Organic Raw Ceremonial Cacao is drunk at the beginning of some of our treatments. This Amazonian superfood is said to have 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, be a very high plant-based source of iron and have more calcium than cow’s milk! We include it in our treatments to help you journey within and connect with your emotional heart to uplift, heal your emotions and leave you with a feeling of uttermost bliss. Read on to learn more about the history and benefits of cacao, as well as instructions on preparing cacao.
The History of Cacao
The cacao plant is seen as a medicinal plant, and has been used for spiritual, medicinal and ceremonial purposes throughout history. It was discovered by the Olmecs of Mesoamerica in Mexico in 1500 B.C. where it was used as a food (Coe & Coe 34). It is grown in pods attached to the trunk of the tree. As they cracked open the pod it revealed a sweet, gelatinous pulp and seeds within a milky substance. The ancients processed the seeds to create the very first form of cacao, or “kakawa” (Coe & Coe 35).
The Izapan, Maya, Toltecs, and Aztecs also enjoyed cacao for its properties and drank it in the form of a frothed drink, it was a prized possession and available only to the elite. It was considered a godly potion that would grant energy and power, it was used in many rituals to appease their gods (Coe & Coe 34) in spiritual ceremonies, death rites and sacrifices. Their belief was that the Mayan gods bled onto cacao pods, intertwining cacao and their blood so they used the flowers as a remedy for fatigue, and the beans to help alleviate fever.
The word Cacao originated from the Maya word Ka’kau’, as well as the Maya words chokola’j to drink chocolate together. It’s active ingredient; Theobromine, is translated as ‘Food of the Gods’
Nestle created the first milk chocolate bar in 1879, and many new medical uses for cacao were discovered in Europe. It was used to improve digestive issues, as a nutrient for weak patients and to improve mood and virility.
Cacao tastes very different to the chocolate we know and love. Milk chocolate usually only contains around 20–40% cacao, with milk and sugar making up the rest of the ingredients. Raw Cacao tastes very bitter. It can be mixed just with hot water or with plant milk and you can add spices like chili, nutmeg and cinnamon, and vanilla, orange or rosewater.
The Benefits of Cacao
Cacao is naturally high in iron, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins, which gives it a number of physical benefits, and anandamide, which is known as the bliss molecule – the same thing produced in your body when you work out and feel a rush of good energy. It is said to help to re-balance the energies within us and restore good health. Cacao is also renowned for releasing dopamine and endorphins in the body, which can soothe symptoms of PMS as well as depression, boosting our mood. and clearing the mind for moments of pure self-reflection.
Incorporating Ceremonial Cacao and Skincare
Ceremonial Cacao is said to open the emotional heart and help us to hear our true self. It can help work through old wounds and past traumas, dissolve any pent- up negative energy, and help us align with who we truly are. It can also help give clarity to the mind, enhance creativity and give you the strength to move forward, let go, and create space for better things to come in.
Mix together 25g Cacao chopped, and 200ml (or a small cup) of water (or 1/3rd Oat Milk plus water). Blend in your blender. Heat and serve.
You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper, honey, a little rosewater, orange essence or coconut sugar (not all together!)
It’s special stuff!