Chocolate has many wonderful medicinal qualities. One of them may, on rare occasion, lead to the troubling negative side-effect of constipation. Fortunately for chocoholics, very few types of chocolate products can be expected to cause constipation.
In South and Central America, raw uncooked cacao has been used as an important folk medicine since antiquity. It is used to treat diarrhea. Diarrheal diseases, particularly in children, are a common and potentially deadly illnesses. Diarrhea can rapidly deprive the body of fluids, leading to dehydration. Children, being so small, are especially sensitive to loss of body water and salts. It can be rapidly deadly for them, as well as the elderly and those who are otherwise in a weakened physical condition. Fortunately, the inhabitants of the Americas possessed a powerful cure – unprocessed cacao.
When it comes to modern chocolate, the fermentation and heating processes remove most all of the bowel slowing properties of raw cacao. So it is a rare circumstance in which chocolate causes constipation, but it must be considered when an avid chocolate consumer suffers chronic constipation, especially if they consume raw or relatively unprocessed chocolate products. For them, the same miraculous medicinal quality that saves the lives of children in South America becomes a troubling and unwanted side effect.