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Scientific View By
B.pharma
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
Reviewed By
MBA (General management), MD (Clinical Pharmacology)
Last updated on:
06 Nov 2018 | 05:17 PM (IST)
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Cocoa

Cocoa
Cocoa, also called Theobroma cacao is known as the “Food of the Gods”. Cocoa seeds are a rich source of polyphenolic antioxidants and are used in the formulation of cosmetics and soap due to its moisturizing and antioxidant properties. Cocoa has anti-inflammatory property and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, cancer and stroke. Cocoa butter which is extracted by pressing the mature Cocoa beans (seeds of Cocoa plant) are used in pharmaceutical as well as in the cosmetic industry[1-3].

What are the synonyms of Cocoa?

Theobroma cacao, Kakkavo, Kokkoo

What is the source of Cocoa?

Plant Based

Benefits of Cocoa

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Heart disease?

scientific
Scientific View
Flavanols in Cocoa and chocolate decreases the risk of coronary heart disease. Cocoa vasodilates the coronary arteries. Cocoa has antioxidant, antioxidant and anti-platelet properties. Thus, Cocoa acts as a strong cardioprotective agent[4-6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cocoa helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. High cholesterol is due to an imbalance of Pachak Agni (digestive fire). Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces excess waste products or Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion). This causes accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Taking Cocoa helps to promote digestive fire and correct the impaired digestion due to its Ushna (hot) potency. Improved digestive fire reduces Ama which is the prime cause of high cholesterol level and removes blockage in the blood vessels.

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Fatigue?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa might be beneficial in managing the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. Dark chocolate contains high amount of Cocoa or polyphenols. These polyphenols show a positive result in reducing fatigue and improve body functions[4][7][8].

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Diabetes?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa might be beneficial in managing diabetes. Flavonols in Cocoa fight against the free radicals and may improve insulin sensitivity. Cocoa improves glucose metabolism and endothelial function. Cocoa also helps in the formation of new pancreatic β-cells and insulin secretion[4][7][9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Diabetes also known as Madhumeha is due to an aggravation of Vata and impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells and impairs the function of insulin. Taking Cocoa helps to correct impaired digestion because of its Ushna (hot) potency. It reduces Ama which is responsible for the impaired function of insulin and controls normal blood sugar level.
Tips:
1. Take 1/4 teaspoon of cocoa powder.
2. Add it to 1 glass of milk.
3. Add Stevia powder as per your taste.
4. Have it once or twice a day.

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Parkinson's disease?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa might be beneficial in the management of Parkinson’s disease. Flavonoids in Cocoa have neuroprotective action. Cocoa has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cocoa protects the nerve cells against damage caused by free radicals. Caffeine in Cocoa also has neuroprotective effect. Overall, Cocoa promotes memory and cognition[4][11].

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Obesity?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa might help in weight loss. Polyphenols in Cocoa reduce the synthesis of fat cells by increasing the energy utilization in cells. Consumption of Cocoa also induces a feeling of fullness[4][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
An increase in weight is due to unhealthy food habits and lifestyle which leads to a weak digestive fire. This increases accumulation of Ama causing an imbalance in meda dhatu. Cocoa can help control weight by giving a feeling of fullness. This is due to its Guru (heavy) property. Cocoa takes time to digest and reduces craving for food. This helps maintain weight.
Tips:
1. Take 1/4 teaspoon of Cocoa powder.
2. Add it to 1 glassful of milk.
3. Add Stevia powder as per your taste.
4. Have it once or twice a day.

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Asthma?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa might be beneficial in the management of asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition associated with inflammation and bronchoconstriction. This inflammation results in excessive mucus production. Cocoa helps in the dilation of these bronchial tubes. Cocoa reduces inflammation and inhibits excessive mucus production[4][12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cocoa helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma. According to Ayurveda, the main doshas involved in asthma are Vata and Kapha. The vitiated ‘Vata’ combines with deranged ‘Kapha dosha’ in the lungs causing obstruction in the respiratory passage. This results in difficulty in breathing. This condition is known as Swas Roga or Asthma. Taking Cocoa helps to balance Vata and remove obstruction in the respiratory tract by reducing Kapha. This is due to its Ushna (hot) nature.
Tips:
1. Take 1/4 teaspoon of Cocoa powder.
2. Add it to 1 glass of milk.
3. Add Stevia powder or sugar as per taste.
4. Have it once or twice a day.

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis)?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurveda, bronchitis is known as Kasroga and is associated with poor digestion. Poor diet and incomplete elimination of waste leads to the formation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the form of mucus in the lungs. Taking Cocoa helps to improve poor digestion and eliminate the waste responsible for forming mucus in the lungs. This gives relief from bronchitis.
Tips:
1. Take 1/4 teaspoon of Cocoa powder.
2. Add it to 1 glass of milk.
3. Add Stevia powder or sugar as per taste.
4. Have it once or twice a day.

What are the benefits of Cocoa for High blood pressure?

scientific
Scientific View
Consumption of Cocoa is beneficial in managing high blood pressure. Flavanols in milk chocolate help to decrease blood pressure and reduces oxidative stress. Polyphenols in dark chocolate also help to reduce blood pressure and oxidative stress. Consumption of Cocoa, either in the form of chocolate or a drink helps to decrease blood pressure and protects the membrane of the heart and blood vessels[4][5].

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Inflammatory bowel disease?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa might be beneficial in the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Polyphenols in Cocoa have anti-inflammatory activity and reduces inflammation of the intestine. Cocoa also helps to improve the stool consistency[4][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cocoa can help in case of Inflammatory bowel disease by improving the digestive fire. According to Ayurveda, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is also known as Grahani which is caused by an imbalance of Pachak agni (digestive fire). Taking Cocoa helps to improve Pachak agni (digestive fire) and control the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Tips:
1. Take 1/4 teaspoon of Cocoa powder.
2. Add it to 1 glassful of milk.
3. Add Stevia powder as per your taste.
4. Have it once or twice a day.

