Coca's Pulse Tests are extraordinarily useful and simple tools for at-home
allergy detection. My clients have succeeded at using this approach without
supervision. Coca's test works on this simple principle: pulse elevations
are caused by any allergic reaction. If you know what your normal range of
pulse rates are, you can isolate an offending food or substance and eliminate
it. Success with Coca's Pulse Test requires only motivation and a little
perseverance, because in order to test for food allergies, the diet must
be restricted for a few days and your pulse must be accurately taken at specific
intervals during the testing period.
The test is based on measurement of the resting pulse rate, something most
people have no difficulty learning how to do. The resting rate is how fast
the heart beats after a person has been sitting still, comfortably relaxing
for three to five minutes. When a person is active the heart beats faster than
the resting rate. One measure of aerobic fitness is how quickly the heart is
able to return to its resting rate. Well-trained athletes' hearts can adjust
from working very hard to a resting rate in only a minute or so; those who
are deconditioned can take three to five minutes for their heart to slow from
even mild exertion to its stable, resting pace. Those who cannot readily find
their own pulse on their wrist or throat can inexpensively purchase a digital
watch that gives a pulse reading; this kind of watch is used by athletes to
make sure their training pulse is in an acceptable range.
Preparatory to doing Coca's Pulse Test it is necessary to as much as possible
eliminate allergic food reactions. This requires the application of discipline
for a few days before testing begins. Allergic reactions can go on for several
days after a food has been eaten and if you are having a reaction to something
eaten many hours or several days previously, it may obscure a reaction to a
food just eaten.
1. Stop smoking entirely for at least five days before you do a cigarette test;
allergies to cigarettes can take five days to clear. Besides, you shouldn't
2. For the first three days, count your resting pulse immediately after awakening
in the morning (for one entire minute), and record the reading.
3. During the first three days, take your resting pulse half an hour and again
one hour after each meal. It if has elevated more than 12 beats above the resting
rate you found upon arising that morning, you may assume that some food at
the meal you just ate was an allergen. Temporarily, eliminate from your diet
all the foods eaten at the previous meal until you can check them one-by-one
a few days later. At the end of these first three days you may not have many
foods left that you can eat. That is okay and to be expected; it is time to
begin adding foods back to the diet.
4. Most people who are allergic to foods are allergic to one or more of the
following: corn, wheat, milk and cheese, yogurt, meat, alcohol, tobacco. It
would be very wise to eliminate these foods too for the first three days, until
they are tested.
After three days on this regimen, you can assume that many of your usual allergic
food reactions have ceased or at least diminished significantly and that you
probably can get reasonably accurate testing results on individual foods. A
good indicator of having problems with food allergies in general can also show
up during these initial days. If you have eliminated a large number of foods
and your resting pulse upon awakening has slowed down by several beats, you
can assume you are allergic to foods you were eating.
I would not be at all surprised that by the end of the third day you were only
eating a very few fruits and vegetables and had eliminated everything else.
A more effective variant of the testing procedure calls for a three or four
day water fast to clear all allergies with absolute certainty, and then to
introduce foods one at a time as described below.
On the fourth and subsequent few days, take your resting pulse upon arising
and then eat a modest quantity of a single food: for example, eat a slice of
bread, or a medium sized glass of milk, or an orange, or two tablespoons sugar
in dissolved in water, or a few dried prunes, or a peach, or an egg, or a medium-sized
potato, or a cup of black coffee without sweetener, or a few ounces of meat,
or a stick of celery, or half a cup of raw cabbage, or an onion, or a date,
or a few hazelnuts, etc. Count the pulse one half hour later and again one
hour after eating the test item.
If any food raises the resting pulse over 12 beats per minute above your morning
resting pulse, that food should be eliminated; you are certainly allergic to
it or can't digest that much of it. If your pulse has not returned to its morning
resting rate one hour later, you are still having an allergic reaction to the
food you ate previously and cannot get a decent result on another food until
either your pulse slows again or until the next morning. You may, however,
continue to eat other foods that you know do not provoke allergic reactions.
Because reactions to a food may not clear for many hours, it is wise to eat
only small quantities of individual foods if you wish to test many of them
in a single day. If a food causes no acceleration of pulse (at least 6 beats
above your estimated normal maximal) that food can be tentatively labeled non-allergenic.
After a few days of testing one food an hour, you will become weary of the
routine and wish to eat more normally. It may also occur that you cannot test
more than one or two foods a day from the very first day because allergic reactions
do not clear quickly enough. No problem, the testing period can go on at a
lower level of intensity for many weeks, trying one new food each morning upon
arising. As you eliminate allergens from your diet one by one, your resting
pulse should drop somewhat and it should be easier to discern allergic reactions.
After you have worked through all the items in your normal dietary, it would
be wise to retest the foods a second time, breaking your fast with one different
test item each morning. This second testing round may reveal a few more allergic
reactions that were obscured by other allergic reactions the first time through.