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Cacao is the seed of a fruit of an Amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmecs. Cacao beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as money. Montezuma, the famous Aztec emperor, had his vaults filled not with gold but with about 960,000,000 raw cacao beans.

In 1753 Carl von Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish scientist, thought that cacao was so important that he named the genus and species of this tree Theobroma cacao, which literally means “cacao, the food of the gods.”

Cacao beans contain no sugar and between 12% and 50% fat depending on variety and growth conditions. There is no evidence to implicate cacao bean consumption with obesity.

Sulfur and Magnesium

Cacao is remarkably rich in sulfur and magnesium.

It seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during the menstrual period.

Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and is associated with more happiness. Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD); over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in Magnesium.

Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails, hair, beautiful, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning. Anecdotal reports indicate that cacao detoxifies mercury because it is so high sulfur.

Stimulant or Superfood?

Cacao contains subtle amounts of caffeine and theobromine. However, experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when consumed raw than cooked.

Consider the following: Experimental provings of chocolate by Homeopaths indicate its stimulating effect when cooked. One experiment conducted with a decoction of roasted ground cacao beans in boiling water produced an excitement of the nervous system similar to that caused by black coffee, an excited state of circulation, and an accelerated pulse. Interestingly, when the same decoction was made with raw, unroasted beans neither effect was noticeable, leading the provers to conclude that the physiological changes were caused by aromatic substances released during roasting.

MAO Inhibitors

Cacao seems to diminish appetite, probably due to its monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) – these are different from digestiveenzyme inhibitors found in most nuts and seeds. These rare MAO inhibitors actually produce favorable results when consumed by allowing more serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain. MAO inhibitors facilitate youthening and rejuvenation.

Phenylethylamine (PEA)

Phenylethylamine (PEA) is found in chocolate. PEA is an adrenal-relatedchemical that is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness.

Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical)

A neurotransmitter called anandamide, has been isolated in cacao. Anandamide is also produced naturally in the brain. Anandamide is known as “The Bliss Chemical” because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means that natural anandamide and/or cacaoanandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good longer, when we eat cacao.


According to research cited in The New York Times, fresh cacao beans are super-rich in antioxidant flavonols. Cacao beans contain 10,000 milligrams (10 grams) per 100 grams of flavonol antioxidants. This is a whopping 10% antioxidant concentration level! This makes cacao one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any food. Compare the cacao bean to processed cocoa powder (defatted, roasted cacao treated with potassium carbonate) and chocolates which range in flavonol content from the more common concentration of 500 milligrams per 100 grams in normal chocolate bars to 5,000 milligrams in Mars Corporation’s special Cocoapro cocoa powder. Research has demonstrated that the antioxidants in cacao are highly stable and easily available to human metabolism. Cornell University food scientists found that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times what is found in green tea. Their findings were published in an article entitled “Cocoa has more Phenolic Phytochemicals and a higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine,” found in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication. Scientists have known that cocoa contains significant antioxidants, but no one knew just how rich they were compared with those in red wine and green tea. The Cornell researchers, led by Chang Y. Lee, chairman of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., say the reason that cocoa leads the other drinks is its high content of antioxidant compounds called phenolic phytochemicals, or flavonoids. They discovered 611 milligrams of the phenolic compound gallic acid equivalents (GAE) and 564 milligrams of the flavonoid epicatechin equivalents (ECE) in a single serving of cocoa. Examining a glass of red wine, the researchers found 340 milligrams of GAE and 163 milligrams of ECE. In a cup of green tea, they found 165 milligrams of GAE and 47 milligrams of ECE. Antioxidant ORAC levels per 100 grams:

broccoli – 890
alfalfa sprouts – 930
plums – 949
brussel sprouts – 980
raspberries – 1220
spinach – 1260
strawberries – 1540
kale – 1,770
blackberries – 2036
blueberries – 2,400
raisins – 2,830
prunes – 5,770
dark chocolate – 13,120

The ORAC test examines the antioxidant levels of various foods. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidants present in the food. Source: US Department of Agriculture / Journal of the American Chemical Society

Cacao and dark chocolate boost antioxidants; however, the addition of dairy products/milk cancels out the effects of antioxidants. Studies indicate that dairy products specifically block the absorption of all the great antioxidants in chocolate.

