Feb 12, 2014
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Chocolate (Theobroma cacao).

Plant Part Used: Leaf, seeds.

Dominican Medicinal Uses: The seeds are traditionally prepared as a tea by decoction (i.e. hot chocolate) taken orally for fatigue and weakness. The leaf decoction is used for kidney and urinary tract disorders.

Safety: Chocolate is widely consumed and generally regarded as safe. No data on the safety of the leaf has been identified in the available literature.

Contraindications: Avoid use in individuals with a history of heart disorders (due to cardiac stimulant effects) or hypersensitivity (due to potential skin reactions or migraines).

Drug Interactions: Avoid concomitant use with phenelzine due to potential for high blood pressure. The following medications may inhibit caffeine metabolism or clearance: oral contraceptives, cimetidine, furafylline, verapamil, disulfiram, fluconoazole, mexiletine, phenylpropanolamine, numerous quinolone antibiotics (i.e. enoxacin, pipemidic acid, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin), idrocilamide and methoxsalen.

Clinical Data: The following effects of the seed extract have been investigated in human clinical trials: anti-ulcer, antioxidant and decreased platelet function.

Laboratory & Preclinical Data: In animal studies the seed extract has shown anti-ulcer effects. In vitro the seed extracts and/or constituents have shown antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, cardio-protective, dopaminergic, immunomodulatory and red blood cell production stimulant effects.

* See entry for Cacao in “Part 3: Dominican Medicinal Plant Profiles” of this book for more information, including references.

Article Categories:
Medicinal Plants

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