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Food of the Gods: Cure for Humanity? A Cultural History of the Medicinal and Ritual Use of Chocolate

July 1, 2010

Ancient Cacao Stamp

Ancient Cacao Stamp: Permission to use this image must be obtained from Sacred Chocolate

And so they were happy over the provisions of the good mountain, filled with sweet things, . . . thick with pataxte and cacao. . . the rich foods filling up the citadel named Broken Place, Bitter Water Place.” From the Popol Vuh, sacred book of the Maya (Tedlock 1985, p 163)

Read complete abstract and download the whole article here.

“The medicinal use of cacao, or chocolate, both as a primary remedy and as a vehicle to deliver other medicines, originated in the New World and diffused to Europe in the mid 1500s. These practices originated among the Olmec, Maya and Mexica (Aztec). The word cacao is derived from Olmec and the subsequent Mayan languages (kakaw); the chocolate-related term cacahuatl is Nahuatl (Aztec language), derived from Olmec/Mayan etymology. Early colonial era documents included instructions for the medicinal use of cacao. The Badianus Codex (1552) noted the use of cacao flowers to treat fatigue, whereas the Florentine Codex (1590) offered a prescription of cacao beans, maize and the herb tlacoxochitl (Calliandra anomala) to alleviate fever and panting of breath and to treat the faint of heart.”

Read complete abstract and download the whole article here.

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