Other facts on Raw Cacao beans

  • Raw Cacao is the latest Raw Super Food available on the market today.
  • It is a true super food unlike anything that has come before.
  • As already previously discussed, it is the highest known source of anti-oxidants by a factor of almost 5.
  • It has nearly 20 times the antioxidant levels of red wine and up to 30 times what is found in green tea.
  • In nature, the primary source of Magnesium is cacao (raw chocolate beans).

Raw chocolate is known to have the following properties:

  • Diminishes appetite and aids in weight loss.
  • · Increases sensuality and beauty.
  • · Helps to heal and open the heart.
  • · Nourishes the intellect and attracts prosperity.

The flavor of Raw Cacao is similar to dark, bitter chocolate one would normally buy at a store. It is great just eaten plain, with honey, or in your favorite smoothi. (or blend Cacao Beans with Coconut Oil, Almond Butter and Honey – totally divine).

One of the main differences between raw cacao and the chocolate typically available on the open market (cocoa—a processed substance) is that raw cacao has all the original healthy cacao butter, containing all the original essential fatty acids and amazing taste originally found in the bean. Raw cacao or chocolate should not be confused with other substances such as coco (coconut), kola (a nut whose flavor is used in soft drinks), or coca (the leaf of the plant from which cocaine is derived). Cocoa and cocoa butter are cooked, processed substances derived from raw cacao nibs (orbeans/nuts). All chocolate starts out as raw cacao beans (or nuts —they are actually the seed of the cacao fruit which grows on a tropical tree). Processing, cooking and roasting corrupt the delicate, complex flavor of the cacao nib (bean without the skin). Raw cacao is one of the most, if not the most, nutrient rich and complex foods known to man.




Parts utilized
Tops, leaves and edible roots.

Constituents and properties
• Source of polyphenolic antioxidants.
• Leaves have a high content of polyphenolics – anthocyanins and phenolic acids, with at least 15 biologically active anthocyanins with medicinal value.
• Polyphenols have physiologic funtions, radical scavenging activity, antimutagenic, anticancer, antidiabetes and antibacterial activity in vitro and vivo.
• Considered hemostatic, spleen invigorating.

Edible: Leaves and roots.
Has a higher nutritional value than the common potato.
Good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, calcium and phosphorus.
High in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber; deficient in protein.
Leafy tops eaten as vegetables.
A component of many traditional cuisines.
A staple food crop in some countries.
Starch and industrial alcohol production.
Tops, especially purplish ones, used for diabetes.
Crushed leaves applied to boils and acne.
For diarrhea: Boiled or boiled roots.

Dengue – Like gatas-gatas (Euphorbia hirta), there have been anecdotal reports of the use of Ipomoea batatas in dengue, with improvement in platelet counts being attributed to decoctions of kamote tops.
Preparation: kamote tops are boiled in wate for 5 minutesr to extract the juice
Diabetes – Despite its “sweet” name, it may be beneficial for diabetes as some studies suggest it may stabilize blood sugars and lower insulin resistance.
• Purple Sweet Potato anthocyanins have antioxidative activity in vivo as well as in vitro.
• Hemostatic mistura of ipomoea balatas leaves, methods of preparation and use thereof — a Jinshuye styptic plant preparation, an invention made from the extracts of leaf and stems of Ipomoea batatas has qi and spleen invigorating effects, cooling the blood and stopping bleeding. Such a composition has the potential of use for ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), radiotherapy- and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.
• Local Root Crops as Antioxidant: A 2006 study of commonly consumed roots crops in the Philippines (Kamote, Ipomoea batata; ubi, purple yam, Dioscorea alata; cassava, Manihot esculenta; taro or gabi, Colocasia esculenta; carrot, Daucus carota; yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) showed them to be rich sources of phenolic compounds with antioxidant acitivity, highest in sweet potato, followed by taro, potato, purple yam and lowest in the carrot.
• BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS IN IPOMOEA BATATAS LEAVES: Results suggest the total phenolic content was positively correlated with radical scavenging activities of the sweet potato leaves.
Antidiabetic activity of white skinned sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) in obese Zucker fatty rats: Results suggest the white skinned sweet potato has antidiabetic activity and and improves glucose and lipid metabolism by reducing insulin resistance.

• Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam ‘Tainong 57’) storage root mucilage with antioxidant activities in vitro: Mucilage might contribute its antioxidant activities against both hydoxyl and peroxyl radicals.

