This healthy herbal hot cocoa is truly a treat. Add a tasty medicinal herb or two to create a unique warming beverage. It’s delicious and loaded with health benefits.
The benefits of cocoa have been known and appreciated for thousands of years. While much of the chocolate on the market today is processed and includes other ingredients, you can still find good quality dark chocolate. Just be sure to select chocolate that is at least 74% cocoa. The darker the better.
Cocoa contains flavonols which promote heart health in a number of ways. Flavonols are known to help increase circulation of blood flow, reduce blood pressure, decrease hardening of the arteries and regulate cholesterol. Flavonols increase circulation to the brain as well.
Cocoa has the wonderful ability to make you feel good. It does this by helping your body to release endorphins.
The following herbs are excellent additions to your healthy herbal hot cocoa:
Cayenne is the perfect companion for cocoa. Both have similar medicinal qualities and they taste great together. Cayenne contains capsaicin, a beneficial antioxidant compound and is a long respected heart tonic. Add this to your healthy herbal hot cocoa for helping to regulate the heart beat, blood pressure and cholesterol. Cayenne gets the circulation moving out to the extremities and to the brain. Digestion and metabolism increase too. Cayenne, especially in a nice warm drink, helps to open the pores to sweat out a fever.
Cinnamon is usually thought of as a culinary spice, yet it has so much to offer in terms of medicinal qualities. It helps to build vitality. It’s also good to include cinnamon during the cold and flu season due to its warming, decongesting and immune boosting qualities. Cinnamon is both antiviral and antibacterial. Better known are the uses of cinnamon to help stabilize blood sugar levels which benefits those with type 2 diabetes. It reduces the blood sugar after eating as well as slows how quickly the stomach empties. Cinnamon should not be consumed in large quantities or taken by pregnant women.
Cardamom, which is also referred to as cardamon, excels at clearing things out in a few different ways. First, it helps to clear cloudy thinking. It’s energizing to the mind and mood. Cardamom is clearing for the digestion as well. Antispasmodic properties help to dispel colic, gas and bloating, especially after overeating. By balancing stomach acid, cardamom is used for either constipation or diarrhea. Finally, cardamom helps to clear lung congestion and expel phlegm. It warms and relaxes the airways.
To make you healthy herbal hot cocoa
Heat one cup of water and add two squares of dark chocolate. Stir until melted. Add a dash or two of your chosen powdered herb and mix well.
You can also use use a half stick of cinnamon or two whole cardamon pods per cup of water in place of the powdered herbs. You will want to boil these for 5-10 minutes, remove from the stove, then remove the herbs before adding in the chocolate.
Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. If you would like to learn more about herbal medicine, check out the Home Herb School at www.homeherbschool.com