Cacao is a powerful plant medicine with many benefits for people who open themselves up to try it. It can be used as a tool to release emotional blockages, open your heart and connect with yourself. Cacao has been used as a medicine for thousands of years in cultures like Mayans and Aztecs, but the new age practitioners embrace these benefits by following the traditions of cacao ceremonies as well. Cacao ceremonies are a kind of shamanic healing used for spiritual and medicinal purposes for ‘’inner awakening and creative guidance’’. Pure cacao is used for this sacred ritual where people set their intentions and open euphoric states when they consume the ceremonial cacao. Usually groups pray, sing and dance together in these ceremonies.
It is important to clarify that cacao and cocoa are two different terms, but they are commonly confused. Cocoa powder refers to the roasted form of raw cacao, which you can easily find in supermarkets. When you roast and/or process cacao, molecular structures dramatically change and nutritional value lowers radically. Cacao, on the other hand, is that raw form. Theobroma is ‘’the name of the genus of the cacao tree’’. It is a combination of the Greek word theo, which means god and broma which means food, so it is the food of the gods. Theobroma cacao contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid found in the cacao plant. Theobromine is similar to caffeine but while caffeine stimulates the nervous system, theobromine operates on the cardiovascular system by opening up blood vessels. Some of the physical benefits of theobroma cacao include: reduced inflammation, boosting a healthy respiratory system and a healthy heart, and increasing energy.
Theobroma Chocolate also contains: Protein; fiber; heart-healthy fat (oleic acid); vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E; fundamental minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese.
Aside from these benefits for the body, cacao is a source you can to facilitate a healthy spiritual and mental life. These are some of benefits you can experience with theobroma cacao:
- Release of ‘’bliss molecules’’ which are dopamine, anandamide and the endorphin phenylethylamine are triggered by cacao. Also, it contains tryptophan which is known to increase serotonin, a chemical that promotes positivity, good mood and happiness. A natural antidepressant effect is boosted by cacao due to all these chemicals. As cacao helps ease the stresses and worries of daily life, it pushes you to connect with your optimistic side more. Thus it is a useful tool for your journey to find inner peace. Another substance cacao contains is called anandamide. Anandamide, which is also the chemical produced by the body after workouts, gives you a ‘’rush of good energy’’. Thus cacao can fill your soul with joy and excitement.
- According to the latest research, theobromine helps with boosting short-term improvements in cognitive function. You feel more alert, aware and focused. The sharpened focus can help you live in the moment fully and experience peace.
- Cacao’s mental, physical and spiritual health benefits help improve yourself in practices like yoga by boosting focus and clarity. Cacao ceremonies can help you connect your inner spirit and deepen the meditation experience.
- A benefit of a cacao ceremony is facilitating mental clarity; you connect with your skills, talents and creativity. Cacao is sometimes used for inspiration and creativity by consumers. It can help with inner blocks and inspire you to connect with your creative side. You can experience lots of ‘aha’ moments! Your purposes in life can get clear in your head with this induced state of clarity and you might realise some things you need to let go of as well. With the clarity you gain, your passions and goals will show themselves.
- Another contribution of cacao to spiritual well-being is claimed to be balancing male and female energy within. Everyone has these energies and when they are harmonised you can reach your full potential.
- Cacao is believed to be promoting shamanic journeying. This journey leads you to ancient wisdom and connects you with your spiritual guides. You can reach a state of bliss or flow so that you can manifest your goals. Cacao is famous for opening the heart and increasing your connection with others and your inner self. Love and joy can be experienced.
If you feel the calling of Cacao and would like to unveil the magic of plant-based medicine, join our Cacao Ceremony facilitator training.