What is Ceremonial Grade Cacao?
Ceremonial grade cacao is made with an ancient practice where by the cacao bean is fermented and then ground into a paste to form a 100% pure, raw, hard mass. It is not heated, therefore retains all the goodness that this powerful plant medicine has to offer.
So, how is ceremonial cacao different from regular chocolate? Regular chocolate uses only 20-40% of cacao in it’s formulation and is mixed with milk and a ton of sugar to make it more pleasing to the palate and marketable. The cacao in regular chocolate is also heated and therefore loses much of the nutritional value that it has to offer our bodies, hearts and spirit.
Ceremonial grade cacao is a plant medicine that has many benefits ranging from assisting with physical health to spiritual growth. This bitter tasting elixir gently detoxify’s the body of that which it no longer needs. Whilst, it’s high mineral and vitamin content nourishes and restores the body into alignment with optimal mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
In sourcing our ceremonial cacao, Shamanic Heart Medicine not only chooses the highest quality, fair trade cacao, we choose cacao from companies that pay their farmers and workers above and beyond the minimum wage. This ensures that our Cacao is not only good for you, but also for the communities that so loving grow it for us. Some of the cacao we offer you may not be completely certified as organic. However, we have ensured that organic methods are being used in both the growing and processing of the cacao beans.
Ceremonial cacao is commonly made up into a drink or paste and served in ceremony to assist individuals with physical and energetic releasing, healing, harmonising, and manifesting, bringing you closer to your true higher self through the way of the heart.
This wonderful plant medicine can also be consumed daily, as part of a physical and spiritual dieta. To meet with all that this medicine has to offer and truly gain an understanding of it’s incredible effects, daily consumption is advised. When you choose to meet with cacao daily, it shows up for you in a completely different way than in ceremony. So, we invite you to come on this journey with IxCacao (the Goddess of Chocolate) and your higher self, and see all that this wonderful plant medicine has to offer.
Are you feeling the call to meet with Cacao?
The Ancient Medicine of Cacao
The ancient medicine of the cacao bean is still to this day revered as ‘the food of the Gods’. It has been used for thousands of years by the ancient civilisations of the mesoamerican tribes. These tribes worshipped the cacao plant and utilised its powers to bring about harmony, balance, and health to their people. In recent times, modern science has extensively researched this ancient medicine, highlighting the restorative and curative properties of the cacao bean. Adding futher evidence to cacao being one of nature’s most powerful medicines.
The ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations are recorded as the first people to have used cocoa bean preparations to treat body ailments and a wide variety of pathologies. It is reported that they used medicinal cacao for pain, rheumatism, abdominal discomfort, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems disorders. They also used this plant medicine to bring about balance to their mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
These ancient tribes are also reported to have utilised the potent aphodesiac properties of the cacao. They viewed cacao as a symbol of wealth, divinity, power, and strength, all of which were seen as attractive and sexy. The drink of cacao was often served in ritual at weddings, as the husband’s ability to provide for his wife and their future children was demonstrated in the amount of cacao he shared with his wife, family, and guests.
The Modern Discovery of Cacao
When science examined the humble cacao bean and it’s nutritional content (per calorie) was uncovered, ncredibly this bean was found to be an almost complete food. Research findings suggest that the content of the cacao bean can provide a substantial dose of vitamins and minerals, and is capable of serving as the central part of even the most simple diet.
The cacao bean is rich in many nutrients including methylxanthines, flavanoids, and minerals. It also contains healthy fats, alkaloids, and polyphenolic compounds such as flavanols and procyanidins.
Flavanols and procyanidins prevent cellular oxidation and eliminate reactive oxygen species. Whilst alkaloids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, analgesics, local anaesthetic and pain relief, neuropharmacologic, antimicrobial, anti-fungal effects, along with many other beneficial activities within the human body.
The cacao bean has been found to be an excellent source of essential minerals, as it contains calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. When it comes to the copper, iron, and magnesium content in the cacao bean, levels as high as 7 times the required daily intake has been discovered in a 100g serving. Making it a powerful red blood cell builder, mind and body relaxant, and whole body repairer.
So what makes up the whole bean composition? It is mainly made up of lipids (A.K.A. fat), as it’s lipid content stands at 50% of the body mass (cacao butter base predominantly in the triglyceride molecular form). The remaining fat-free mass is made up of 10-20% protein (around 54% Albumin and 43% Globulin, other low concentrations of gluteline and prolamins proteins can also be found), 16% starch, 26% fibre, 5% ash, 33% other components (dependent on which lands and growing processes have been used).
On learning that 50% of the cacao bean is actually made up of fats, one may think this may be a cause for concern. However, when one study monitored the blood cholesterol levels of those ingesting cacao, they found that the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) levels in the study participants had in fact decreased, whilst the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) levels increased. Demonstrating the amazing cardiovascular health support this powerful plant medicine provides.
