Welcome to the Herbal Farm!

Welcome to The Herbal Farm website. We hope to help you benefit from the wonderful healing properties of plants as well as guide you to using them safely and effectively. Herbal medicine is one of the most time-tested human traditions on the face of the Earth.

Herbal medicine has benefited millions of people for thousands of years.

Health is a gift that makes life worthwhile. Herbs can certainly help us along that path, but they should not be relied upon simply as a band-aid to fix a health problem. We encourage you to look deeply at the causes of illness and seek to live a healthier lifestyle whenever possible. This includes having healthy relationships, eating a wholesome diet, and exercising. We must also avoid the things that damage health, such as stress, smoking, exposure to pollutants, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Provided in this website is information on how to use herbs, as well as herbal blends. Each herbal description includes contraindictions, such as dangerous side effects, to which you should pay careful attention. Many of the contraindications only occur in extremely large doses and would never be a problem with normal use. However, there are some plants that should best be used with professional counsel, and many should be avoided during pregnancy. In listing contraindications. Remember – just because something is from a plant does not mean it is appropriate for everyone to use at all times.

In Chinese medicine, different foods have different characteristics, described as energetics. We must admit that not everyone agrees on whether an herb is cool, cold or warm. As American herbalism evolves the use of energetics will become a more genuine and accurate part of our own healing tradition, with more agreement between herbal practitioners.

Even though some of the constituents of the plants are listed, herbalists usually prefer to use plants in a more whole form. We firmly believe that using the entire herb, with all of its components, is more effective and often safer than using any one component.

COCOA


Latin Name: Theobroma cacao

Alternate Names: Chocolate, Cocao, Theobroma, Cacaotier, Cacao, Devil's Food, Chocolate

Family: STERCULIACEAE

Parts Used: Seeds.

Properties: Aphrodisiac, Cardiac Stimulant, Diuretic, Emollient, Cardiotonic, Nerve Stimulant, Nutritive.

Internal Uses: Angina, Asthma, Convalescence, Fatigue, Fever

Internal Applications: Mostly used in food and beverages.
Theobromine opens the coronary artery, increasing blood flow to the heart. It also relaxes the smooth muscles in the digestive system. Common chocolate is perhaps so popular because it is high in sugar, which increases serotonin levels, and it is high in fats which elevate levels of endorphins and a chemical called phenylethalamine, which mimics what our brains produce when we are in love.

Topical Uses: Burns

Topical Applications: Cocoa butter is used to make lotions, lip balms, cosmetics, burn creams and as a base for boluses and suppositories. The oil protects the skin and has a long shelf life.

Culinary uses: Beans can be eaten once they have been fermented and roasted. Widely used in candies, baked goods, beverages and liqueurs.

Energetics: Bitter, Warm.

Chemical Constituents: Xanthines (theobromine, caffeine, tyramine, trigonelline), essential oil, sucrose, glucose, mucilage, oleopalmitostearin, tannins.

Contraindications: Some people may experience heartburn from using Cocoa. Since it contains caffeine, it can be considered addictive, and it aggravates insomnia, anxiety and irritability. Withdrawal may cause headaches. Pregnant women should only rarely use any products that contain caffeine. Chocolate has been linked to obesity, acne, kidney stones, cavities, headaches and heart disease, most likely due to the added sugars and fats. The naturally occurring tyramine content in Cocoa can be a factor in triggering migraines. Cocoa and chocolate are toxic to dogs, due to the alkaloid theobromine, and cause vomiting, lethargy, tremors and frequent urination.

Comments: Cocoa is native to Central America. The name chocolate is from an Aztec word for this plant, chócolatl. The genus name, Theobroma, means 'food of the gods'. Cocoa beans were once used as a currency in the Yucatan. It was the Aztecs who first made Cocoa into the delicious beverage people enjoy today and the drink that was observed by Cortez in 1519. In 1550, nuns came up with the idea to add sugar and vanilla, leading to what we now regard as chocolate.

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