Friday, 23 January 2015

Herbal Rescue Remedy - Chocolate

Over Christmas and the New Year I had a heavy cold and hacking cough.  to find relief from the symptoms I search my Herbal rescue basket, herbal notebook and my collection of books on herbs.  I was surprised to find that chocolate was good for chest congestion. colds and flu.

I had already brought some Fair Trade, organic raw cacao to make hot chocolate for my visitors over the holiday season, I could now have some not only for the feel good factor but also to help get rid of my cough and cold. -  Oh Yum yum or Num Num as my cat friends say!

Chocolate has been maligned as the devils food.

It has been accredited as causing tooth decay, obesity, acne, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetics.   It has been cited as the cause of headaches, heart burn. Chocolate that has high amounts of fat, sugar added and too much could lead to weight gain which could lead to heart disease, diabetics.

Hey isn't the sugar and fat that cause the problem in some chocolate confectionery -  not Cacao and Dark 60% Chocolate?

Chocolate  reputation has been rising in the last few years as a number of studies have suggested that it could be a health choices.  Not milk or white chocolate but 60% dark chocolate. Though no-one has suggested yet that is a health food

Cacao appears to reduce risk factors for heart disease. Flavanols in Cacao beans have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage implicated in heart disease. Flavanols — which are more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate.  It also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. (Mayo Clinic)

Dark chocolate is rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, which can aid in preventing stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.( Women Health Review)

There are more health benefits from Chocolate which are well documented in medical and health literature.  Chocolate and especially raw Cacao is good for you. but not in huge quantities, 1 oz a day is the recommended amount to eat for health.   I bought a 200g pack of Raw Cacao before Christmas and have used only 70g up to today.   I have used it in drinks with milk or almond milk on cereal, and with nut butter and drinks for friends.  100g of raw cacao has 309 calories and only 9.5 g of fat and 1.5g of sugar..   These calories have been spread over 28 or more days.  I have really enjoyed using it, and it has given me health benefits and has been a great treat and pick-me-up when suffering the misery of bad cold and cough.  Yea   - three cheers for Cacao!

Chocolate and cacao  contain caffeine but about 10 to 20 percent of  that coffee.  So it can be a good alternative to coffee to beat drowsiness, and without the jitters that drinking Coffee can sometimes bring. However gorging on chocolate may  give  you a high but then can quickly  plummet you into a slump.  

Chocolate Aztec gold to Fair Trade co-operatives.

Thinking about chocolate made me realize that I knew very little about it where does the Cacao  grows?  Now I know it grows in  Peru and along the equator.  I am going to find more about the Fair Trade Cooperatives for farmers who grow Cacao

I also did not know what the Cacao trees and its fruit and the beans looked like.  I certainly do not think I have seen the flowers before. They are beautiful, would stunning be a better word? These produce the cacao beans which were the Aztec's gold.

I love this picture of Wild Cacao flowers.

Chocolate was not known in Europe until 1509 when Cortez was given it in a drink in golden beaker, he was interested in the gold beaker but the Aztec ruler Montezuma informed him the 100 of the beans was worth more than the gold of the beaker. 

Cortez took chocolate back to Spain and it was kept a secret from Europe until 1660.  It was most popular in Holland and England where milk and sugar was added, it was was not until about 150 years ago that it was made into the bars and the sweets we are so familiar with today.

Chocolate is now in my Herbal Remedy basket for the feel good factor and for its health benefits.  

My Conclusion is dark Chocolate and especially Raw Fair Trade, Organic Cacao is good for you. 
 Are you a believer?

With Reiki blessings and a chocolate kiss


Here is a link to the Kitchen and recipes for healthy Hot Chocolate for you

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