How effective is Cocoa?

Likely effective
High blood pressure
Likely ineffective
High cholesterol
Insufficient evidence
Asthma, Constipation, Diabetes, Diarrhoea, Fatigue, Heart disease, Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis), Inflammatory bowel disease, Obesity, Parkinson's disease

Precautions when using Cocoa

Advice from Experts
scientific
Scientific View
1. Avoid Cocoa if you have anxiety[4].
2. Avoid Cocoa if you have bleeding disorders[4].
3. Avoid Cocoa as it may trigger migraines in sensitive people[4].
4. Avoid Cocoa if you have Glaucoma[4].
5. Avoid Cocoa if you have diarrhea as it can worsen the symptoms[4].
6. Avoid Cocoa if you have Osteoporosis[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
1. Cocoa should not be taken if someone has a migraine because it can trigger a migraine due to its Ushna(hot) nature.
Minor Medicine Interaction
scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa may interfere with the absorption of antibiotics. So it is generally advisable to consult your doctor while taking Cocoa with antibiotics[4].
scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa may interfere with the absorption of contraceptives. So it is generally advised to consult your doctor while taking Cocoa with contraceptives[4].
scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa may interfere with the absorption of anti-ulcer drugs. So it is generally advised to consult your doctor while taking Cocoa with anti ulcer drugs[4].
scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa may decrease the absorption of antifungal drugs. So it is generally advised to consult your doctor while taking Cocoa with antifungal drugs[4].
Moderate Medicine Interaction
scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa can increase the absorption of antidepressants. So it is generally advisable to consult your doctor while taking Cocoa with antidepressants[4].
Patients with diabetes
scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa may alter the blood sugar level. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood sugar while taking Cocoa with antidiabetic medicines[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cocoa should be avoided if someone has high blood sugar level due to its Guru (heavy) nature as it can slow the metabolism and increase the blood sugar level.
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Scientific View
1. Cocoa may increase the blood pressure. So it is generally advised to monitor your blood pressure while taking Cocoa with antihypertensive drugs[4].
2. Cocoa may increase the heart rate. So it is generally advised to monitor your pulse rate while taking Cocoa with antiarrhythmic drugs[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cocoa should be avoided if someone has high blood pressure or increased heart rate because of its Ushna (hot) and Guru (heavy) properties as it can increase the blood pressure or the heart rate.
Side Effects
scientific
Scientific View
1. Increased urination
2. Sleeplessness
3. Nausea
4. Stomach rumbling[4].

Recommended Dosage of Cocoa

  • Cocoa Powder - ¼ teaspoon once a day.

How to use Cocoa

1. Cocoa milk
a. Take 1/4 teaspoon of cocoa powder.
b. Add it to 1 glassful of milk.
c. Add sugar or jaggery as per your taste.
d. Enjoy the hot milk with goodness of cocoa.

Benefits of Cocoa

What are the benefits of Cocoa for Wrinkles?

scientific
Scientific View
Applying Cocoa might be beneficial for preventing wrinkles. Exposure to UV light and aging leads to production of free radicals. Flavonols and polyphenols in Cocoa have good antioxidant property. Cocoa protects the skin against UV light, improves skin tone and skin elasticity. Thus, Cocoa prevents premature aging and wrinkle formation[4][10].

How effective is Cocoa?

Insufficient evidence
Insect bite, Stretch Marks, Wrinkles

Precautions when using Cocoa

Allergy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Cocoa powder should be used with honey or rose water if your skin is hypersensitive because of its Ushna (hot) potency.
Side Effects
scientific
Scientific View
Skin reaction[4].

Recommended Dosage of Cocoa

  • Cocoa Powder - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
  • Cocoa Oil - 4-5 drops twice a day.

How to use Cocoa

1. Cocoa Powder
a. With honey
i. Mix a teaspoon of Cocoa powder and honey in a small bowl.
ii. Make a paste and apply it on your face evenly.
iii. Let it rest for 20 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water.
iv. Use this remedy only twice a month.

b. With Essential Oil
i. Take 4-5 drops of Cocoa essential oil.
ii. Add coconut oil it.
iii. Gently massage all over the body.
iv. Use this remedy preferably in winters for moisturization of the skin.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What are the forms of Cocoa that are available in the market?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa is available in the market under various forms such as:
1. Powder
2. Beans
They are available in the market under various brands such as Organic Cocoa powder, Weikfield powder, Cadbury powder, Hershey’s Cocoa etc. You can choose the brand and product according to your liking and requirement.

Q. What is the chemical composition of Cocoa?

scientific
Scientific View
Cocoa contains minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. All of these minerals are found in greater quantities in Cocoa powder than any other form.

Q. Is Cocoa good for teeth?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Cocoa is good for teeth. Cocoa inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Cocoa inhibits the enzyme responsible for plaque formation. Cocoa and chocolate have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity. Thus, prevents dental caries and serious gum infections[7]. The negative effect of chocolate on teeth is due to the high concentration of sugar in it.

References

  1. Sathyapalan T, Beckett S, Rigby AS,et al.High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome.Nutr J.2010;9:55.
  2. Khan N, Khymenets O, Urpí-Sardà M, et al.Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory markers of cardiovascular disease.Nutrients.2014;6(2):844–880.
  3. Wickramasuriya AM, Dunwell JM.Cocoa biotechnology: Current status and future prospects.Plant Biotechnol J.2018; 16(1):4–17.
  4. WebMD.Cocoa: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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