Homeopathy and medicinal benefits of chocolate
By Greg Cope
Chocolate is recognised as the single most craved food, particularly amongst people diagnosed with depression. The feel good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are released after eating chocolate, as are pain numbing opioids as well as euphoria inducing analogues of cannabis (Paoletti, 2012). Chocolate’s effects have a lot in common with illicit drugs, however we encourage even children to access this particular drug-like food. We gift chocolate it for birthdays, holidays, religious celebrations, romantic occasions, and are even told chocolate is the gift to bring when no gift is wanted.
Chocolate has been used medicinally for over 500 years, starting in the Aztec culture, for stomach complaints, weight loss, fevers, lactation assistance, menstrual health, sleep disorders and even to promote vigour before going into battle. Contemporary food science has recognised chocolate as the richest food source of polyphenols having a strong antioxidant effect on the body. Polyphenols reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, controls inflammation, and assists to maintain good cholesterol levels (Paoletti, 2012). Contemporary Complementary Medicine practitioners are starting to look at when chocolate may be prescribed as a medicine, in addition to its positive effects as a food substance.
Chocolate was introduced into the homeopathic materia medica through a human pathogenetic trial, conducted by notable homeopath Jeremy Sherr. Homoeopathically prepared dark Belgian chocolate was given to a group of healthy volunteers in a placebo controlled blinded trial, and its effect on the health and emotional state of the participants was observed and recorded. As might be expected from the cultural use of chocolate a major indication noticed was a desire for more contact and affection, or feelings of being isolated or estranged from their loved ones.
The influence of chocolate on the central nervous system was seen, together with hormonal and reproductive influences. Trial participants also experienced physical symptoms such as headaches as if the head were constricted in armour, heartburn, nausea and indigestion. Homeopaths may prescribing chocolate as a medicine in cases where this combination of symptoms are seen together (Sherr, 2003).
A homeopathic consultation involves the practitioner seeking to holistically understand the client’s health complaints, as well as their health history, psychological profile, and physical susceptibilities. The homeopath will identify an individualised medicine which has a known history of assisting with that particular combination of symptoms, and then customise their treatment to suit the needs of that client.
Paoletti, R 2012, Chocolate and health, Springer, Milan
Sherr, J 2003, The homoeopathic proving of chocolate, Society of Homeopaths, Northampton
Endeavour Wellness Clinics offer homeopathy consultations – for more information or to book online click here.
This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice. All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant. Please see your Practitioner for health treatments and advice.