A curious treatise of the nature and quality of chocolate. VVritten in Spanish by Antonio Colmenero, doctor in physicke and chirurgery. And put into English by Don Diego de Vades-forte
Colmenero de Ledesma, Antonio., Wadsworth, James, 1604-1656?
Page  12

The second Point.

AS concerning the second poynt, I say, as I have said before, that though it be true, that the Cacao is mingled with all these Ingedients, which are hot; yet there is to be a greater quantity of Cacao; then of all the rest of the Ingredients, which serve to temper the coldnesse of the Cacao: Just as when wee seeke, of two Medicines of contrary qualities, to compound one, which shall be of a modera te temper: In the same manner doth re∣sult the same action and re-action of the cold parts of the Cacao, and of the hot parts of the other ingredients, which makes the Chocolate of so moderate a quality, that it differs very little from a mediocrity; and when there is not put in any ordinary pepper, or Cloves, but onely a little Annis∣seede (as I shall shew hereafter) we may boldly say, that it is very temperate. And this may be proved by reason, and ex∣perience: (supposing that which Gallen sayes, to be true, that every mixt medicine, warmeth the cold, and cooleth the hot; bringing the example of Oyle of Roses.) By experience, I say, that in the Indies (as is the custome of that Countrey) I comming in a heat to visit a sicke person, and asking water to refresh me, they perswaded me to take a *Draught of Cho∣colate; which quencht my thirst: and in the morning (if I * tooke it fasting) it did warme and comfort my stomacke. Now let us prove it by reason. We have already proved, that all the parts of the Cacao are not cold. For wee have made it appeare that the unctuous parts, which are many, be all hot, or temperate: then, though it be true, that the quantity of the Cacao is greater than of all the rest of the Ingredients, Page  13 yet the cold parts are at the most, not halse so many as the hot; and if for all this they should be more, yet by stirring, & ming∣ling of the warme unctuous parts, they are much qualified. And, on the other side, it being mixt with the other Ingredi∣ents, which are hot in the second and third degree, being the predominant quality, it must needes be brought to a medi∣ocrity. Like as two men, who shake hands, the one being hot, and the other cold, the one hand borrowes heat, and the other is made colder; and in conclusion, neither hand retains the cold, or heat it had before, but both of them remaine more temperate. So like wise two men, who goe to wrestle, at the first they are in their full vigour and strength; but after they have strugled a while, their force lessens by degrees, till at last they are both much weaker, than when they beganne to wrestle. And Aristotle was also of this opinion in his fourth Booke of the Nature of Beasts, cap. 3. Where he sayes, that every Agent suffers with the patient; as that which cuts, is made dull by the thing it cuts; that which warmes, cooles it selfe; and that which thrusts, or forceth forward, is in some sort driven backe it selfe.

From whence I gather that it is better to use Chocolate, af∣ter it hath beene made some time, a Moneth at the least. I believe this time to be necessary, for breaking the contrary qualities of the severall Ingredients, and to bring the Drinke to a moderate temper. For, as it alwayes falls out at the first, that every contrary will have it predominancy, and will work his owne, Nature not liking well to be heated and cooled, at the same time. And this is the cause why Gallen in his twelfth Booke of Method, doth advise not to use Philonium, till after a yeare, or, at the least, sixe moneths; because it is a composi∣tion made of Opium (which is cold in the fourth degree) and of Pepper, and other Ingredients, which are hot in the third degree. This Theorum, and Doctrine, is made good by the practise, which some have made, of whom I have asked, what Page  14Chocolate did best agree with them: and they have affirmed, that the best is that which hath beene made some moneths; and that the new doth hurt by loosening the Stomack; And; in my opinion, the reason of it is, that the unctuous or fat parts, are not altogether corrected, by the earthy parts of the Cacao. And this I shall thus prove; for, as I shall declare here∣after, if you make the Chocolate boyle, when you drinke it, the boyling of it divides the fat and oyly part; and that makes a relaxation in the Stomacke in the old Chocolate, as well as if it were new.

So that I conclude in this second poynt, that the Chocolati∣call Consection is not so cold as the Cacao, nor so hot as the rest of the Ingredients; but there results from the action and re-action of these Ingredients, a moderate temper which may be good, both for the cold and hot stomacks, being taken mo∣derately, as shall be declared hereafter; and it having beene made a moneth at the least; as is already proved. And so I know not, why any man having made experience of this Con∣fection (which is composed, as it ought to be, for every parti∣cular) should speake ill of it. Besides, where it is so much used, the most, if not all, as well in the Indies, as in Spaine, find, it agreeth wel with them. He of Marchena had no ground in saying, that it did cause Opilations. For, if it were so, the Liver being obstructed, it would extenuate its subject; and by experience; we see to the contrary, that it makes fat; the rea∣son whereof I shall shew hereafter. And this shall suffice for the second Poynt.