Cocoa: food for the gods
The scientific name of the cocoa "Theobroma", from the Greek meaning "food for the gods", was given to this plant by Carl von Linné in the middle of 18th century. This name was chosen by Swedish naturalist and creator of a unified classification of living beings for an ulterior motive: at that time in Europe was known about the unsurpassed taste, nutritional and medicinal benefits of cocoa. In South America, the birthplace of cocoa tree, people since before BC attributed it divine origin: the Mayans used it in the sacred rituals, and the Aztecs revered as a gift of the "feathered serpent" god Quetzalcoatl, and used as a cash equivalent.
In 1519 Spanish conquistadors came to the Central America. The Indians, not knowing the true intentions of the "guests", generously treated the newcomers with the divine drink among other gifts. When the Spaniards arrived at the looting of the treasuries of the Indian Empire, they found a multi-ton reserves of the precious cocoa beans, presented to the the emperor by residents as a tax.
Until the middle of 17th century cocoa beans were imported into Europe from Central America only. At that time an exotic drink was the prerogative solely for members of royal families and the palace, because the price was truly fabulous. By the way, the taste left much to be desired. Europeans couldn’t make cocoa properly: the drink was too bitter, and its popularity was due to a fashion and "exclusivity". However, a bit later in the recipe was added sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, and in 1828 the Dutch invented the technology of manufacturing the solid chocolate bars, come almost unchanged to the present day. In the Age of Discovery, as the capture of the Europeans in the Americas, Africa and Asia, “chocolate tree" plantations were gradually taking root in new areas. Commodity prices began to fall, and the taste of the finished product, in contrast, was rapidly improving. His Majesty Chocolate began its triumphal march around the modern world, capturing more and more human hearts.
For by-cosmetics products we buy only freshly harvested cocoa beans of the highest quality. It is not difficult for us since we live in Bali, because Indonesia is the second largest exporter of cocoa, its share in the global market is 13%. The well-known fact that in Asian countries local manufacturers of cosmetics and food products sometimes have big problems with sanitary, health and safety regulations due to negligence and careless attitude. Raw materials, which become our butters ingredients, are not cheap - in fact it has passed the strict government control and has all the quality certificates. Our factory is modern buildings and equipment in compliance with the maximum sterility of the manufacturing process.
Four centuries ago, scientists and physicians marked unusual properties of the cocoa fruit. According to handwritten testimony Jesuit monks, which meticulously collected information about customs and manners of the enslaved people, it says: if you drink a lot of cocoa, you would get "stupefying, intoxicating and crazy", but in moderate dose it "refreshes, soothes the heart, softens people ". Ancient inhabitants of America used cocoa butter as a wound-healing elixir, as well as to make the tone and agility legs during long daily crossings.
What are the benefits?
Moderate consumption of cocoa helps to strengthen the nervous and immune system, improve brain blood circulation, low blood pressure, stimulates breathing and prevents the formation of malignant tumors. Cocoa is useful both in the mental and physical stress, it relieves tension and relaxes, helping to focus and concentrate, thereby increasing working efficiency.
The cocoa beans contain more than 300 minerals, trace elements, vitamins and chemical compounds which confirm their status as "divine elixir." Here is an incomplete list of this useful stuff:
- Theobromine - an alkaloid, providing an invigorating effect. It has little effect on the nervous system, but actively affects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems, reduces the risk of cerebral spasm of the heart and blood vessels, as well as suppress the cough reflex;
- Anandamide, which activates production of endorphins, a natural antidepressant, having an influence on our good mood and feeling of pleasure. It stimulates the body, increasing vitality and energy levels;
- antioxidants which deactivate free radicals in the cells of the body and thereby protects us from viral and bacterial infections;
- Kokohil stimulating the growth of skin cells and wrinkles healing;
- Melanin protects the skin from UV and infrared radiation;
- fatty acids, stabilizing cholesterol;
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-aging properties;
- Procyanidins, relieves stress, improves skin tone and elasticity of the skin and prevents premature aging;
- Magnesium helps to cope with stress, relieve tension, relax the muscles;
- Iron enhancing hematopoietic function;
- Feniloetiloamin, which enables the body to carry heavy physical activities much easier and faster to restore power;
- Bioactive components which inhibit platelet adhesion processes (chocolate with more than 70% cocoa).
