Cocoa comes from the seeds of Theobroma cacao, the cacao tree. Native to Mexico, this tree now is cultivated in many tropical areas, especially western Africa. Cacao refers to the crude material (cacao tree and cacao beans), whereascocoa indicates the processed product.
Many cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical products contain cacao in one form or other. Chocolate is prepared by mixing cacao powder with sugar, flavoring, and extra cocoa butter fat. Cocoa extract is an ingredient in various beverages. Cocoa powder and cocoa syrup are used to flavor many foods and pharmaceutical products.
Common doses of Cacao tree
Cacao comes as cocoa powder, butter, syrup, and extracts. Experts disagree on what dose to take.
Why people use Cacao herb
- As an emollient and skin protectant
- As a suppository
- To prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
- To treat wrinkles
Side effects of Cacao
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of cacao:
- allergic reaction
Eating 222 grams or more of dark chocolate may cause poisoning symptoms, such as headache, nausea, insomnia, restlessness, excitement, muscle tremors, fast pulse, irregular heartbeats, and mild delirium.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking, especially:
- drugs for depression called MAG inhibitors, such as Nardil and Parnate (don’t eat cocoa when taking these drugs)
- Theo-Dur (avoid eating large amounts of cocoa when using this drug).
Important points to remember
- Don’t eat cocoa if you’re allergic to it.
- Use cocoa cautiously if you’re on a low-sodium diet or have irritable bowel syndrome.
- Limit your cocoa intake if you have inflammatory bowel syndrome, heart or blood vessel disease, or irregular heartbeats.
- If you’re prone to developing acne, avoid cosmetics that contain cocoa butter.
What the research shows
Certain antioxidants in cacao may decrease atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) and reduce blood clot formation. One study showed that these antioxidants may lower the risk of death from coronary heart disease in elderly men. However, you can also obtain these antioxidants from some fruits and vegetables, which probably have a higher nutritional value than cacao and contain much less fat. Chocolate generally is considered nontoxic.
Other names for Cacao : –
Other names for cacao include chocolate, cocoa and cocoa butter.
Many commercial products containing cacao are available as foods, flavorings or condiments.