Here we are - the last full moon of 2023! What better herb to highlight than one that has been making itself well known to my family this season - Cocoa!
Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is a bitter, warming, and moistening plant. What you may not know is it as an absolute super star therapeutically! Cocoa (not necessarily chocolate) is ridiculously high in flavonols. Flavonals are compounds that help protect the heart in myriad ways: preserve cell membranes, protect DNA, prevent arterial plaque formation, improve blood flow to the heart, lower blood pressure, lowers risk of preeclampsia, and prevent blood clots and stroke. Flavonals also nourish gray matter and boost cerebral blood flow; research is currently underway to help understand how cocoa can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan for dementia and Alzheimers. It improves insulin sensitivity due to high levels of nitric oxide. Cocoa improves the skin’s resistance to UV-damage and provides protection from photoaging (age spots and wrinkles.) Positively effects mood, energy, and endurance...perhaps the secret behind it’s long reputation as an aphrodisiac!
Magically, Cocoa is used to open your heart, improve meditation, and encourage creativity and energy. It has long been drunk as a sacred beverage by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America.
My favorite way to invite Cocoa into my home is as a beverage. Who doesn't love to curl up with a cup of decadent dark hot chocolate and a good book?? My recipe is simple. Combine 1 TBS 100% Cocoa powder, 1 TBS organic sugar, and a sprinkling of spices into a mug. Cover with 8 ounces boiling water and stir until dissolved. Yum!
Wishing you all light and peace this full moon. I look forward to seeing what 2024 has in store for us!