Historical Medicinal Uses of Chocolate

Historical Medicinal Uses of Chocolate

Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Pods, Cocoa Powder & Cocoa Beans

“Chocolate is food; chocolate is medicine.”  Most people are surprised when they hear that chocolate is a health food.  Let us first be clear that the chocolate I am referring to is dark chocolate that contains 70 percent or more cocoa solids or pure, unsweetened cocoa powder.

Mayans and Chocolate (Talk to the hand!)

Many centuries ago, chocolate’s medicinal properties were touted regularly by the Mesoamericans.  They used chocolate for stomach ailments, infection, diarrhea, fainting spells, skin eruptions, seizures, and cough and cold.  The Aztecs traveled with it on long journeys for endurance.  In 1592, Agustin Farfan published Tractado Breve de Medicina, where he stated that chocolate brewed with very hot water created a laxative.  Childhood diarrhea was treated with consumption of five ground cacao beans.  To relieve fever or faintness, a combination of 8-10 ground cacao beans should be blended with dried maze and flavored with herbs.  For a cough or cold, drink a beverage of opossum tail followed by a chocolate beverage mixed with a variety of herbs.

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