What is Cacao?

Cacao comes from the bean, is a beautiful, sacred, ancient plant medicine, having incredible healing properties and is considered as a superfood so it is very nutritious containing wonderful healthy fats, excellent levels of magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, calcium, manganese, sulphur and phosphorous, which our diet is generally deficient in. Our bodies need all of these wonderful minerals for our emotional and physical well-being and balance. It has a real emotional grounding and heart opening energy to it, so it is fantastic to work with to open and heal the heart and is also associated with universal love.

Pure, ceremonial cacao is raw chocolate without all the vegetable oils and sugar we see added to processed chocolate and it doesn’t come in powder form so don’t confuse it with cocoa powder or hot chocolate.  Ceremonial cacao comes in a solid – usually a block as it contains all the original healthy wonderful fats.

When to use Cacao

Pure ceremonial cacao is ideal to use when working with ritual, intention setting and meditation, connecting with the spirit of the bean and your own spirituality and inner-essence to find serenity, peace and calmness in a chaotic world.  It is wonderful to sit in reflection after drinking cacao, view your thoughts, feelings and reactions and become more self-aware so it’s a good idea to have a journal nearby to record anything that comes up for you.  It can be used either in ritual or ceremony.  The difference between ritual and ceremony is that a ritual is something we do individually at the same time every day whereas a ceremony is something we do to celebrate something in a group setting for example, a wedding.   It is a good idea to find a quiet space in your house where you won’t be disturbed when working with cacao.

The benefits of Cacao:

  • Good for the cardiovascular system
  • Dilates blood vessels and reduces clotting
  • Balances and acts as an anti-depressant
  • Helps to protect from metabolic and environment toxins
  • Assists in regulating the heart rate and blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks
  • Builds strong bones
  • Balances the brain chemistry
  • Helps to regulate and reduce symptoms of PMS
  • Helps to increase focus and alertness
  • Detoxifies the liver
  • Helps with healthy pancreas function
  • Facilitates anti-aging and rejuvenation
  • Reduces appetite helping with weight loss

The history of Cacao

It’s thought cacao was first used as a health elixir and ceremonial medicine as far back as 1900 BC by the ancestors of Central America, the Olmec people, before becoming a ritualistic medicine used by the Aztec and Mayan cultures, signifying both life and fertility.  They would sit together in circle drinking Cacao to commune with their gods.

In ritual use, cacao became mostly reserved for the male elite with the understanding that it was intoxicating and sexually stimulating and it was generally forbidden for women and children.

Cacao was also given sacred status and was used to trade with, was served in religious ceremonies, given to warriors when they returned home and appeared on the tables of the royal courts of the day.

It was the Spanish who took it out of those native cultures as they invaded and colonised.  They realized the value of Cacao and brought it back to Europe, sweetening it with sugar and spices.  They kept it a secret for the next 100 years!

How to prepare Cacao

Daily serving – 10g – 15g

Ceremonial serving – 30g – 35g

Shave off the required amount from the solid block and whisk into hot water or plant milk such as Oat or Almond.  Coconut oil can added for extra smoothness and creaminess.  Infuse with intention and prayers.  You can add rose water, orange water and sweeten with a natural sweetener such as Agave syrup or experiment with your own recipes.

Where to source Cacao

I can highly recommend “Oh My Goddess Ceremonial Cacao”, sourced from small farmer co-operatives in the Peruvian Andes which is prepared by hand using traditional methods for maximum potency and pleasure.  The highly prized heirloom beans are harvested, fermented and dried traditionally without roasting to preserve the Cacao’s full nutritional and medicinal properties.  You can purchase yours by emailing me at or send me a message by clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of my home page Home – Pura Vida Holistic Therapy (