Hello Health and Wellness Seeker,
I invite you to take the opportunity to connect with the power of the cacao plant as a heart medicine and learn about the physical mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of ceremonial cacao to elevate humanity. You can learn about these benefits by listening to the amazing conversation I had with Jordan (Jojo) de Bellescize, on episode #51 of the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
What is Cacao?
In the ancient Mayan culture, cacao has been an integral part of the diet, complementary to corn. It is rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, beta carotene, and amino acids. Cacao can be consumed as a ceremonial beverage or mixed with other foods. The unique compounds in Cacao enable relaxation, heightened awareness and increased creativity. By stimulating the heart center, cacao aids in creating a sense of openness for expansion and love. My podcast guest Jojo, is doing some amazing work with Cacao Source, which is a platform where we can buy ceremonial cacao directly from farmers. They employ several women to do the extraction work and aim to re-establish the culture of cacao as a medicine and an incentive to reforestation. Roasting is a key factor in making cacao and will benefit certain qualities of cocoa depending on time, the length of it and the temperature.
Listen to the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #8 “Fasting, Keto & Keto Flexing for Overall Health, Weight Loss & Longevity” with Ben Azadi on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
History & Origin of Cacao in the Mayan Culture
that does not mean it will work for you. You might be that 10% it does not work for.
I invite you to listen to the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #49 “Reversing MS with Nutrition, Mindset & Lifestyle Habits” with Kate McDowell on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Cacao is one of the uniting links between the different civilizations over Mexico, Guatemala, and Salvador Honduras. It is considered the drink of the Gods. It was considered an amazing form of exchange/currency and used a medicine. It was a common medicine widely known by the different civilizations to be a stimulant and therefore a food for war used by warriors and merchants. Cacao is associated with the Sacred Feminine or Divine Feminine, and our connection to the mother goddess whose internal power gives us life and calls us to her. Cacao is associated with a divine like abundance and it grows in the heart of jungle where the Sacred Feminine resides.
I invite you to read my blog post “Using Psychedelics for Mental & Emotional Health”.
Benefits of Cacao
Cacao is one of the most complex nutrient dense food, especially when it grows on rich and nutrient dense soil. It has about 3000 – 4000 compounds in it. And 70% of them are very complex medicine. Jojo argues that cacao is one of the divine gifts for preventive medicine.
The benefits of Cacao can be categorized in 3 categories:
- It’s a stimulant. It is one of the strongest, stimulant available in nature because it simultaneously stimulates our mood, brain, consciousness, heart circulation, and entire body. The caffeine component in cocoa is usually not so high but varies depending on where cacao comes from. What makes it a stimulant is neuroactive compounds and other alkaloids like theobromine. Cacao is also a muscle relaxant that helps the circadian cycle. It will make us more awake during the day and more relaxed when it’s night. It’s almost like an adaptogen in terms of what our body needs, given the circadian hour.
- Regeneration. The adaptogen quality in Cacao enhances the experience of whatever our body requires, hence it adapts to our body’s needs. It has serotonin and dopamine composite and is one of the rare medicine foods that have serotonin. The effects are close to CBD. Cacao has different kinds of amazing healthy fats and natural sugars in the right proportions. The minerals in Cacao lead to energetic effects. For example, magnesium is essential for cell membrane creation and magnesium in Cacao helps with energy and overcoming fatigue.
- Awareness. It’s also an antioxidant, because it has polyphenols. They are micro compounds called tannins, also present in wine. These clean the blood and help several body processes. Antioxidants have amazing consequences like reducing cancer risk, boost brain health over time in the long term, help in cell generation in the brain which helps with preventing neuro degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Although, Cacao is interactive, it’s not a psychedelic medicine. It will help provide our brain with the matter needed for synaptic connections. It helps to diversify neuronal pathways and is a mood enhancer and also considered a nootropic.
Uses of Cacao
Cacao is bitter, tart and strong so we need to balance it with a sweetener like dark amber maple syrup or a pinch of ginger.
Using cacao can be a true culinary playground. In my podcast Jojo says that he loves its diversity and enjoys cooking it in so many ways. For example,
- We can make a nut butter like almond/cashew add cacao and add 1-2 spices chosen intuitively.
- We can mix cacao with fruits, banana or mango puree, and then make truffles.
- Mix the cacao powder with water and blend, shake or emulsify for a delicious drink.
- We can make sauces to accompany meals by adding coconut and almond/cashew milk.
- We can make ice cream.
Cacao paste are blocks. We scrape and melt it under 100 degrees Celsius to preserve the fat qualities in a double boiler that results in one of the best culinary base because it’s liquid when it’s hot and it will absorb properties from other medicines, like medicinal mushrooms. Reishi and Lion’s Mane mushrooms are amazing to mix with Cacao because they will be better absorbed and therefore have eventually an exponentially more complete effect on the body.
Listen to episode #40 Laurita Cardenas talking about “Temazcal: Ancient Ceremony of Cleansing & Purification” on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
What is Ceremonial Cacao?
In my podcast Jojo talks about 4 criteria to determine ceremonial caca:
1. Source: This means transparency from where it comes from and it’s always better if it comes from an “alive” forest where it’s the most nutritious.
2. Process: How is it transported? Is it fair trade? Is it ethical? Who made it? Are they happy? Do they speak to it? It’s not equitable in terms of the way it’s being distributed?
3. Absorption: Cacao absorbs negative energy as well as love, hope and care. At Cacao Source there are women making chocolate as a crew, who look after it, talk to it and laugh together while earning their livelihood empowering them to create something amazing for their family and communities, resulting in a lot of positive energy going into the Cacao.
4. Genetic Analysis: Some Cacao is found in the most isolated places of Guatemala and Mexico and have been preserved from the industrial hybrids so this increases the quality of it because it’s truly authentic.
My Experience with the Cacao Ceremony
My first experience with the Cacao ceremony was at the full moon cacao ceremony in Playa Del Carmen in 2020. I was astonished that it was because I thought to myself how can hot chocolate cause such an amazing experience. It tasted amazing and it truly provided such a magical experience, opening my heart up to the elements and being so grateful that I was able to experience the Full Moon in such a beautiful setting. It tasted a little more bitter and felt like an opening up of my entire being. After it, I felt unbelievably relaxed and decided to do more of this. I am currently incorporating a Cacao ritual with my Ecstatic Dancing giving me energy and I find that it allows me to get out of my head and into my body to connect with myself and my inner being. Dancing with cacao helps develop dopamine and is a great way to start and experience ecstatic mystic self-transcendence.I love how we set an intention before the ceremony that helps to guide us in whichever direction we are supposed to take. I enjoy a cup of organic Cacao with a nut milk, a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg almost every day.
Take Home Message
Jojo recommends from his experience and research, that the ideal consumption of Cacao is 10 to 15 grams or maximum 20 grams per day, and then advises to take a break every now and then to avoid its addictive effects. When we drink cacao, we drink chocolate but when we meditate with it and take time to drink it in a ceremonial way, we can reap the numerous amazing benefits of Cacao.
Check out Jojo’s non-negotioables self-care habits that nourish his soul.
For more information listen to the full podcast episode #52 with Jordan de Bellescize on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Connect with Jojo here:
I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.