Medicinal Properties
Medicinal Properties

All About Chocolate > Medicinal and Psychological Properties

 The Mayans and Aztecs learned very early on the hydrating properties of cocoa butter, a substance obtained after several steps of processing. This balm became an staple item of their pharmacopoeia, used for healing burns and chapped skin, easing sunburn, treating the liver and lungs, and as a preventative against snake bite.

Its therapeutic uses were recognized in Europe for the first time in the Bref Traité de Médecine by Augustin Farfan, a physician to the court of Philip II, published in 1579. According to Farfan, two varieties of cocoa beans, roasted and well ground, could be used to heal chapped nipples. He added that when drunk very hot in the morning, chocolate is a good purgative "for those suffering from tightening of the stomach" and also serves "to eliminate stones from the kidneys."



Brillat-Savarin is the undisputed master of hot chocolate, which he calls the chocolate of the afflicted. In his excellent book on the classics of the table, he recommends chocolate as "a stomachic and even digestive tonic" and attributes to cocoa restorative properties capable of reviving even the most faltering strength by adding all the wisdom of the east: vanilla, cinnamon, mace, cane sugar and a few grains of ambergris.

"This is the appropriate place," says Brillat-Savarin, "to speak of the properties of chocolat ambré, chocolate with ambergris, properties which I have verified through many experiments, the results of which I proudly present to my readers. Therefore, let every man who has drunk a few too many draughts from the cup of pleasure, every man who has spent a good portion of time working that ought to have been spent sleeping, every witty man who feels he has temporarily become dull, every man who finds the air close, the time long and the atmosphere oppressive, every man who finds himself tormented by an obsession that takes away his ability to think freely, let all of them, we say, administer to themselves a good half litre of chocolat ambré, at the rate of 60 to 72 grains of amber per half kilogram, and they will experience a marvel."

Cocoa contains what is called "good cholesterol" and does not harm the body

Let us not attribute to chocolate faults that it does not possess
In itself, it isn't fattening if eaten plain and in moderation, with allowances for the different types of chocolate. Dark chocolate with a high concentration of cocoa is not fattening. On the other hand, the lower the quality of chocolate, the higher the cocoa butter and sugar content … so beware! If you want to inverse the process and gain weight, we suggest caramel-filled white chocolate - foolproof!

Cocoa has no effect on the liver, even in the case of people suffering from hepatic complaints. Biological examinations have not revealed any effect on liver cells. No, chocolate is not aphrodisiac, though it is a stimulant - sometimes people confuse the two.

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