• Flavonoids: Leaf extract study isolated five news compounds: tiliroside, astragalin, rhamnocitrin, rhamnetin and kaempferol.
• Chitinases: Study identified new chitinolytic enzymes in sweet potato leaves. Chitinases catalyze the hydrolysis of chitin, the main structural component of fungal walls and arthropod integuments. Studies suggest it has other functions and has been proposed to play a role in the defense against pathogens. Chitinases are also useful in the production of biomedical and biotech products; used in the production of chitooligosaccharides, glucosamines and GlcNAc. Other applications are found in mosquito control and pathogenic plant fungi control.
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Study demonstrated that the phytochemicals in sweet potato may have significant antioxidant and anticancer activities. The antioxidant activity was directly related to the total amount of phenolics and flavonoids in the extracts. The additive roles of phytochemicals may contribute to its ability in inhibiting tumor cell proliferation in vitro.


Health Benefits

Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of plant proteins with very low calories.  Unlike other starchy root vegetables, it is very low in sugar, and in fact is a good blood sugar regulator.

As an anti-oxidant: Sweet potatoes have been found to contain a high amount of anti-oxidant, making it suitable in combating inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, etc.

Diabetes: This fibrous root is suitable for diabetics’ consumption as it is a very good blood sugar regulator, helps to stabilize and lower insulin resistance.

Digestive tract, healthy: The significant amount of dietary fiber, especially when eaten with the skin, helps to promote a healthy digestive tract, relieving constipation and also helps prevent colon cancer.

Emphysema: Smokers and people who inhale second-hand smoke should regularly consume foods high in vitamin A as smoke has been found to induce vitamin A deficiency, causing a host of other health problems to the lungs.

Fetal Development: The high folate content is important and necessary for healthy fetal cell and tissue development.

Immune System: Regular consumption of sweet potatoes strengthens the body’s immune system and develop resistance to infection.

Heart diseases: Consumption of this high potassium root helps to prevent heart attack and stroke. It helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart function and blood pressure.

Muscle Cramps: A deficiency in potassium can cause muscular cramps and greater susceptibility to injury. Make sweet potatoes a regular part of your diet if you exercise a lot, both for an energy boost and to prevent cramps and injuries.

Stress: When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, causing the body potassium levels to be reduced. By snacking on the potassium-packed sweet potato, it helps to rebalance the vital mineral, and helps normalize the heartbeat. This in turn sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance.

Sweet Potato Ranks Number One In Nutrition

According to nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the single most important dietary change for most people, including children, would be to replace fatty foods with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes.

CSPI ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of all vegetables. With a score of 184, the sweet potato outscored the next highest vegetable by more than 100 points. Points were given for content of dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Points were deducted for fat content (especially saturated fat), sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine. The higher the score, the more nutritious the food.

See also:


Parts utilized
Leaves (fresh or dried).
Mature, healthy, fully expanded leaves are harvested while senescent leaves are discarded. Air-dry until they crumble when crushed with the fingers. Store in amber colored bottles in a cool, dry place.

• Volatile oil, 0.1 – 0.4% – l-borneol, 25%, l-camphor, 75%, limonene, saponins, sesquiterpene and limonene, tannins, sesquiterpine alcohol; palmitin; myristic acid.

Leaves as poultice for abscesses.
Decoction of roots and leaves for fevers and cystitis.
Sitz-bath of boiled leaves, 500 gms to a ballon of water, for rheumatic pains of waist and back.
Applied while hot over the sinuses. Used for wounds and cuts.
Fresh juice of leaves to wounds and cuts.
Poultice of leaves to forehead for headaches.
Tea is used for colds and as an expectorant; likewise, has antispasmodic and antidiarrheal benefits.
Postpartum baths.
Decoction of leaves, 50 gms to a pint of boiling water, 4 glasses daily, for stomach pains.
• Fever: decoction of roots; boil 2 – 4 handfuls of the leaves. Use the lukewarm decoction as a sponge bath.
• Headaches: apply pounded leaves on the forehead and temples. Hold in place with a clean piece of cloth.
• Gas distention: boil 2 tsp of the chopped leaves in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Drink the decoction while warm. Also used for upset stomach. • • Postpartum, for mothers’ bath after childbirth.
• Boils: Apply pounded leaves as poultice daily.
• Diuretic: Boil 2 tbsp chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Take 1/2 of the decoction after every meal, 3 times a day.
Camphor cultivation
• Can be cultivated as a source of camphor. Experiments in China produced 50,000 kilos of leaves per hectare, with a possible borneol yield of 50-200 kilos per hectare. L-borneol is easily oxidized to camphor. source

New applications
As a diuretic and for dissolution of renal stones.
As a diuretic in hypertension and fluid retention. Also used for dissolution of kidney stones. Some clinical studies, including double blind/placebo radomized studies, have shown encouraging results for Sambong to be both safe and effective in the treatment of kidney stones and hypertension. The National Kidney and Transplant Institute has promoted the use of this herbal medicine for many renal patients to avert or delay the need for dialysis or organ transplantation.
Being promoted by the Department of Health (DOH) as a diuretic and for dissolution of renal stones. One of a few herbs recently registered with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs as medicines.