Cocoa beans also contain caffeine, but in much smaller doses than, for example, coffee or tea, only about 0.2%. It's a small amount, so if you do not suffer from hypertension, such concentration hardly can hurt you.
On the factory
How do farmers make raw materials from "chocolate tree" fruits and in which industries and human activities it is used?
Let's look at a nearby plantation of cocoa beans.
So, the cocoa fruits ripen completely for 4 months, after they should be harvested, cut into several pieces and fermented. Thereafter, the beans are dried in the sun or in special kilns, roasted and pressed to obtain cocoa butter. The most valuable is the oil obtained by pressing unroasted, defunct raw beans which have passed only the fermentation and drying. In this case, in the absence of heat all useful substances, vitamins and minerals can be preserved. Solids after pressing are ground to give cocoa powder. The resulting raw materials - cocoa butter and cocoa powder - is needed in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries.
Cocoa and cosmetics
In cosmetology useful properties of cocoa butter are used for skin rejuvenation, as it has a tonic and healing effects. An effective way to deal with stretch marks on the body is using of cocoa butter and cocoa powder for massage and body wraps. Cocoa butter in composition of hair masks gives an excellent result - stronger hair by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, growing faster and getting thicker.
Priceless properties of cocoa butter we use to the full in the manufacturing of by-cosmetics products. All recipes designed both to nourish, moisturize and protect the skin from external influences, come with cocoa butter. This product line of our body butters – Miracle, One Love and the Simple Pleasure butters. Application field for body butters is extensive: immediately after the shower, when cocoa butter and other useful ingredients give all their benefits to your skin; before using a swimming pool - a thin film of natural oils protects your body from the effects of chlorine and other chemicals used for water purifying; during sunbathing – cocoa butter has a natural spf 10 to 15 units.
It’s all about chocolate
It makes no sense to describe in details all the tastiness of cocoa. Cocoa butter and cocoa beans are the basic ingredients for chocolate and countless confectionery delicacies based on it, both in industry and home-made. Talking of chocolate: when you select this delightful product you should always pay attention to the composition indicated on the label. Quality chocolate consists of just three ingredients - cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. That's the ticket! The remaining alloys such as confectionary vegetable fat, emulsifiers, flavorings, and all that was not included in the above short list, are dangerous to your health. Not without reason chocolate has been recognized as most dangerous sweet because of the large number of synthetic additives, designed to reduce the cost of the final product.
Cook your own chocolate in our original recipe. To make this treat bring you not only a pleasure but also a benefit your body, we recommend to use ingredients that have not undergone heat treatment. In this case all vitamins and minerals will be saved.
Homemade chocolate from by-cosmetics:
- 100 g of cold pressed cocoa butter;
- 100 g of peeled raw cocoa beans or 70 g of raw cocoa powder;
- 60-90 grams of honey, agave syrup or other natural sweetener;
- 70-100 grams of nuts, raisins or goji berries;
- 0.5-1 tsp vanilla powder.
Melt the cocoa butter on the water bath, chop cocoa beans and mix them with cocoa butter, and then add the syrup or honey. Then pour the chocolate into the silicone cups and put in the freezer.
Cocoa: safeguarding health
In medicine, there are wide variety of using cocoa butter: this product has a strong antiseptic effect and is used in the composition for the treatment of colds, including influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia. Also it is effective in the treatment of gastric and intestinal diseases, is used as a prevention of cancers, it promotes the removal of excess cholesterol from the blood, making it possible to prevent the development of atherosclerosis and reduces the risk of varicose veins.
As you can see, with the good reason all of us in the childhood adored hot aromatic cocoa and chocolate goodies: a familiar and favorite product has a lot of beneficial properties for the human body. However, we want to remind you again and again how important is to comply with the measure and to choose only quality goods. Treat yourself with chocolate and be healthy!