that the digestive process is often retarded by the distension it will occasion after a hearty meal, the astringent principle (tannin) may also operate in arresting for a time, chymification. The addition of cream or good milk, certainly diminishes the astringency of the tea, by chemically uniting with its tannin.


This is more stimulating than tea, otherwise, its effects are, generally, the same as those of the latter article; but some persons can never take Coffee without suffering from the acidity of the stomach: where this takes place, its use must be abandoned. It is largely used by the Turks, and possesses the power of counteracting or abating the influence of the inordinate quantities of opium they are accustomed to swallowing. Sugar and cream, increase its nutritive qualities.


Chocolate is prepared by reducing the cocoa seeds, after roasting, into a paste, to which some flavoring ingredient is added, the most common of -which is vanilla, a substance likely to disagree with the stomach, and to produce a train of nervous symptoms. As a common beverage, chocolate is objectionable; it contains an oil which is difficult of assimilation, and therefore oppresses the stomach.


Cocoa is prepared from the ground seeds of the cocoa tree by mixing with other ingredients, as starch &c. It contains less of the oily matter than the chocolate and is, therefore, less likely to disagree with the stomach.


  1. Tibbles (1859-1928) Erythroxylon coca: a treatise on brain exhaustion, as the cause of disease, 1877, Helmsley: W. Allenby; Leeds: Joseph Dodgson; Leicester