Other benefits
Possible benefits in use patients with elevated cholesterol and as an analgesic for postoperative dental pain.

• Sesquiterpenoids and plasmin-inhibitory flavonoids: Study yielded two new sesquiterpenoid esters 1 and 2. Compound 2 showed to be slightly cytotoxic. Nine known flavonoids were also isolated, two of which showed plasmin-inhibitory activity. source
• Anticancer: Study of methanolic extract of BB suggest a possible therapeutic potential in hepatoma cancer patients.
• Urolithiasis: Study shows sambong to be a promising chemolytic agent for calcium stones



Parts utilized
Roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and bark.

Decoction of roots used for fevers.
Infusion of the bark used as wash for the teeth and gums.
Infusion of leaves used for colds, fevers, skin ailments and purging.
Reported to be abortifacient.
Decoction of leaves used as mouth wash and gargle for mouth ulcers.
Decoction of flowers used for erysipelas and inflammation of the eyes.
Powdered flowers used as insecticide.
Fruit is astringent and used for diarrhea and dysentery.
In the Amazon, leaf juice used for fevers; the flower juice for sores.
Seeds used for cough, chest pains, breathing difficulty.
Roots used to induce first trimester abortion.
Leaves are purgative; used for renal stones, malaria, bronchitis.
In Ayurvedic medicine, used for fever, jaundice, colic, flatulence, malignant tumors.
In Nicaragua, astringent infusion of the bark is used as a wash for teeth and gums.
In the West Indies, decoction used for fevers.
In the Antilles, the leaves are used as emmenagogue and abortifacient.
In Jamaica, plant is used as a purgative.

• Antimicrobial activity of Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Euphorbia hirta and Asystasia gangeticum: Studies on the ethanolic extracts of the dry fruits of C. pulcherrima showed a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against E. coli (enteropathogen), Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.
• In vitro antiviral activities of Caesalpinia pulcherrima and its related flavonoids: A study showed a potential for use in the treatment of infection caused by two viruses: herpesviruses and adenoviruses.
• Anti-inflammatory activities of flavonoids isolated from Caesalpinia pulcherrima: The study supports the use of Caesalpinia pulcherrima for the treatment of inflammtory conditions in traditional medicine.
• Furanoid Diterpenes / Antibacterial / Antifungal : Study isolated four new cassane-type furanoditerpenoids from the leaves of CP. Antimicrobial testing showed activity against bacteria (S aureus, E coli, P aeruginosa and B subtilis) and fungia ( C albicans and T mentagrophytes).
• Nutrient studies of CP Seeds: Study suggests C pulcherrima could be a good source of low cost plant protein, a good source of iron and calcium; the whole seeds more nutrient-rich than the seed nuts.
• Flavonoids / Antiinflammatory: Study isolated five flavonoids from CP which significantly and dose-dependently inhibited inflammatory mediators, NO, cytokines (TNF and IL-12).
• Antifungal: Study of methanol extract of 9 Indian medicinal plants showed C pulcherrima with good antifungal activity against C albicans.



Parts utilized


· The juice of the leaves for dyspepsia, asthma, chronic coughs, bronchits, colic, flatulence, rheumatism. The dose is one tablespoonful of the fresh juice every hour for adults and one teaspoonful every two hours, four times daily, for children. As an infusion, 50 to 60 grams to a pint of boiling water, and drink the tea, 4 to 5 glasses a day. For chilldren, 1/2 cup 4 times daily.
· For otalgia (ear aches), pour the fresh, pure juice into the ear for 10 minutes.
· For carbuncles, boils, sprains, felons, painful swellings: Apply the poultice of leaves to the affected area, four times daily.
· For sore throats, a decoction of two tablespoonfuls of dried leaves to a pint of boiling water, taken one hour before or after meals.
· Decoction of leaves is given after childbirth.
• In India, leaves are used traditionally for bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, epilepsy, nephro-cystolithiasi, fever, indigestion and cough.

