Kuna Woman making traditional Cocoa, San Blas Islands, Panama. Photo by Chris Kilham

Cocoa and the Kuna Indians of Panama
ABC Good Morning America
with Tanya Rivero

Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham shares information on the health benefits of cocoa and the Kuna Indians of Panama, including a rare look at how they harvest and produce cocoa. Harvard researchers have established that the compounds are cocoa responsible for the Kuna people's unusual cardiovascular health. Chris went on an expedition to meet them, see the harvesting of cocoa, see how they make cocoa traditionally—and certainly to drink it!

“What got me turned onto the Kuna in the first place was twenty years of Harvard University studies showing that the Kuna have among the lowest rates of cardiovascular vascular disease in the world, even though they're poor, have lousy sanitation and hygiene, no access to medicine… and yet, they have this remarkably low incident of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure: and they consume four to five cups of cocoa a piece, every single day.” – Chris Kilham, ABC Good Morning America

For more information on Cocoa, please visit Cocao, Food of The Gods, a special Medicine Hunter section dedicated to everyone's favorite plant.

April 2011