With Easter only a few days away, the excitement of Easter hunts is growing as are thoughts of indulging in all those delicious chocolates with sugary or alcoholic drinks to match…
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the tropical Cacao tree, Theobroma Cacao. The Aztecs used the bean as currency, and European explorers brought it back to the western world in the early 16th century. But why do we love it and why do we crave it? Chocolate today contains a large proportion of fat and sugar which may go some way to explaining chocolate cravings, especially if you have an inherited ‘sweet tooth’. But there is more to it than that. In fact, chocolate contains over 300 different chemicals and not a lot is known about the effect that each of these may have alone or in combination.
Here are 3 facts about Chocolate that might surprise you:
- When scientists measured brain activity in people eating chocolate they found that there was increased blood flow to the areas of the brain that are also activated when cocaine is taken!
- Chocolate contains the same ‘happy chemicals’ found in some recreational drugs such as ecstasy!
- It contains a neurotransmitter that affects the brain in the same way as the active ingredient in Cannabis So we can start to see why chocolate is more than just fat and sugar.
If you have a child with behavioural issues you might like to consider that chocolate could be a powerful and harmful food for them.
But why does Chocolate seem to make us feel good?
It is known that eating chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins which are the natural hormones that make you feel good. It also melts at body temperature giving that delicious textural experience in the mouth! It also contains caffeine at low levels which can have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Some chocolate ingredients about which little is understood can directly affect the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Chocolate contains tryptophan which the brain uses to make serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that can produce feelings of elation. It also contains phenylethylamine. High levels of this neurotransmitter can stimulate the pleasure centres in the brain; normally, peak levels are reached during orgasm. But chocolate also contains things that may be beneficial to us.
It contains magnesium and low levels of which in the female body can cause a woman to experience pre-menstrual tension which would explain the craving that women can get for chocolate before their periods. Nice to know that it isn’t all in the mind huh?
Chocolate also contains iron. It contains theobromine which helps to relax smooth muscle in the lungs. Chocolate contains flavonoids (these are also the ingredients in red wine) that help to prevent clotting and thin the blood.
It suggested that we really do not fully understand the effect that chocolate can have on us, we can start to understand why it might be addictive. With many addictions, the addiction does not initially spring from the substance itself, but from the emotional void that eating or taking the substance fills for us. This is where homeopathy is very helpful. By balancing the client out on the emotional level, often the desire for the addictive substance can lessen so that the addiction becomes only a craving, and then an infrequent desire.
If you are a chocoholic and cannot go for one day without eating it, then you might want to look at your emotional landscape and examine what emotional voids you are seeking to fill. Constitutional Homeopathic support can help you release these emotional vacuums and once this occurs it is amazing how suddenly the chocolate craving becomes irrelevant! There is even a homeopathic remedy made out of Chocolate, but sadly it doesn’t have any of the taste or texture.
There are many homeopathic remedies, it’s important to understand homeopathy is individualized and tailored to each client and matching symptoms on both the mental/emotional and physical levels to a remedy. This is why it’s best to always seek advice from a fully qualified homeopath to ensure the right remedy is chosen for you.
Here are a few remedies to consider when you’ve overindulged:
- Desires and has an aversion to sweet food. Desire fruit and juice
- Rumbling and gas in the abdomen
- Vivid dreams
- A sensation of congestion/tightness in the head.
- Headaches – more so right side.
- Nausea and diarrhoea
- Sleepiness, sleepless
- Faint buzzing
- Frequent loud eruptions
- Eructations after eating sweets
- Desire sweets, sugar foods
- Diarrhoea worse from sweets
- Excitement of the mind
- Sensitivity to stimuli
- Symptoms are strictly those of heart racing and/or palpitations without nausea or other gastrointestinal symptoms
- Nux vomica is the infamous “hangover” remedy
- Headache or migraine following excessive consumption of alcohol
- Sensitivity to light, odours, or noise
- Nausea and vomiting; retching or ineffectual urging with vomiting or diarrhoea; and undigested food sitting like a “rock” in the stomach
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Extreme debility or collapse
- Coldness with an aversion to heat
- Difficulty in breathing, air hunger and desire to be fanned; unable to lie down – must be propped up
- Extreme bloating
- Indigestion and belching.
- Nearly always crave sweets
- Ravenous appetites that increase upon eating
- Digestive complaints and bloated abdomens, especially late in the afternoon or early evening
- Indigestion problems
- Headaches or migraines
- Dry mouth with no thirst;
- colds with greenish discharges
- Digestive complaints
- Useful remedy for forms of over-indulgence
- A desire for butter, cream, ice cream or cheese, each of which can cause abdominal bloating or nausea
If you are unsure of which remedy or dosage to take, it’s best to consult with a homeopathic practitioner. For any chronic recurring symptoms, this requires a constitutional approach that must be done so with fully qualified homeopaths who have had the professional training in prescribing for chronic conditions.
Homeopathy offers support in restoring our body’s balance, health, and vitality. You must seek professional advice from a fully qualified registered homeopath or your GP to ensure you are receiving the best possible treatment to help support you, make sure you visit a homeopath for guidance.
The College of Natural Health & Homeopathy offers NZQA accredited Diplomas in Homeopathy. Study fully online, part-time, and from the comfort of your own home, anywhere in the world!
Start your journey today in becoming a Homeopathic Practitioner, and apply now for semester one in our NZ Diploma in Acute Prescribing with Homeopathy!
Adapted from source:
Sam Adkins, The Homeopathic Coach
Homeopathy for Women
Joette Calabrease, Practical Homeopathy Inc