The History & Benefits of Cacao
Thousands of years 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.
In terms of benefits, wow where do i even start! There are so many…
~ 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 skeptical 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 – i.e. 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 opening and unlocking our body’s own internal feel good pharmacy.