An Easter reflection on chocolate and medicine
Chocolate was primarily used as medicine until the 19th century, when it began to be replaced by more specific treatments. Xoxalatl was a product of meso and southern America, the Mayans and other cultures of the region regarded it as sacred, and it was prized for its medicinal and aphrodisiacal qualities. Chocolate was reserved for men of high rank such as priests, and, somewhat uncomfortably, sacrificial victims. Chocolate was used for a multitude of conditions, and its use as a medicine evolved over the centuries. Chocolate could be used by itself, in mixtures with other herbs, or as a simple carrier to mask the taste of other medicines.