Do you like Cocoa???

Who doesn’t, it is most pleasant, slightly strong and bitter, but delicious!

I love it!

Especially in the winter, who wouldn’t like to sit by the fireplace, with a delicious cup of Cocoa—it is sweet, it is a stimulant, and yet, amazingly, it does a great job in detoxing our system!

But Is Cocoa an herb??

Of course it is, (even though it grows on a tree!) and one of great value to humans, as the early white invaders into the American Continent found out as far back as the very early 1500s.  The natives considered it the food of Gods, and used it both as a currency and a delicious beverage!


I grew up drinking a cup of cocoa daily—my grandmother considered it to be highly nourishing and proper for a little girl!  But then I caught her sipping a cup of cocoa while making the beverage—apparently, it was highly nourishing for older people as well!


So, yes, the cocoa beans come from a tree growing in southern America, and when the Europeans arrived in the southern part of the continent, the natives informed them that the beans from which the drink was prepared were derived from “the heavens above”! and that every sip of “xocoati” (cocoa) infused wisdom and knowledge among the people.

The chocolate tree is evergreen with lots of branches and can grow to 40 feet high, reaching up towards the heavens!



The Europeans took its beans back to Europe, added sugar to the cocoa, and made a delicious drink destined to conquer Europe (in return of the Europeans conquering the countries of its origin!)


Cocoa actually has a bitter taste, when sugar is not added to the drink. And bitter is a taste that does wonders for detoxing and cooling down the system, thus increasing digestion function.


Additionally, Cocoa has many medicinal qualities:

From the very old days:

  • it was used to soothe pains during childbirth..
  • It appeared to cure coughs and fevers.
  • it helped invigorate the muscles—primarily the heart—due to an alkaloid in cocoa, Theobromine, that is a stimulant.

        (Theobroma literally means “the food of gods”!)


Hence, cocoa is useful in helping stimulate the muscles, including the heart, as well as the kidneys.

It is also a true stimulant of the brain!


Theobromine as well heals asthma, and together with caffeine helps alleviate blockages during colds by opening or enlarging the bronchial tracts in the lungs, thus facilitating breathing.


The reason cocoa seeds can lessen pain is that they also enclose a small quantity of Endorphins — natural opiates that are effective as pain killers.


Cocoa helps to calm down the muscles in the digestive tract, and specific chemicals in cocoa make it a diuretic, as well as a good dilator of the bronchial tubes.

So I drink Cocoa if I have moments of not being able to breathe fully, when my digestion is poor, my heart seems to be slowing down, my muscles feel weak, and my kidneys are not performing to their best ability! WOW! A perfectly wonderfully tasting drink that can do all of the above!

So now I know why my grandmother made me drink a cup of this wonderful beverage every single day! And she didn’t have to force it down my throat either, because it tasted sooo good!


So go ahead! Drink a cup of cocoa before going to bed, you will sleep  better, and have wonderful dreams at the same time!!



If you have questions on any of the above herbs and their use, please contact me:

Ask Charoula about Herbs


All answers are posted on our website, on the following Friday.

Thanks for reading!

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner


Questions and Answers


Q:  I thought Herbs were only grown around the garden or in fields, cultivated or wild, but a tree?

A:  Well, think of other herbs that come from trees: Do you like and use Bay leaves? They come from a tree. How about Eucalyptus? It’s a tree! And many more. We will address these in separate articles!

Q:  Is Cocoa as potent as coffee, and not something to drink after dinner and before trying to go to sleep?

A:  I wouldn’t say AS potent as coffee. I do now and then drink it (truly!) by the fireplace in the early evening! But since it does share some chemicals with coffee, I wouldn’t indulge in it in the late evening.

Q:  Do Cocoa trees grow in OH?

A:  I seriously doubt it, unless you have a heated winter greenhouse with a very very high ceiling!

Q:  Sugar, in the evening especially, is something I try to avoid, for dietetic reasons. So would Cocoa by itself be too strong or bitter and not to indulge in?

A:  Very good question! So as far as I am concerned, since I truly try to avoid sugar as much as possibly all day long, I can easily drink Cocoa without it and without any synthetic alternatives to sugar. Which is NOT to say I wouldn’t indulge in a bit of honey added to it! I believe honey is totally safe!


NOTE: Please DO SEND me any and all questions you might have on any of these blogs:

Ask Charoula about Herbs

I would love to hear your own appreciation of any of these herbs as well!