Recent uses and preparations
Respiratory ailments like cough, asthma and bronchitis: Squeeze juice of the leaves. Take one teaspoon every hour for adults. For children above 2 years old, 3 to 4 teaspoons a day.

• Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation: Study results establsihed antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective activities and suggests a potential for chemoprevention.
Mast cell stabilization property of Coleus aromaticus leaf extract in rat peritoneal mast cells: Study showed stabilization of mast cells in rat mesenteric tissue and suggests further studies into mast cells with its role in Type 1 hypersensitivity-mediated diseases like asthma and rhinitis.
Antimicrobial Activity Of Coleus aromaticus (Benth) Against Microbes Of Reproductive Tract Infections Among Women : Results suggests the herb could be an ideal choice for treating reproductive tract infections.

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram. This erectly spreading plant has strong aromatic characteristics, with leaves and stems that are fleshy. The leaves of oregano are heart-shaped, with toothed edges, and which, grow for up to 9 meters in length. In other countries, the plant is primarily used as a culinary ingredient. However, in countries like the Philippines, Oregano is a known herbal medicine for its strong anti-oxidant properties. Oregano contains a rosmarinic acid compound, thymol, and carvacrol that are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Oregano also contains flavinoids, triterpenoids, sterols, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Its anti-bacterial properties have been proven by recent studies to treat infections of the reproductive tracts, and which make it ideal to be given to women who have just given birth.

The volatile oils in oregano and its properties are believed to be responsible for slowing the process of spoilage of food and thus minimizing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi.

The anti-oxidant properties of oregano helps fight free radicals in the body that cause cellular damage and accelerate ageing. Free radicals are believed to be involved with many degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and heart diseases, to name a few.

The most useful parts of this plant are its leaves. The extracts and juices of such are used for asthma, dyspepsia, chronic coughs, bronchitis, and rheumatism. Ear aches have also been proven to be cured by the infusion prepared from its leaves. The leaves relieve painful swellings, boils, and sprains, when their poultices are applied directly to the affected area.

Health Benefits of Oregano:

• Good for cough and cold relief
• Helps prevent degenerative arthritis
• Has Anti-aging properties
• Helps relieve rheumatism and osteoarthritis
• Bronchitis herbal remedy
• Ease asthma attacks
• Relieves upset stomach
• Treatment of urinary tract problems
• Relief for dyspepsia or indigestion
• Healing wounds, insect bites & stings
• Cure for sore throat
• Avoid infections caused by childbirth by taking decoctions of the leaves by the recent mother.
• For general good health

Preparation of Oregano Leaves:

• Boil one cup of fresh leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half a cup 3 times a day for common colds.
• For a concentrate, juice the oregano leaves and take 1 tablespoon every hour to relieve chronic coughs, rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and dyspepsia.
• For Insect bites, wounds and stings, apply the leaves as a poultice directly on the afflicted area.
• For sore throat, boil 2 tablespoonfuls of dried oregano leaves in a pint of water, take 2 hours before or after meals.
• To prevent degenerative arthritis & for general good health drink oregano decoction daily.


Parts utilized
Bark, leaves and flowers.

Antispasmodic and emollient.


Decoction of flowers for abdominal cramps.
Decoction used as emollient.
Flowers used as antiseptic and to treat spasms.
Also used to relieve colds and headaches.

Bark used for making rope.
Wood is compact, fine-grained, moderately strong and light in weight and durable.

In vitro Antibacterial Activity of Muntingia calabura extracts: The study concluded that M. calabura possesses a potential antibacterial property that is comparable to the standard antibiotics used. The study also suggests the presence of a more potent polar antibacterial compound.
Activity-guided isolation of the chemical constituents of Muntingia calabura using a quinone reductase induction assay: The study isolated a flavanone as well as 24 known compounds, which were mainly flavanones and flavones.
Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects of Muntingia calabura aqueous extract in animal model: The study concludes that M. calabura leaves possessed antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities, justifying the Peruvian folkloric medicinal use.
Plant anticancer agents, XLVIII. New cytotoxic flavonoids from Muntingia calabura roots: 12 new flavonoids were isolated (7 flavans, 3 flavones, two biflavans). Most of the isolates demonstrated cytotoxic activity and some exhibited selective activities when evaluated with a number of human cancer cell lines.

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