I had a surprise last Thursday when I woke up to read a Business Insider article about Cacao Ceremonies in SF. While that was pretty surprising in itself, the fact that I was mentioned in the article was even more surprising. While on one hand I'm glad that Cacao is reaching more people, and it's kind of cool to be featured in such a large publication for my work, I've had a sour taste in my mouth since reading the article. Not only did the author not notify me that I was referenced in the article, she also misstated facts about Cacao.
So, in the hopes of spreading accurate information, here are some corrections and comments from my perspective.
1) Cacao is not hallucinogenic. It sounds like the author has not actually worked with Cacao.
2) At different points in history, the Aztec + Mayan peoples used cacao as currency, to stand in for human blood in ceremonies, and as a delicacy beverage long before it was ever used in making what we now call chocolate.
3) The scientific name for Cacao is Theobroma Cacao - translating to Food of the Gods. This plant and her medicine are a gift to us. Sharing Cacao in ceremony is much more than an SF fad and has been going on for thousands of years.
4) In a very real way Cacao will help remove physical blockages, release stored emotions and move energy through your body. In ceremonial doses it can increase your blood flow by up to 40%, meaning your heart, and the rest of your body is receiving a LOT more energy movement than is typical. This is not just a way to 'get high' (although it can be super fun), it's also a way to go deep within and be shown what is hiding under our layers.
5) In addition to Theobromine + Typtophan, which the author mentions in the article, Cacao is loaded with good chemicals + minerals. It has Anandamide (the bliss molecule), over 600 antioxidants (blueberries have 60+), it increases serotonin levels (our feel-good brain receptors), has more calcium than cow's milk, and is a great source of magnesium and iron. Some argue it's the ultimate superfood.
6) CACAO IS HEART MEDICINE. It helps us open and connect with each other. I'm happy to see that it's medicine is spreading and being shared with more people. Please approach this medicine with love, respect and clear intention. <3
Please spread the good (and accurate!) word about this magical plant! :)