Theobroma tessmannii Mildbr.
Theobroma sinuosum is a large evergreen tree[
The edible fruit is harvested from the wild for local consumption.
S. America - Peru.
The lower tree storey of evergreen rainforests[
A plant of the hot, moist, lowland tropics[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 30°c, tolerating 16 - 40°c[
]. It requires a mean annual rainfall within the range 2,000 - 8,000mm, evenly distributed throughout the year[
Grows best in the dappled shade of other trees[
]. Prefers a relatively rich, circumneutral soil[
]. The plant is not drought tolerant, being unable to withstand even short dry seasons without the protection of dense shade and local humidity[
]. The seeds of species in this genus are generally a rich source of oil (around 50%), starch (around 15%) and protein (around 15%)[
]. They also contain a volatile oil and the stimulating alkaloids caffeine and theobromine[
Fruit - raw[
]. The pulp is sucked out of the fruit, or it is used to make a refreshing drink[
Although no specific reports of medicinal use have been seen for this plant, the seed is a source of cacao powder and butter. These products have the following medicinal uses:-
Cacao powder and butter, which are obtained from the seed, are nutritive[
]. The butter is also applied externally as an emollient[
Cacao powder is taken internally in the treatment of angina and high blood pressure[
Cacao butter is an excellent emollient, being applied to the skin to soothe and soften it[
]. It is used traditionally to treat chapped skin and burns, and is also rubbed into bruises[
]. Research has shown that it can help to counter the bacteria responsible for boils and septicaemia[
An oil, known as cacao butter, which is solid at room temperature, is obtained from the seed. In addition to being used locally as a food and medicine, cacao butter is important in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries[
Seed - it has a very short viability, requiring high humidity and optimum temperatures to remain viable. There is no dormancy, the seed often germinating whilst still inside the pod[
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