Cocoa has been used for an array of medicinal purposes. Unfermented cocoa seeds and the seed coat are used to treat a variety of ailments, including diabetes, digestive and chest complaints. Cocoa powder, prepared from fermented cocoa beans, is used to prevent heart disease. Cocoa butter is taken to lower cholesterol levels, although its efficacy is unclear.
It is also used widely in foods and pharmaceutical preparations, as well as being used as a rich moisturiser for the skin.