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  • Grazie Prokopetz

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) medicinal properties

Updated: May 31

Starting with clarifications, here we are talking about pure cocoa, without added sugar, milk, essences or any other additive. It's not the chocolate we find in the market.

Cocoa is from the oilseed group (also known as nuts), the beans are harvested, roasted and fermented so that they can only then be prepared for consumption.

Cocoa contains theobromine, a substance with vasodilator (blood vessel widening), diuretic (helps eliminate urine), and heart stimulant (increases heart rate) properties. It is an important source of tryptophan, an amino acid that acts as a precursor to the synthesis of serotonin – a substance in the brain linked to the sensation of pleasure. The polyphenols present in cocoa help prevent cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, in addition to their role in longevity.

According to recent research, cocoa originated in the Amazon. But it was more than 4 thousand years ago, in the Mesoamerican region, that the Mayans and Aztecs elevated it to a sacred element due to the properties mentioned above. Even today, there are people in the region who maintain the tradition of making drinks and rituals with cocoa.

In Brazil, I purchase my cocoa from Elevare, in the USA, I still don't have a reliable supplier, but as soon as I do I will update this post! (Currently accepting recommendations)

Let's look at the properties and effect on the doshas:

🫀 Antioxidant, anticoagulant, vasodilator, provides elasticity of blood vessels

🧠 Reduces anxiety, improves mood, balances the nervous system and is neuroprotective

🔥 Stimulates agni, or digestive fire

☔ Diuretic

♥️ Helps open and balance the heart chakra, stimulating circulation there.

🍃Minerals: magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, manganese.

🍃 Also contains theobromine, tryptophan and polyphenols

👅 It has a bitter and slightly spicy taste





⚠️It is not recommended to take any herbs without the guidance of a practitioner. Every body, every constitution is unique and deserves customized attention and care.

Serving suggestions:

☕ For Vata constitutions: with dryness, add ghee. To help with mental health, add lemon balm or nutmeg.

☕ For Pitta constitutions: add organic rose petals, jasmine, hibiscus, and/or ghee. Dried ginger is also welcome.

☕ For Kapha constitutions: cocoa is excellent the way it is, but if you prefer, you can add cayenne pepper, cinnamon or fresh ginger.

To a balanced life!


Grazie Prokopetz, Doctor of Ayurveda




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