Where does this Cacao come from?
Cacao by K comes directly from the Ecuadorian Amazon and from the Tsatsayaku Association – which is made up of 140 Kichwa and Mestizo families from 13 different communities. The mission of the Assocation is to produce and conserve ancestral cacao (Arriba Nacional/Fino de Aroma) that provides a fair price for all of its members.
The cacao itself is grown in the traditional Kichwa farming method ‘Chakra’ – an organic approach seeks to preserve natural resources, biodiversity and protect the natural environment. By buying from these communities, they are able to maintain and protect their wildlife and forest, and also can be more independent economically.
Where exactly is ceremonial Cacao?
Thousands of year ago, dense rainforest covered much of the south American continent. This beautiful forest, interspersed by running rivers, made up the terrain where early civilisations discovered the potency and power of cacao. The native lore of this medicine tells how, “when the planet falls out of harmony, cacao leaves the rainforest to realign our hearts and minds”.
Throughout its long history, cacao has been used for both trade and tribute. The Mayans developed the use of cacao in beverages, often combined with other medicinal plants such as psilocybin mushrooms, and we are only now beginning to rediscover the power of these natural medicines, and the effect that organic Cacao grown by tribes and communities such as the Tsatsayaku can have on its own. In short Cacao is a powerful (legal) plant medicine that has been used ceremonially for thousands of years across Central and South America.
Like many other of our plant allies, the chemistry of cacao is complex, but is has been shown to help boost immunity, reduce cholesterol, improve mood, boost brain power and much, much more. All this from chocolate, what could be better?!
The active ingredient in Cacao is called Theobromine – which is literally translated as ‘Food of the Gods‘, and the word Cacao originated from the Maya word Ka’kau’, as well as the Maya words chokola’j ” which means to drink chocolate together.
What are the benefits of drinking Cacao?
Firstly Cacao helps to release emotional blockages and is said by some to help release patterns of behaviour. The science ‘bit’ for the slightly more sceptical is also well and truly present. Cacao boosts the body’s natural production of Serotonin – the feel good chemical that helps us feel safe enough to be still. It is also one of the highest and richest sources of magnesium, which can help to release the stress system and deactivate adrenalin – ie deactivate the fight or flight response system, who doesn’t need a bit of that right now! Cacao also has the ability to trigger the release of dopamine and endorphins, and also contains the bliss molecule Anandamide – the molecule our body produces when we get a high from a workout. In short Cacao is a literal key to our body’s own internal feel good pharmacy.
Does Cacao taste like ordinary chocolate?
It tends to be much more bitter than ‘normal’ chocolate when it is 100% pure organic cacao. But there are so many things you can add to it – from natural sugars to spices – and I have never made the milkshake for anyone and been told it’s anything but amazing tasting! Some like to add chilli to theirs!
Is this product suitable for vegans?
Yes Cacao by K is vegan.
Should I keep Cacao in the fridge?
I have never kept it in the fridge. Instead I keep it in it’s sealed packaging – Cacao by K packaging is food grade standard – or in an air tight container. Look after it and it will look after you. Also keep it away from animals, as the two do not mix and it can be very dangerous to dogs and horses especially.
Does Cacao have any contraindications?
Cacao is not suitable for those on SSRIs / antidepressants. This is because, depending on the dose, SSRI antidepressants and anti-psychotics are not compatible with the MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) in cacao.
Cacao can also increase heart rate, so you are advised to check with your doctor if you have a heart condition or a significant caffeine sensitivity before buying / drinking Cacao. Cacao on ceremonial doses (ie 40g) can also be strenuous on the adrenals after long-term use, so we advise to not do ceremonial doses too frequently. You are also advised to be mindful if you are allergic to sensitive to Theobromine – the active ingredient in Cacao – as it can trigger migraines and disturb sleep.
Also please keep it away from any four legged friends you may have around or visiting, as the two do not mix and it can be very dangerous to dogs and horses especially.