| Sarah Lesslie
Herbal Chocolate- A Brief History
You may ask where the idea for making herbal chocolate came from. Our founder, Sarah Ann Lesslie had been making raw chocolate since 2005 for Sedona Chocolate Superfoods. She had severe dysmenorrhea or “extremely painful periods” and was sick of taking strong painkillers, so she turned to herbalism for solutions/ease. One day while making chocolate, it dawned on her to combine the two to ease her own ails. It helped her, so she began sharing that flavor and making it as a side-hustle, and it was a hit. Chocolita’s herbal chocolate bars were birthed.
This idea of combining herbs and chocolate together isn’t new. Cacao was used in Mesoamerica as a ceremonial drink and combined with herbs and spices to treat a variety of conditions. The cacao beans were ground up with other spices and herbs and prepared as a drink as the medium for delivery. Over time, different preparations were made for different purposes- ceremonial blends, blends for warriors to give them strength in battle, and aphrodisiac blends were among the most catalogued in history. (It is rumored that Montezuma would drink copious amounts of cacao before bedding his harem!)
The Spanish colonizers studied the Maya and Mesoamerican culture and carried that concept of using cacao for healing back to Europe. They would use a similar preparation style of mixing herbs and spices with ground cacao beans to concoct a drink to give to the person with the ailment. The herbs used depended on the ailment itself. Cacao was generally used for it’s “heating” qualities and was combined with chilies to perpetuate that heat.
Chocolate, as well as chilis, are now known to be vasodilators. This means that they expand the blood vessels and allow blood to flow more easily, delivering nutrients into the tissues deeper. Whatever is combined with vasodilators is delivered more adequately to your cells. It follows that combining herbs with chocolate would assist with the increased uptake of their beneficial properties.
Chocolita was created with that concept in mind- to combine herbs together for different preparations with chocolate to deliver more of the herbal benefits to you. From our very inception with our “Ease” or Moontime Rose bar, created to help ease women’s moon cycles (period, menstruation, etc.), we’ve been on the mission to make flavorful and effective herbal chocolate preparations.