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?

The fourth Part.

THere remaines to be handled in the last Poynt, of the Quantity, which is to be drunke: at what Time; and by what persons: because if it be drunk beyond measure, not onely of Chocolate, but of all other drinkes; or meates, though of themselves they are good and wholsome, they may be hurtfull. And if any finde it Opilative, it comes by the too much use of it; as when one drinkes over much Wine, in stead of comforting, and war∣ming himselfe, he breedes, and nourisheth cold diseases; be∣cause Nature cannot overcome it, nor turne so great a quan∣tity into good nourishment. So he that drinks much Choco∣late, which hath fat parts, cannot make distribution of so great a quantity to all the parts; and that part which re∣maines in the slender veines of the Liver, must needs cause Opilations, and Obstructions.

To avoyd this inconvenience; you must onely take five or sixe ounces, in the morning, if it be in winter; and if the par∣ty who takes it, be Cholericke, in stead of ordinary water, let him take the distilled water of Endive. The same reason serves in Summer, for those, who take it physically, having the Liver hot and obstructed. If his Liver be cold and ob∣structed, then to use the water of Rubarb. And to con∣clude, you may take it till the Moneth of May; especially in Page  20 temperate dayes. But I doe not approve, that, in the Dog∣dayes, it should be taken in Spaine, unlesse it bee one, who by custome of taking it, receives no prejudice by it. And if he be of a hot Constitution, and that hee have neede to take it in that season, let it, as is said before, be mingled with water of Endive; and once in foure dayes, and chiefely when he finds his stomacke in the morning to be weake and fainting. And though it be true, that, in the Indies, they use it all the yeare long, it being a very hot Countrey, and so it may seeme by the same reason it may be taken in Spaine: First, I say, that Custome may allow it: Secondly, that, as there is an extraor∣dinary proportion of heat, so there is also of moisture; which helpes; with the exorbitant heate, to open the pores; and so dissipates, and impoverisheth our substance, or naturall vigor: by reason wherof, not only in the morning; but at any time of the day, they use it without prejudice. And this is most true, that the excessive heate of the Countrey, drawes out the natu∣rall heat, and disperseth that of the stomacke, and of the in∣ward parts: Insomuch, that though the weather be never so hot, yet the stomacke being cold, it usually doth good. I do not onely say this of the Chocolate, which; as I have proved, hath a moderate heat. But if you drink pure wine, be the wea∣ther never so hot, it hurts not, but rather comforts the sto∣mack; and if in hot weather you drinke water, the hurt it doth is apparent, in that it cooles the stomacke too much; from whence comes a viciated Concoction, and a thousand o∣ther inconveniences.

You must also observe, that it being granted, as I have said, that there are earthy parts in the Cacao, which fall to the bot∣tome of the Cup, when you make the drinke, divers are of the opinion, that, that which remaines, is the best and more sub∣stantiall; and they hurt them selves not a little, by drinking of it. For besides, that it is an earthy substance, thick, and stop∣ping, it is of a melancholy Nature; and therefore you must Page  21 avoyd the drinking of it, contenting your selfe with the best, which is the most substantiall.

Last of all, there rests one difficulty to be resolved, formerly poynted at; namely, what is the cause, why Chocolate makes most of them that drinke it, fat. For, considering that all of the Ingredients, except the Cacao, doe rather extenuate, than make fat, because they are hot and drye in the third degree. For we have already said, that the qualities which doe predo∣minate in Cacao, are cold, and dry; which are very unfit to adde any substance to the body. Neverthelesse, I say, that the many unctuous parts, which I have proved to be in the Cacao, are those, which pinguifie, and make fat; and the hotter in∣gredients of this Composition, serve for a guide, or vehicall, to passe to the Liver, and the other parts, untill they come to the fleshy parts; and there finding a like substance, which is hot and moyst, as is the unctuous part, converting it selfe into the same substance, it doth augment and pinguifie. Much more might bee said from the grounds of Philosophy, and Physicke; but because that is fitter for the Schooles, than for this discourse, I leave it, & only give this Caution, that in my Receipt, you may adde Mellon-seeds, and seeds of Pompions of Valencia, dryed, and beaten into powder, where there is any heat of the Liver or Kidnyes. And if there be any ob∣structions of the Liver, or Spleene, with any cold distemper, you may mixe the powder of Ceterach; to which you may adde Amber, or Muske, to please the scent.

And it will be no small matter, to have pleased all, with this Discourse.