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Johannesburg - The Medicines Control Council is investigating an energy tea said to contain high levels of cocaine, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.

Coca tea reportedly had so much cocaine that users would fail drug tests.

It could be bought from shops and pharmacies and was marketed as a herbal tea.

The council had not responded to e-mailed questions by late on Monday afternoon.

According to the Beeld report, Coca tea was described as a “heavenly magical plant of the Incas”.

Two of the paper's reporters each drank a cup of the tea and had their urine tested.

Within four hours, both showed benzodiazepine levels of over 1600 nanograms per millilitre in their urine. The cut-off level for drug tests was between 150 and 300ng/ml.

The tea could not make users “high”, but worked as a stimulant like caffeine.

On its website, Cocazone, the maker of Coca Tea, said it was not addictive and had been used as a medicine in South America for thousands of years, Beeld reported.

However, Spar supermarket said it would ask its franchises to remove the tea from shelves. - Sapa