Varieties: Red , Yellow. Season: October-January. This beautiful tree has large dark green leaves that shade the fruit pods which grow directly from the trunk and branches. The flesh is eaten as a dessert, and the seeds are the raw material of chocolate. Hot chocolate can be made by drying the seeds, roasting, grinding, and adding milk. Chocolate beans were used as money by the Maya Indians of Central America. The red pods are larger and have more abundant flesh. Cocoa is prepared by grinding the beans into a paste between hot rollers and mixing it with sugar and starch, part of the fat being removed. Chocolate is prepared in much the same way, but the fat is retained. Oil of Theobroma or butter is a yellowish white solid, with an odor resembling that of cocoa, taste bland and agreeable; generally extracted by expression. It is used as an ingredient in cosmetic ointments and in pharmacy for coating pills and preparing suppositories. It has excellent emollient properties and is used to soften and protect chapped hands and lips. Theobromine, the alkaloid contained in the beans, resembles caffeine in its action, but its effect on the central nervous system is less powerful. Its action on muscle, the kidneys and the heart is more pronounced. It is used principally for its effect due to stimulation of the renal epithelium; it is especially useful when there is an accumulation of fluid in the body resulting from cardiac failure, when it is often given with digitalis to relieve dilatation. It is also employed in high blood pressure as it dilates the blood-vessels. It is best administered in powders or cachets. See Article about Drink of the Gods.