What exactly is Ceremonial Cacao and why is it so special?

The Original Super Food

Over the last decade, Cacao, predominately in the form of 'raw cacao powder,' has become a staple for health food junkies all over the world. With an impressively long list of health benefits, it’s not hard to see why. 

Higher in antioxidants than any other widely consumed food, Cacao is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium.

 Cacao in its whole, unprocessed form contains flavonoid compounds epicatechin and catechin, both of which have been shown to have beneficial effects on vascular function and increased cognitive performance.

Whilst most people are quite familiar with the cocoa powder you might see at the supermarket or even the organic, 'raw' cacao powder that graces the shelves of Wholefoods, the profound healing potential of Cacao in it's purest and most potent form is not so widely known.

It's important to note that there is nothing wrong with Cacao powder per se, however intense heat and industrial processing means that it has been separated from its fat element with many of its active compounds destroyed. This completely changes how this plant is received and absorbed by the body and it means we are missing out on some of the juiciest and most exciting properties of this medicine.

Ceremonial Cacao, on the other hand, is full and whole, having been only lightly sun-dried before being stone ground into a paste. Nothing added, nothing removed. 

We work with only the highest quality Cacao beans, grown by the Mayan Qʼeqchiʼ  tribe in Guatemala. It is our mission to bring this sacred medicine directly from the jungle to you so that you can experience Cacao the way it has been experienced for over 2 thousand years!

So how does it work?

Before the Spanish invasion of Central America, Cacao was more than the candy we know it to be today, Cacao was sacred. As one of the most ancient and revered plant medicines throughout Meso America, Cacao has been used medicinally and ceremonially by shamans and healers for thousands of years, worshipped for its heart-opening & bliss-inducing properties.

The active ingredients in Ceremonial Grade Cacao help to relax the nervous system as well as the busy 'thinking mind', enabling the drinker to access the deeper layers of consciousness that often go unnoticed or neglected.

Within this space and silence comes the clarity we need to help us understand who we are, where we are going, and the opportunities available to us.

Meditation and 'inner-work' can be hard and Cacao acts as a gentle and nurturing guide, encouraging self-exploration and self-discovery. She possesses a simple yet potent ability to take you on a deep inner journey of your psyche, heart & soul.

When we drink Cacao, anything is possible, sometimes we share, sometimes we sit in silence, sometimes we laugh, cry, dance, shake or even scream but always we open our hearts to infinite love and possibility. 

Whether you’re looking to release emotional blockages, find some creative inspiration or simply want to feel GOOD, a ceremonial Cacao is a powerful tool to re-align and connect to your heart.

So what makes Cacao Ceremonial Grade? 

Because there are currently no regulations or standardisations in place regarding what makes Cacao 'Ceremonial,' we highly recommend doing your research and making your judgement based on the integrity of the company.

Most people are not aware that there is a there is a very real, very dark side of the Cacao/Cocoa Industry.

Cacao grows wildly and abundantly in its homeland, however, it was introduced to West Africa in 1879 which currently accounts for more than 80% of the Worlds Cacao production. Sadly, a vast majority of the commercial chocolate brands on the shelves today are using Cacao beans that have not only been highly processed, but have been grown and harvested by horrendously underpaid workers - often children, living and working in extreme poverty. These workers are often paid as little as $2 a day and work from 6 in the morning into the evening...

We consider Cacao to be a herbal medicine and this means ensuring that we use the same selection criteria when sourcing our Cacao as we do all of our medicinal herbs. 

Our non-negotiables are:

- Sustainability - The earth and natural habitat where the plant is grown is treated lovingly and respectfully.  

- Organic - No pesticides, herbicides or any other chemicals have come into contact with the plant. 

- Fairtrade - The farmers who grow and harvest the plants are fairly paid at a price they deserve, one which allows them to sustain themselves, their families and their communities. 

- Minimally processed - Low fermentation and low temperatures are applied without roasting so that the plant maintains its natural purity and quality.

When it comes to Ceremonial Cacao, Source and Quality is key, as are Integrity and Respect.

There are two simple ways to show your respect and gratitude to the wisdom keepers of this plant and ensure you are working in alignment with the spirit of this medicine.

1. Acknowledge 

2. Give back

Whenever you drink Cacao, take a moment before you begin your ritual to not only honour the original wisdom keepers of this plant but the land on which your Cacao was grown.

There are many ways to give back to the people who have sacrificed so much to keep these traditions alive. The first is to ensure the Cacao you are purchasing is sustainably sourced by companies committed to investing in the livelihood of these communities. Don't be shy about asking these questions. 

You can find more information about Reciprocity & Respect when it comes to working with Ceremonial Cacao HERE.