Is chocolate good for you?
Norzeihan Jan Bappu and Alan Bagnall have some good news
- By: Norzeihan Jan Bappu, Alan Bagnall
The earliest texts suggest that cocoa merely helped make less palatable medicines go down.1 Soon, however, cocoa was regarded as an active ingredient in cures for many illnesses. Diluted into a drink, cocoa was given to people with fevers, liver disease, and kidney disorders. Doctors prescribed ground beans mixed with resin to cure dysentery. A cocoa drink was reputed to foster needed weight gain--especially if bulked out with ground maize. Hot chocolate was even prescribed as a laxative and aid to digestion. By the early 1600s, European researchers were reporting indications that chocolate may affect moods. Grivetti found a 1631 treatise by the Spanish doctor Antoino Comenero de Ledesma, for instance, that said chocolate makes people amiable and "incited consumers to... lovemaking."
It was reported that, as a love potion, drinking chocolate helped women conceive. If hot cocoa was drunk during pregnancy it helped smooth labour and delivery. Three decades