Updated: Sep 20
As part of our new tonic health enhancements, Marc has created a Cacao tonic which is available in store for purchase. Marc has written this blog to share his experience with Cacao and what it is.
Cacao in its purest form, it isn’t as moorish as it tastes after you tear off the shiny wrapper or box you buy off a shelf. It is dry, bitter and gritty. It grows in various red and yellow colour pods that hang from each small evergreen family tree.
I was first introduced to this amazingly versatile bean during my time living in a mountain jungle, pacific side of Costa Rica. The 25 acre plot I called home had a small number of Cacao trees on it.
In the community there was also Cacao farm. The beans were processed for products not for ceremony, yet the Cacao was flawless.
Cacao has been used for ceremonial and shamanic purposes for centuries. The Mayans have worshiped Cacao since 600AD, the Aztecs followed. Only those considered to be a ‘special individual’ would be offered access to this sacred beverage. Cacao was held in such high regard by the Mayans it was traded as currency.
So how and what is it used for in a ceremony aspect?
Once the fruit is fermented and the pulp is separated the beans are ground into a cacao paste and prepared as a drink. Nothing is removed from the bean so it remains pure, unlike the powder you purchase in a store.
For ceremonies this is important as the nutrients and potency are required to be preserved to receive its full effect. Once the paste is prepared with intention and prayer, water and cacao butter with a little honey or coconut sugar is added.
Each ceremony is unique. Environment, facilitator and shaman provide the setting to set intention, to revive the plant's healing properties and heart opening benefits for intention to give and receive. A traditional safe and sacred space may take place near the ocean or around a fire, dancing or complete silence with a consolidated intention for everyone to feel nurtured and nourished. There is a strong sense of connection and openness around the circle of participants as you sip at your cup.
What are the benefits you may ask?
Cacao is considered a psychoactive or psychotropic plant. This doesn’t mean you will be high as a kite or tripping balls for the next 10 hours like other plants. Cacao is all about heart opening and growth of wisdom. A warming connection from inside of self, a healing. Cacao holds a high concentrate of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can assist to reduce blood pressure, lower anxiety and stress levels as it is a natural cardiovascular system balancer. It permits blood to flow, assisting with circulation of nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide and hormones around the body, vibrating for us to connect, love and feel a deep connection with our self. Moderation is key, just like anything, too much of a good thing can be overwhelming and de-stabilizing for your being.
A balanced amount of Cacao in your existence can provide an uplifting effect, help clear mind space, fill you with love, heal resistance and blockages of connection to self; opening space for oneness and peace.
Photos by Marc Gates