Cacao has been used for thousands of years as a medicine for the emotional, energy and our biochemical systems. It’s properties and benefits are vast, here are a few of them:
*** Cacao has a massive amount of antioxidants, over 40 times the amount of blueberries! It has an ORAC score of 98,000 which is unreal! These antioxidants help to stabilise free radicals, repair damaged tissue and support a range of important processes like detoxification therefore is incredibly anti-inflammatory. Chocolate as part of an anti-inflammatory diet? Yes please!
** Cacao also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, improving circulation, lowering the levels of LDL (bad) and increasing the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure.
** Its been shown that cacao can act as an adaptogen, regulating our stress reponse!
*** Cacao has more calcium that cow’s milk, so is great for bones, muscle health and more!
*** Cacao is a great source of chemicals for four scientifically proven happy hormones – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine. These produce neurotransmitters that are associated with happiness, general wellbeing and can even alleviate depression.
*** Cacao has a large amount of magnesium in it which helps energy metabolism, amongst other things, contributing to a healthy brain and heart! Cacao elevates our productivity to another level and enables us to achieve more, with studies showing a 40% increase in brain function!
*** Medical journals report 80% oxygenation of the body as the cacao causes vasodilation of the blood vessels, meaning we have better endurance, stamina, flow and productivity.
*** Research also shows cacao supports cardiovascular health through cleaning the deposits in the arteries. As cacao dilates blood vessels it reduces the risk of blood clot causing injuries like strokes and also lowers blood pressure.
*** Cacao has is the largest plant source of iron and beats many meat sources too! It has 7.3mg iron per 100g (spinach has 3.6!)!
*** Chocolate contains phytochemicals such as flavonoids which has effects similar to oestrogen, making it great at boosting oestrogen, especially good for women at the menopause phase!
*** Cacao is a multidimensional planet spirit which helps us connect to our emotions and self energy without pushing us into our shadow. In this way we can experience transformations as cacao assists us to be more present with ourselves.
*** Cacao is very energising, which is great for people who need greater productivity or work with high energies in healing, holding space or teaching work.
*** Cacao can help us to lcid dream and remember our dreams!
*** The Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors [MAOI’s] and other consciousness compounds in cacao also act as anti-depressants.
Cacao powder, and cocoa powder are different – the latter can undergo high-temperature processing during production. Cacao tends to remain raw – but check for the processing method. About 70% cacao production is within indigenous communities and tribes that have worked closely with the medicine for 1000s of years – so look out for cacao from these sources! Thats where I get mine!
Although it retains significant health benefits, the high temperatures used to destroy some of the nutritional value. As cocoa undergoes further processing to make reduced-strength dark chocolate and milk chocolate, increasing amounts of the nutrients are removed. Therefore, raw cacao powder, cocoa powder, or very strong dark chocolate are recommended for optimal health benefits.
I make delicious, therapeutic cacao to serve in ceremonies, workshops or even my yoga classes to help people get into their heart space because that exactly what it does! On a biochemical level – the happy hormones flood the body, releasing and opening the heart. Oxytocin that is produced as a result dilates the blood vessels which gives us that feeling of openness, bliss and expansion.
On an energetic levels, the spirit of the plant works to open us up to the cosmic and astral dimensions, connecting us to our higher self so we may experience greater alignment and embody more and more of ourselves. I use cacao as a medicine also to enter into communion with my higher self, guides and further reaches oft he universe. It’s really a very beautifully opening and gentle medicine for divination and healing.
Servings: up to you
Preparation time: 20 minutes or more depending on amount you are making
Raw ceremonial grade 100% cacao – about 10 – 15g per dose for a relaxing causal drink – or up to 25-42g for a ceremonial dose. NOTE: I normally serve between 25 – 35g per ceremonial dosage, depending on the work. I only serve large doses of 35g plus if I have numerous space holders and have prepared for deep chunky work and am able to cope with the facilitating. This is only for experienced practitioners. Please get professional advice if you are not familiar with dosages.
Filtered water (half of your liquid amount – or 1 part)
Nut milk of your choice – I used a rice and coconut blend for this (half of your liquid amount – or 1 part)
Organic rose water – non chemical – I use Steenbergs Organic Rose water with organic rose petal extractives and water
Rose essential oil – the purest quality you can get
- Grind the cacao down into a fine powder. If it comes in blocks, you’ll need to chop it up into very small bits with a sharp knife. Then put it into a vitamix or nutribullet type blender. When you get to this stage – make sure you blend in small – medium amounts to make sure all cacao gets equally blended, and stop the blending to give the whole thing a shake to make sure the cacao is moving around the blender. The blender blade tends to heat up and this will melt the very delicate cacao… This is ok, but may get a little messy and you don’t want the cacao to overheat and destroy the nutrients.
- Calculate how much of the cacao drink you actually want per person and then add up the total amount. For example… for 2 people you may want 250ml for each serving making 500ml total serving. The less liquid – the more concentrated the flavour and consistency will be.
- Add water to a pan to heat up to around 47 degrees celsius… this should be half of the total serving amount – so in the example of above it will be 250ml (the other half will be milk). Add in the ground cacao powder to the water. Turn off the heat. Stir gently but firmly for a few minutes, sending your heartfelt emotions, intentions and prayers to the cacao.
- When the cacao is integrated with the water add the milk. Note: the cacao may not look fully integrated/mixed with the water as its mostly fat and needs to be at a very high heat to fully mix. You can try some and test the consistency on your tongue. You’ll know its mixed because the cacao will melt instantly on your tongue. You may heat up the water a little more to mix more, but getting to 50 degrees, you’re starting to really loose some of the life-giving nutrients.
- Add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper to help with blood vessel dilation.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of rose water per serving and a drop of rose essential oil per serving.
- Add in a smidge of date syrup if needs be to take the edge of bitterness off.
ENJOY xx WITH LOVE