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Early colonial records indicate how cacao was used as a medicine and acted as a carrier in the administration of other remedies in the 1500's. The medicinal value of cacao was in its ability to treat weak patients with a variety of disease. It was particularly known to improve digestion and stimulate kidney and bowel function. Additional diseases that responded to treatment using cacao was anemia, fatigue, fever, low sex drive, respiratory troubles, poor appetite and low breast milk production. In addition to the cacao bean, the oil/butter was used in the treatment of skin problems including eczema, psoriasis and burns. Today, cacao oil is used to make the chocolate confectionery we're familiar with.

According to an article in the Chicago Sun Times, people who suffer extreme depression as victims of unrequited love have an irregular production of phenylethylamine. Such individuals often go on chocolate binge during periods of depression. Cacao is particularly high in phenylethylamine, perhaps serving as medication.


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