Can you eat chocolate and balance your hormones at the same time?
The answer is yes! You can easily make healthy chocolate at home. It’s actually faster than running to the store to buy your favorite chocolaty treat.
So how exactly does chocolate help with hormone balance?
When chocolate is in its pure form, it acts as a delivery system for herbal medicine.
Cacao dilates your blood vessels and acts as a mild stimulant, which makes your heart circulate your blood faster. These properties make chocolate the perfect way to drive herbal medicine into the body. In addition, the flavor of chocolate can mask or synergize with the flavor of herbs that don’t taste particularly good on their own, such as schizandra or medicinal mushroom powders.
Herbs & Chocolate
I love to add the following powdered herbs to my chocolate. These are my favorites.
Schizandra is a vitality herb that promotes abundant energy, a sharp mind and calmness that’s invaluable in our modern world. However, many people don’t like the strong taste! It contains 5 flavors: bitter, salty, sour, sweet and pungent.
The thing is, you need to taste schizandra rather than take in a capsule. The flavor activates the channels and meridians in your body, and that’s how you get the benefits of this unique superfood! Thankfully, chocolate synergizes beautifully with the flavors of schizandra. Learn more about how to work with these superfoods in my Elixir Crafting course here.
Shatavari is an ayurvedic herb from the asparagus family. In this traditional medicinal system, it’s regarded as a prime women’s health tonic. Shatavari acts on the hypothalamus and helps decrease stress hormones. It also contains steroidal saponins, a class of natural plant hormones that help to regulate the menstrual cycle.
This herb is fat-soluble, which is why traditionally it’s prepared by decocting the herb in cow’s milk and mixing it with ghee or sugar. Hmmm, sounds like some of the common ingredients in chocolate!
Damiana prevents testosterone from converting to estrogen. This helps keep your libido up! Damiana also calms the nerves and uplifts those who have had an exhausting day.
It is also what I like to call an ‘on-demand aphrodisiac’ because it primes your hormones and directs oxygen to the genitals. It helps bring you out of your head and into your body… you relax and are ready to experience more pleasure. Damiana has a very herbaceous flavor that is masked by the strong flavor of cacao.
Maca root balances hormones and increases energy and libido. This is great for adrenal fatigue recovery because it helps support the HPA axis.
Indulge in the pleasure of making (and eating!) your own chocolate. I want to share my favorite homemade chocolate recipe with you. Please let me know if you make it by posting a photo to Instagram and tagging @naturalhormonehealing.
- 1/2 cup cacao butter
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp rose hydrosol
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 2 Tbsp lucuma powder
- In a double boiler, melt the cacao butter.
- Once melted, stir in the cacao powder and whisk until fully combined.
- Stir in the rose hydrosol, vanilla and optional lucuma powder.
- Stir in the honey until well combined.
- Fold in the cherries and pour into molds or onto a pan lined with plastic wrap. Let set in the refrigerator and enjoy when hardened.