This Latina Herbalist's Hot Chocolate Recipe Warms the Body and Soul


Image Source: Gabrielle Gerard

For many people, winter means experiencing seasonal depression from the lack of warmth, sunlight, and vitamin D. But curandera Robyn Moreno battles the winter blues with a sweet treat that spreads cheer in her home.

"I love Mexican hot chocolate in winter for my physical and mental health," Moreno said. "Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder and homemade hot chocolate is full of antioxidants and mood-boosting compounds." Moreno is familiar with feeling what she refers to as "a crisis of spirit." Years ago, this initial sentiment led her to a class on curanderismo, in which she understood and connected to the wisdom of the practices of her Mexican great-grandmother. She deepened her study of plant medicine with the help of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx teachers, eventually hosting workshops and writing her own book Get Rooted (June 2022), as a resource for people who are on their own journey to spirit.

"Many Latinxs, like me, grew up assimilating into American culture and disconnecting from our ancestral ways. Our parents thought they were doing what was best for us, but so much was lost along the way: language, traditions, and sacred medicine," Moreno said in an email with POPSUGAR. According to Moreno, there is no separation from the soul, spirit, and our bodies. Many people experience personal or cultural sustos, a concept in curanderismo known as a soul loss, in areas in our lives where we feel fractured or "incomplete," and it is understandable more people may experience this feeling during dark winters. Reclaiming ancestral medicines, like limpias, and continuing ancestral traditions like drinking chocolate something that has been done in Mesoamerica for thousands of years allows a re-integration of our mind, body, and spirit that is integral for overall health and wellness.

"Relearning our history, remembering the truth of who we really are is a way back home to soul and self," Moreno said. "My great-grandmother served us hot chocolate filled with love, and she also passed the huevo and plants over my beloved mother. Now I do the same for my daughters. The love passed in carrying down these sacred traditions, the intentions and care given is the real medicina."

Hot Chocolate
Robyn Moreno
Hot Chocolate2
Robyn Moreno

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Prep Time15 minutes
Yield2 Servings

Robyn Moreno


    • 4 Ounces dark chocolate
    • 2 Cups milk of choice
    • 1 Cinnamon Stick
    • 1 Tsp of Vanilla
    • Pinch of cayenne (for taste)
    • Pinch of ground cardamom (for taste)
    • Pinch of Ground Cinnamon (for taste)
    • Pinch of sugar (for taste)


    1. Break dark chocolate pieces into small chunks, or shave with a vegetable peeler.

    2. On the stove, heat the milk, cinnamon stick, and vanilla in a saucepan on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes or until it starts steaming.

    3. Pour hot chocolate into cups. Stir the heated chocolate with a spoon, molinillo (wooden stirrer), or frother. Add seasonings like cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon, or sweetener as desired.

    4. Inhale the fragrances, and luxuriate in your homemade hot chocolate!