I have over 10 years of experience in the alternative healing and energy fields as a healer and learner of the ancient healing sciences.
The Mayan Association with Cacao
Cacao served as a Mayan ritual, specifically to worship and give honor to the gods. It was such a sign of reverence, that the god, Kakaw, or Ek Chuah, became one of the centerpieces when this ritual was performed.
The ritual by the Mayan's took place each year. The main focus was to offer gifts and to perform rituals that would allow each individual to become closer to that god. Offerings of chocolate beverages, blood, and artistic dances were often used. It was a reverent time to bless the community and to continue to support the understanding that the cacao seed was an important part of healing and divinity.
As the ritual remained a centerpiece within the Mayan tradition, cacao became recognized as the food of the gods and was treated in a manner that directly related to the ritualistic ideologies of the culture.
Healing Properties of Cacao
While cacao signified food to the gods, it also was known, and still is used, as a central remedy for both physical and mental ailments.
In the Mayan culture, the golden food also was used by healers. If one had an upset stomach or kidney and bowel problems, cacao became a central component to nurse someone back to health.
Today, cacao is recognized as reducing high blood pressure and sugar levels that could become dangerous (this is without the added sugar that is processed in our foods). It's central and proven claim is that it has the capacity to support the reduction of cardiometabolic diseases.
The ideology that chocolate can help you to overcome a bad mood or heartbreak is not so far-fetched from the truth.
Scientists have found that cacao, in its natural state, has the capacity to support insomnia, depression, nervousness, and excitability. It creates a rebalance with several of the chemical and neurological reactions that take place among individuals and create alterations within one's mental state.
The Science Behind Cacao
Grown from a tree in tropical forests, cacao is known as a superfood that presents itself, packed full of rich minerals and vitamins that our body needs.
Theobromine: An alkaloid that assists with the cardiovascular system, specifically by widening the blood vessels and stimulating the heart.
Caffeine: Antioxidant properties that have the ability to support healing at a faster rate at a cellular level.
Iron: Known specifically to treat fatigue and depression, iron assists with transporting oxygen through the use of red blood cells.
Magnesium: With over 300 proteins packed into this mineral, it is able to assist with building new proteins, supporting bones, and regulating muscles, nerves, and blood pressure.
Tryptophan: An amino acid that supports the body's proteins. It specifically targets muscles and neurotransmitters within the body.
B-Complexes Together, these have a direct impact on your energy levels throughout the day. It also influences your brain function and metabolism at a cellular level.
Flavonoids Support by anti-inflammatory and oxidative damage to your body. As a result, it can help in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and brain dysfunctions.
It's packed minerals and vitamins have led scientists to an understanding that cacao is a strong superfood, helping with the prevention against disease, balance within the body, cognitive functions, and supporting the reduction of toxins.
Getting Into the Spirit of the Cacao Ceremony
Today, the cacao ceremony continues to be celebrated throughout Latin America, serving as a preservation of the ritual and offering a healing solution to those looking at alternative approaches to care.
The Maya Conservancy offers a school to train shamans in the field of the ceremony, allowing it to become recognized and offered to those throughout the country.
The ritual begins with a clearing of the area and each individual. In many cases, a central fire is added and is surrounded by flowers and offerings. The individual is then smudged with the traditional sage.
This helps to prepare for the offering to the gods and to clear out any inconsistencies that are taking place within one's body and mind.
The cacao ceremony is then offered to the gods by the individual performing the ceremony. This is done differently based on the practitioner and is used to open a gateway to those experiencing the spiritual and healing remedies of the ceremony.
After this offering, each individual drinks the cacao, which is processed and prepared by the practitioner. Each drink is asked to be combined with intentions that someone has, whether it is healing or releasing, or setting intentions for the future.
Each cacao ceremony progresses with the guidance of your practitioner to transform as needed. Sometimes with music, other times with clearing, and some with releasing intentions into a fire ceremony. While progressing, practitioners will add in shamanic practices. Deep breathing, relaxation, and staying within the moment are all essential to allow the cacao to take effect with the healing that is needed.
The cacao ceremony not only highlights the physical and mental benefits that scientists have discovered. It is combined with a state of symbolism and a spiritual fragrance that allows one to clear their heart center, support restoration, and to heal at all dimensions and levels.
Cacao for Personal Use
The richness of cacao offers a direct impact on mind, body, and spirit. Using the cacao plant in combination with ceremony or for its healing remedies taps you into the Mayan gold that was recognized for its potency.
You can create your own cacao ceremony or use it personally. It's recommended that before you do, you recognize the impact it may have on your cardiovascular system and other areas that may seem imbalanced. The effect is often deeper than expected, so being cautious about any side effects is essential.
Your own cacao ceremony and the ability to enrich your health with this remedy is one that will support your sense of well-being while having a direct impact on physical balance, mental health, and your spiritual sense of clarity.
1. Cassobhoy, A. (2020). Health Benefits of Cacao. Nourish, by WebMD.
2. Hahn, J, H Virk, Z Wang, W Tang. (2021). Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Theobromine in Cacao and Chocolate. American Heart Association.
3. Rojas, R. B Cabinellas. R Portales. (2022). Bioactive Compounds in Native Cacao. Journal of Native Crops in Latin America.
4. Burby, T. (2021). Cacao As the Keys to the Door of Perception: Embodied Spirituality, Transcendence, and Healing Through Ritualized Entheogen Consumption. ProQuest.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Brooke Hart