Cacao History, Benefits and Uses
What are the benefits of drinking KAKAO?
When approached with intention, KAKAO can assist you in coming out of the head and into the heart. It helps your body & mind become more receptive and open to all forms of meditation, connection and creativity.
KAKAO is a beautiful connector and a great counterpart with not just meditation, but also with dancing, singing, writing, setting your daily intentions, or even connecting with a friend or romantic partner.
You can drink KAKAO daily as a ritual in your own personal ‘ceremony’ or whenever it calls you. Cacao is powerful, sweet presence that can assist with healing and opening the heart, emotional release, inner child work, activating your authentic self, and creative inspiration.
Most people find KAKAO to be grounding and clarifying.
Whole cacao beans contain many compounds that are known for eliciting the sensations of bliss, euphoria, love and sensuality. Primary effects include:
- Calming of the Nervous System
- Enhanced Creativity
- Increased Blood Circulation & Digestion
- Deepened Meditations & Inner-work
- Clearing Blocked/Stuck Emotions
- Euphoric Connection to Self, Others, and Nature
- Enhanced Libido
- Increased Energy (without the nervous buzz from caffeine)
- Prolonged Focus
How is KAKAO unique from other sources of cacao/chocolate?
1. The Strain of Cacao Used. KAKAO uses only the native variety of Cacao in Peru, called Chuncho. The first cocoa tree was domesticated by Mayans over 3000 years ago. The chocolate derived from this variety is of the highest quality, classified as one of the finest flavored chocolates. Many cacao farmers across the globe grow trees that produce lower quality chocolate because they are more resilient to disease, produce higher yields, thus are more likely to guarantee a good harvest. KAKAO is committed to using only wild crafted, native, organic cacao.
2. Our Processing Methods. The WHOLE bean is used for our drinking KAKAO, meaning higher nutritional value, higher butter content, and more noticeable effects upon drinking due to the higher concentration of ceremonial compounds. KAKAO is not considered a 'raw cacao powder' because it is fermented and roasted.
3. Our Intention. KAKAO is intentionally sourced, processed, and ritually blessed with the energies of love, service, compassion, abundance, prosperity and purpose.
History of Cacao
Disclaimer: The KAKAO Team is continuously learning about the history of Cacao, much of which has been lost over time due to the colonization of Central and South America. While we deeply honor and respect Cacao's origins, we are not experts and therefore are committed to being students of this wisdom right alongside each and every one of you.
Cacao's Mayan History
In Mayan tradition, Cacao has been revered, studied and worked with both in and out of ceremony. Cacao has been known as the 'food of the gods' and was even at times used as currency.
We have recently been made aware of a family of Elders (the Cruz family) in Guatemala that are openly and generously sharing Cacao's history and wisdom. They lead traditional Mayan ceremonies (typically centered around the sacred Fire), which Cacao is at times a part of (as both an offering and as a medicine).
The Indigenous peoples and Elders that have held this wisdom deserve to be honored and respected from start to finish when it comes to Cacao or any plant medicine for that matter. We wish their voices to be heard, as we know we have much to learn from them collectively. We stand wholeheartedly in sourcing and working with cacao in full integrity, in a way that contributes to the keepers of the medicine, versus taking it without consent, or worse, in a way that damages their communities.
While KAKAO sources from and focuses on the communities in Peru, we believe that the Cruz family in Guatemala is bringing something forward that is powerful in its own right. We encourage our entire community to learn about the history of Cacao as they are guided, and at the very least to offer gratitude, reverence and reciprocity when working with KAKAO.
We want to make it clear that the way in which we hold ceremony (both personally and in a groups) is by no means meant to replicate or replace traditional Mayan Ceremonies.
For a 10 minute documentary on the history of Cacao as told by the Cruz family in Guatemala, click here.
''According to both archeologists and Mayan spiritual elders, the Cacao Spirit was one of the most powerful deities in ancient Mayan cosmology. While the ancient Mayans and Aztecs of Southern Mexico and Guatemala are best known, there are contemporary Indigenous cultures in Central and South America who continue cacao use in shamanic ceremony. Although one of the world’s finest spiritual or shamanic partners, cacao was ignored in the ‘60’s resurgence of medicine plants because it does not act like a psychedelic – it does not take you on its trip, but facilitates your own. Ceremonial details of how ancient cultures used chocolate are not known. It is Cacao’s choice to return at this time, and I am having fun being part of Her flow.'' - @The Chocolate Shaman, Guatemala
KAKAO's Sourcing in Peru
Throughout our website, we share in detail about the direct sourcing of native cacao from wild farms in Peru, as well as the relationship we hold with those on the ground in Peru. We also share our story and the 'why' behind creating this organization in the first place.
Through our travels and research, we were ultimately guided to partner with the native strain of cacao from Peru, called Cacao Chuncho. Having been exposed to and vastly educated on Cacao Chuncho over the years, we are extremely passionate about its history, its preservation, and the farmers and communities connected to it.
To our knowledge, there is currently no record of using Cacao ceremonially in Peru. We have heard of Indigenous peoples in Peru growing cacao, offering it as a part of Dieta in combination with other Master Plant Teachers, or using it as medicine especially during pregnancy.
With that said, we wholeheartedly stand by Cacao Chuncho’s ceremonial uses and we feel honored and privileged to share this special Peruvian cacao as a heart-opener, an assistant in emotional healing, an ally in creativity, and a connector to the Natural World and Higher Self.
In addition to KAKAO's mission to make ethically-sourced ceremonial-grade cacao accessible for heart-healing across the globe, as a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization we have a responsibility to give back to the communities and people involved in growing, harvesting and producing our product. While paying beyond fair-trade prices has been a non-negotiable since Day 1, KAKAO stands to take it even further. Our aim is to be profitable no later than early 2022 and partner with the team on the ground in actualizing our first give-back project.
Learn more about KAKAO's sourcing & production methods here.