There's so much to learn about Cacao, from incredible health benefits to ancient ritual use; the different ways it's sourced and what effect a single cup can have on the entire nervous system.
We decided to answer the top ten questions we get asked. This article includes links to other articles across our website, so delve in as deep as your curiosity leads you!
Let's get started. So, What is Cacao?
Simply put, Cacao is chocolate! It grows from the tree Theobroma Cacao which is native to the tropical northern regions of South America. Cacao, rather than cocoa as it is commonly known, refers to the bean in its raw, untreated form.
And the difference between Cacao and cocoa? We're glad you asked! The key factor is how they're processed. Cacao beans are full of nutrients, so many in fact that they are one of nature's top superfoods. Cocoa, on the other hand, is heat-treated and mixed with additives to become the powdered confectionary item we find in the supermarket.
What are the benefits of Cacao? The list of benefits is endless! Cacao contains high amounts of iron, magnesium and calcium which help fight fatigue, calm the nervous system, improve cognition and support strong bones. Because of its high magnesium content, Cacao improves sleep quality. This makes it an excellent alternative to caffeine because it energises the body through oxygenation, providing sustainable energy without the afternoon crash. The main reason for this is a compound called Theobromine...
So, What is theobromine? Whilst classified as a stimulant, Theobromine doesn't actually activate the central nervous system. It works by dilating the body's blood vessels, improving oxygenation and allowing more blood flow to the head and heart. Theobromine provides a feeling of contented wellbeing, enhancing memory, cognitive performance and creativity.
Next up! What makes Cacao a nutrient transporter? Cacao is a vasodilator, which means it opens blood vessels, transporting nutrients to our cells where they're needed most. For optimum cellular function, we need to consume foods packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids and protein. Add your favourite health supplement to your cup of Cacao, as it maximises the absorption of nutrients by the body.
Can I drink Cacao everyday? The short answer is YES! Yes you can. Cacao is packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients that get your body thriving. Our flavours have been formulated so that you can enjoy the best quality Cacao in lots of different ways. You can prepare superfood lattes, smoothies, as well as choosing from our range of delicious recipes!
We've talked about Cacao's amazing health benefits, so Can Cacao improve a workout? Studies show that Cacao is an effective way to boost energy levels before training, as well as increasing motivation prior to hitting the gym. Read the article to find out why it’s worth adding a spoonful of raw Cacao into your pre-workout.
Now let's answer some questions about the emotional and spiritual benefits of Cacao. You might be wondering, Why is Cacao a heart opener? Opening the heart both spiritually and physically, Cacao invites a sense of deep connection. It stimulates the production of serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine providing a long-lasting feeling of openness and serenity.
The spirit of Cacao is referred to as Mother, and holds deep association with Mother Earth and Pachamama, all of whom are grounding, nurturing energies. In ceremony, we allow ourselves to truly be seen.
What is a New Moon Cacao Ceremony? Sacred hold ceremony every month, to mark the end of one lunar cycle and to step intentionally into the next. Using Cacao, Blue Lillie and healing sound frequencies, the New Moon Cacao Ceremony is an introspective journey where we connect with self, spirit and nature.
Can I do Cacao Ceremony alone? The answer is yes, absolutely!
Sitting in ritual stillness is a highly recommended practice for inner work - the accompaniment of sacred medicine will likely deepen the experience. Cacao is a gentle nootropic which simultaneously stimulates our awareness and induces a state of relaxation and joy. As long as your Ceremonial Cacao is prepared lovingly, with respect to the spirit of both the medicine and the land, you will undoubtedly enjoy sipping in solitude.
With all this talk about spirit medicine, you might be wondering... Is Cacao psychedelic? Cacao, or Ka’kau to its native people, is considered heart medicine in every sense. Physically cacao improves cardiovascular health because of its vasodilating properties. Energetically cacao invites us to love ourselves on a level deeper and more intimate than many of us have previously known.
But is it psychedelic? Philosopher and neuroscientist James Giordano answers, “Cacao is neuroactive, not strongly psychoactive.”
And finally, What is a Sacred Cacao Party?
The Sacred Full Moon Cacao Party is a celebration, where we ride the natural high of Cacao instead of drugs and alcohol. Cacao lifts our mood and opens the heart, so we enjoy authentic expression in a high-vibe, party atmosphere! We host Full Moon Parties every month, in Australia and Switzerland.
Still thirsty for more amazing facts about Cacao? Check out our feature article 10 Things You Didn't Know About Cacao.
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Author | Laura Roberts