What are the benefits of Ceremonial-Grade Cacao?
Whilst the popularity of cacao is rising, let's not mistake it with a modern-day fad. Cacao has been used for thousands of years.
Ancient tribes discovered the benefits that cacao impacts on the human soul and body, and have been practicing with it for centuries. In fact in Aztec culture, cacao beans were considered more valuable than gold.
The official Latin name for the cacao tree is Theobroma Cacao, meaning ‘food of the gods’. Theo = god and broma = food. See here to read more about what exacrly ceremonial cacao is.
Nowadays, cacao is used world wide and is not only used to deepen into greater self and spiritual connection but also for the amazing health benefits cacao has on our mind and body.
Below I will walk you through a combination of the scientific health benefits and also the spiritual benefits of this amazing elixir.
Top 5 benefits of cacao:
The Happiness affect - Tryptophan and phenylethylamine (PEA)
Cacao can contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin, our primary neurotransmitter to help make us feel good.
Cacao also contains several compounds that are similar to our own neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin and anandamide. These compounds include tryptophan, tryptamine, phenylethylamine (PEA), and natural cannabinoids called N-acylethanolamines. Together, these compounds are able to activate our natural reward pathways, improve focus, and elevate feelings of pleasure and joy.
The combination of all these brain enhancing components in one superfood promotes positive mental health and provides a beautiful sensation of joy, happiness, bliss and wellbeing.
It is the PEA in cacao that contributes to the blissful high we get from cacao.
Energy Booster - Theobromine.
Cacao contains the natural stimulant, theobromine, which is derived from caffeine and exerts a similar uplifting effect in the body. Theobromine works by blocking adenosine-receptors in the body and influences the effects of adenosine to boost energy, enhance focus and mood, and create an all-round uplifting effect.
If you are someone that struggles drinking coffee, theobromine has some significant benefits over caffeine as it is less potent as a stimulant and doesn't over activate the adrenal system, providing stimulation without burnout. The outcome is an uplifting effect that is sustained, without big peaks and troughs often experienced with caffeine.
The heart opening affect you experience or may have heard of is also due to the theobromine and how it significantly increases blood flow.
Copious amounts of health benefits:
Cacao is one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants and one of the highest sources of magnesium known to man.
It also contains calcium and magnesium, it's also high in an extensive number of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, calcium, zinc, copper and potassium.
The broad array of bio-actives makes it a complete healthy superfood for long-term wellbeing and happiness.
Spiritual connection to self.
One of my favourite reasons I love cacao is, while cacao doesn’t have ‘psychedelic’ properties, it is considered a form of ‘plant medicine’ not only due to all it's incredible health benefits but also because of the ancient practices and history behind how cacao was discovered and used.
The Mayans were possibly the first to write about cacao in the form of hieroglyphs and pictures, found in their tombs and on the vessels to contain their liquid cacao. One such vessel, dating back to 460-480 A.D., from a Mayan tomb in Río Azul, northeastern Guatemala, possesses the characters that translate to the Olmec and Mayan word, “ka ka wa,” or cacao.
This word is a combination of the words meaning “man” “woman” and "spirit" referring to how cacao ceremonies represented the unification of man and woman to create life and spirit.
Ceremonies also depicted this in the use of the molinillo, a specialised whisk that could introduce air into the cacao paste.The molinillo represented masculine energy (phallus), while the cacao vessel represented the feminine (womb) and the process of whisking the cacao to create air represented the creation of life.
Connection to MammaPacha - Mother Earth.
Now more than ever humanity craves connection with natures and mother earth, we seek moments to be still and ground ourselves. The history of cacao teaches us that cacao is about reconnecting with energy of our ancestors, mother earth and the people who honour this plant.
It is about giving thanks to mother earth, being grounded and connecting with community.
Ceremonial-grade cacao is 100% natural, nothing added nothing remove, a gift from nature herself.
Whilst, this list could very easily be the top 20 or 50 benefits of cacao, the biggest take away we can have from this plant is that it helps our body to heal and detoxfy whilst connecting us be to nature and is a gentle reminder how our connected our ecosystem is.