Connecting with Cacao
Last weekend was our Seeking Spirit Nurture Your Joy Retreat day. We held a beautiful Cacao Ceremony to warm and nurture your Joy. I am so excited to teach you about this amazing plant medicine!
I have learned so much from Cacao and have received many of its benefits,the health benefits as well as the imapact it has had on my perception of the world.
The History of Cacao.
Cacao comes from the ancient Amazonian and Peruvian rainforest. It stems from the Mayan tradition and is also know as the food of the Gods, the heart opener, the heart blood and earth medicine.
Cacao has its own spirit and brings you home to you! It was used as currency back in the day to trade for example for an avocado, a chicken or some beans. It was also used in tribes to bring about harmony and unity because of its calming and peaceful properties.
When the tribes were more connected and harmonised amongst themselves and with nature, they worked better could think more clearly and find better solutions for their community.
One of the oldest stories is about a young woman struggling to conceive. She touched the tree of the cacao. As a result, the Gods spat the cacao seed into her hand and she then became pregnant with twins. As a therapist who offers natural fertility treatments its great to feel a deep connection to a specific benefit of this ancient plant medicine.
These stories have been told for thousands of years and ceremonies have been an ancient tradition where people take the cacao as a symbol of ‘drinking their intentions’.
Setting and living your intentions allows you to focus on who you are in the moment, to recognise and live your values, and to raise your emotional energy, which in turn raises your physical energy.
During these intention setting cacao ceremonies people gathered, shared, sang sacred songs and chants, danced together and played instruments. The Physical Benefits of Cacao.
Cacao is a powerful antioxidant, packed with magnesium, Iron, theobromine (mildly stimulating aspect of the cacao) and Anandamide (the bliss molecule for mental balance and happiness).
Cacao helps to prevent heart disease. Whilst at Broughton Hall sharing and learning about cacao we met the Grandfather of the tribe. He brought with him a youthful energy and told the story of his last medical check up. During which his Doctor told him he had the heart of a 25 year old. Anecdotal evidence this may be but I was convinced.
Taking Cacao helps to prevent other serious illnesses too for example strokes and cancers
It relaxes muscles and reduces pain as it is packed with magnesium.
• Lifts mood rids depression (NURTURES YOUR JOY) encourages dopamine and serotonin release
• Great if you have ME and Fibromyalgia.
• Good energy boost/ increases energy levels.
• Is a superfood (packed with good nutrients/ iron)
• Improves memory and clarity
• Reduces anxiety and stress
• Good for nervous system and brain health
• Great for natural fertility Emotional Psychological and spiritual beneficial properties. • Heightened happiness- often described as the bliss molecule. This is the anandamide neurotransmitter it gives you that falling in love feeling or warm fuzzies.
• Empowering, it reconnects you to yourself and others.
• Its motivating, as it shifts stale energies.
• It rids negative stuck emotions/ loneliness rejection isolation.
• Natural antidepressant.
• Heart opening/ clears emotional wounds helps us to let go of the past and awakens self-worth and self-love.
• Creates a loving heart connection to yourself. Allows more connection to others- which ultimately helps transform the world if we start by healing ourselves first.
• Taps into our wisdom and spiritually and therefore shifts our consciousness. Contraindications.
• Don’t drink it after 9 pm as it may be too stimulating. It has a natural caffeine like quality. (not sharp up and downs like caffeine or coffee, it is smooth and gentle instead). Ebb and Flow.
• Pregnant? Breastfeeding (not for you)
• Serious heart conditions (not for you)
• If you are taking Antidepressants have a smaller quantity.
• If you know you have a caffeine intolerance again have a small amount.
• May cause headaches and be too stimulating for certain individuals. Basic recipe
Always start with a small amount and see how you feel. • 20 to 25 grams for a normal dose, full ceremonial dose is up to 42 grams. • 2 tablespoons of cacao to one cup of hot water • Simmer gently until dissolved. Other ingredients you may like to add, now you have your cacao laboratory cooking up • Cinnamon • Nutmeg • Cayenne pepper • Salt • Dates • Maple syrup • Honey • Agave • Macha • Ashwagandha Play around and tweak to your own taste. In the Mayan tradition they choose not to add anything just enjoy the flavour of the cacao. The taste is like a really dark chocolate. When buying cacao always look out for the spelling CACAO. And coco is CACOA.
I recommend you buy raw cacao but if it’s not available look for cold pressed or unroasted seeds. Anything you see in the shops, unless it says raw cacao, usually doesn’t contain the healing properties. You can find it online and some health food shops. The best time to take it is on an empty stomach in the morning for maximum benefit.
What is Cacao and How to Prepare.
Cacao can be a beautiful heart opening experience for many people! It can also make you feel gassy and bloated if you combine it with sugar so be sure to make it correctly.
1/3 Cup of water for a shot, or 1.5 cups of water for a nice drink.
30-60 Grams of Organic Raw Cacao Powder
Sprinkle of Cinnamon, Cayenne and Stevia to taste!
I never do this part in a calculated way, its better to have it be a little different each time anyways, so explore it and see what you like.
What Cacao has to offer.
This path is all about knowing for yourself what is happening and not necessarily listening to what other people have to say about it. I recommend giving it a go tune into the benefits you feel. The experience for me was that, I felt more energetic, had more clarity and felt more upbeat and boyant.
Consume it on an empty stomach in the morning then meditate.
Cacao is widely known to be able to connect yourself to your heart and emotions, but there is a lot more that can happen too!