The Therapeutic Uses of Medical Chocolate, Our Favorite Food
Medical Chocolate Therapy - A Delicious Way to Treat Some of What Ails You
The concept of medical chocolate may seem an odd one to some people, but true chocolate lovers won't be surprised to learn that our ambrosia does, in fact, have some therapeutic uses beyond its ability to soothe the savage beast. Or at least, its major ingredient does. Stick around, and we'll explain what we mean.
The Chemical Magic of TheobromaAs you no doubt know by now (if you've haunted these electronic halls for long), chocolate is rich in an alkaloid called theobromine, a milder relative of caffeine. Alkaloids, as it happens, tend to include some of the most potent chemicals in the world, from the nastiest poisons and hardcore narcotics to the tastiest treats.
Theobromine is one of the latter, and it's what gives medical chocolate its punch. While it's not an aphrodisiac, as some charlatans have tried to claim, it does have a number of genuine therapeutic and pharmacological uses. This was realized soon after its discovery, though it didn't make its medical debut until 1916 or so.
Cocoa beans, they're good for your heart
Theobroma's greatest use has been in the treatment of heart and circulatory problems. Early on, it saw use as a treatment for edema (excess fluid retention), degenerative angina, and syphilitic angina. It was also used in cases of hypertension, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and similar diseases.
These days, theobromine is mostly used as a vasodilator (a chemical that widens blood vessels), a heart stimulant, and a urination aid. Amazingly - and this will come as no surprise to hardcore advocates of medical chocolate - it may also be useful in cancer prevention. At least one current patent covers this potential use.
The best delivery system ever
As you might imagine, theobromine-based drug treatments tend to be injected or taken in a pill. However, we X-chocs like to think that the best way to ingest theobromine is the old fashioned way, so we would like to humbly suggest to the pharmaceutical industry that the most effective medical theobromine delivery system would be by means of chocolate bar or drink.
This is not as weird an idea as it may sound on the face of it. Anyone who's searched for solace in a chocolate bar (or tub of chocolate ice cream) knows how effective it can be. So hey, if they can put anti-smoking drugs in gum, why not provide us suffering masses with medical chocolate bars? Hmmm? Any takers?