Cocoa butter is a key ingredient in the sweet treat we know as chocolate, but it can be used for so much more than eating! In fact, cocoa butter has many health benefits, not just when eaten, but in other forms as well. Cocoa butter is the fat that comes from the beans in the cacao plant. The beans are roasted, pressed and separated from the butter inside. From there, the beans may be ground up for cocoa powder, which is bitter.
Ancient civilizations as far back as 3,000 years ago used cocoa butter as a medicine. The Aztec and Mayans discovered the healing powers of phytochemicals, an active ingredient in natural plants that are beneficial to the body.
- Hair. Cocoa butter can really help with dry hair, damaged hair and frizzy hair. According to research, unrefined cocoa butter can even get rid of dandruff. By massaging it into your scalp, it moisturizes the dead skin between your follicles, which will leave your hair looking and feeling healthier. It also moistens the hair itself, leaving it shinier after just one use! Using cocoa butter as a styling cream rather than shampoo helps control frizz in the hair.
- Skin. Cocoa butter also benefits the skin in many different ways and was mainly why the older civilizations used it as medication. Its moisturizing properties condition and heal dry skin on the body. Cocoa butter is also filled with antioxidants – these help lessen the effects of dark spots, wrinkling skin and bags, leaving you looking ten years younger! Cocoa butter can, over time, undo scarring on the skin. It’s used as an emollient, which lowers the body temp and causes the skin to sink to the proper level. Some researchers believe that cocoa butter can prevent skin diseases and damage.
- Sunburn. In the summer, if you get a sunburn, consider cocoa butter over Aloe Vera. The healing properties in cocoa butter once again come from the cooling and moisturizing effects. It also helps reduce itching with dry skin or rashes, though if you have an allergic reaction to something or are trying to heal a wound, talk to your doctor before using cocoa butter to sooth it.
Cocoa butter can be found online in many different forms. However, be careful when buying special products. With cocoa butter, it is best to use naturally and not with chemicals or other ingredients. To find a product you can trust, look for unrefined raw cocoa butter online. This is cocoa butter in its raw form, so you know it’s pure. Refined means the cocoa butter has been stripped of certain elements to rid of the cocoa smell. This means that the important elements of cocoa butter that are beneficial to the body are gone.
Cocoa butter comes in blocks and can be heated and melted in a pot or microwave. You can also use it in your favorite recipes from stir fry to cookies!