Furthermore, when one goes digging into the current available research on the health benefits of cacao, it is clear that the consumption of this form of dark chocolate provides numerous health benefits. Such health benefits may include (but are not restricted too); a reduced risk for heart attack and stroke, cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory action, and improved cognitive function. The research suggests that these benefits are predominantly due to the polyphenolic compounds or more simply, the plant’s powerful antioxidant effect in the human body.
One of our favourite aspects of the cacao bean is it’s well known aphrodisiac qualities. In fact, a French doctor named Hervé Robert, hypothesized that because of the “caffeine, theobromine, serotonin, and phenylethylamine, chocolate enhances pleasurable activities, including making love”. Cacao body paint anyone??? Umm, yes please! However, these feel good hormones can also be utilised when working on your relationship with self as their ability to increase pleasure in general day to day activities has also been reported.
The medicinal use of the glorious cacao bean was well known and utilised by ancient Mesoamericans tribes for a multitude of health concerns and procreation activities, and it is only now that science is beginning to understand why.
The Goddess of Cacao: IxCacao
The Spirit of the Cacao is a wondrous teacher of heart medicine, and is also known as the Cacao Goddess, IxCacao. She is a gentle and nurturing energy, but at the same time very powerful. When we use Cacao we are often invited to work with that which lies within the heart, calling in forgiveness and acceptance, and leading us to open up to an abundance of love for ourselves and others.
Cacao In Ceremony
The use of this ancient and revered medicinal plant as part ceremony has been around since the time of the Mayan tribes. The Mayan’s would worship and pray to the Goddess of Chocolate IXCacao and welcome her in with ceremony as they sipped on her powerfully healing elixir.
Drinking this elixir was refereed to as heart-blood. Cacao increases the heart rate and produces the “love hormone”, normally only produced through human touch.
When ceremonial grade cacao is served in ritual, it unlocks the plant’s dynamic medicinal and spiritual properties. This potent plant medicine is a heart expander and when taken in ceremony it will gently open you up to new possibilities as it enhances your awareness, intuition, strength, creativity, and clarity. The plant medicine of the cacao has a divine feminine energy and calls in the goddess of chocolate, IxCacao, to work with you. Unlike other shamanic plant medicines, cacao does not push you into whatever work it feels you need to do. Instead, she takes you by the hand, listens to your heart, and stands strong beside you. Allowing that which you choose to lift the veil on to be revealed and truley seen.
When we journey with cacao and welcome in the Goddess energy that she embodies, we reconnect back into our hearts and begin to see with our hearts. We begin to see through a lens of love. And this is the true essence of cacao… This is what joining in ceremony with cacao offers you.
How to Prepare Your Ceremonial Cacao:
- Set your intention for ceremony
- Set up your ceremony space. This will be where you will sit and drink cacao as you call in the Goddess IxCacao to work with you and your intention. You may want to bring candles, ceremonial oils, crystals, journal and instruments into this space.
- Ensure you have the following;
~ chopping board
~ cutting knife
~ your ceremonial cup
~ ceremonial grade cacao paste/liquor
~ spices (see below)
~ cacao butter
~ 200-300mls of filtered water warmed to no higher than 60 degrees celsius
~ honey or sweetener (if desired),
~ pot and stove top
~ wooden spoon.
- With your chopping board, knife and cacao begin to cut a 55g serving from your block of cacao. Insuring that with each time you connect your knife to the cacao you connect your intention to the cacao. If you are serving for others, call their intention in as you cut each one of their servings. Note; if you or someone you are serving for is pregnant, please only serve 35g of cacao in their brew.
- Turn on your stove top to a low temp. Add your cacao into your pot and place on heat. Storing continuously with your wooden spoon. With each stir continue to infuse your ceremonial intention into your brew.
- When cacao has melted add in a chopping of cacao butter (this is optional and use as much or as little as your intuition tells you to use).
- Take cacao mixture off the heat.
- One by one begin to stir in each spice that you are wanting to add to your cacao. Again stirring in your intention at all times.
- Begin to gradually stir in your warm water. You don’t want to add hot water as this will cause damage to the high levels of antioxidants in the cacao. Stir in as much or as little water as your intuition calls for. Some people like their cacao brew thick some like it thin. Just go with what ever feels right for you.
- Pour your cacao brew into your ceremony cup.
- Add sweetener if your intuition guides you to.
- Take your ceremonial cacao brew over to your ceremony space and enjoy.
What can you add to your ceremonial brew to amplify your connection to the medicine of the gods;
Cayenne; Referred to as the passion spice as it moves the medicine of cacao to the heart centre
Cinnamon; Known as the integrations spice as it transforms and transports the energetics of cacao.
Nutmeg; This is the seer spice and will activate your third eye sight.
Sea salt; Add this is you would like to call in the energy of the deepest earth. Mother Earth connector.
Himalayan salt; Add this to your brew if you would like to call in the energy of the highest earths. Mother Earth connector.
Raw Honey; This is the attuner and will support your digestion of the cacao.
Maca powder; This is the food of the warriors and activates womb & sacral chakra energies.
Lacuma; This invokes sensuality
Baobab; A super food that connects the energies of the earth and the sky in your ceremony.
Mesquite; Brings in a stabalising energy