Theobroma cacao L.
Plant Family: Sterculiaceae
Cacao beans and nibs have a long and colorful history, beginning in Central and South America before 1500 BC. The entire cacao fruit was used medicinally by the Mayan, Olmec and Aztec civilizations. These early American peoples also enjoyed consuming chocolate as a beverage; each culture adding its own mix of spices and flavorings to the drink. After the Spanish conquest in the 1500's, cacao made its way to Europe and began to spread worldwide.
Beans, either whole or broken into nibs
Eaten raw-as is, or roasted, brewed, and powdered into tea. Used abundantly in food and other consumables. Sometimes found in extract form.
Cacao beans and nibs contain a number of constituents with proven health benefits, but many of these constituents are destroyed or lessened when processed. Health practitioners recommend that anyone interested in eating cacao for its health benefits use raw, unprocessed cacao beans and nibs rather than processed chocolate.
Specific: Cacao bean contains caffeine and may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and, occasionally, rapid heartbeat. Not recommended for use by children under the age of 18.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.