Chocolate is a New World marvel. It did not show up in Europe until the late sixteenth century. Some people speculate the Columbus brought back chocolate for Ferdinand and Isabelle, but that seems to be a contested fact among some historians.
Chocolate was sought out especially for its medicinal properties. It was combined with vanilla (another discovery) with loads of suger to create a syrup. Two spoonfuls would help ease a cough or a sore throat. Other recipes used the lovely bean to decrease bile and heartburn, as well as to ward away diarrhea.
But by far, the most favorite use was as an aphrodiasiac. In fact, I have stumbled on a good number of stories about women who stock up on chocolate in order to perform their wifely duties, or of men who claim the “Chocolate defense” when caught with another woman. Less appetizing however is the recommendation that chocolate be used to treat venereal diseases–particularly on oozing sores. Lovely.
Reference: Nicolas de Blegny, Le Bon usage…du chocolat.(1687)