The cacao tree is native to South America and was first domesticated there over 5,000 years ago, and about a thousand years later, in Mexico.

Cacao (or the cocoa bean) comes from the inside of the fruit that grows on the tree. After the fruit is harvested, the beans are removed, roasted over a fire, peeled, and turned into a paste. The paste is then shipped around the world to be turned into end products like chocolate and ceremonial cacao.

Cacao is most commonly known as the “cocoa bean” and the origin of chocolate. 

what is cacao?

Cacao plays a major part in the traditions of indigenous Central and South Americans who refer to it as the “food of the gods.” A member of Hernán Cortés’s party reported that the only beverage Montezuma II consumed during meals was cacao served in a gold goblet. The Spanish conquistadores brought cacao back to Europe in the 17th century and cacao trees were soon propagated across the West Indies, Asia, and Africa.

Cacao's Rich History

Unlike its more famous processed end product which doesn’t have a reputation for always being good for you, cacao in its original form is packed with nutrients.

Pure cacao is high in:
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Flavonoids
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants
  • Cacao fruit and beans

Studies have found that cacao may:
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Reduce sugar and alcohol cravings
  • Help balance hormonal fluctuations

Cacao Health Benefits

Today, individuals around the world use cacao ceremonially to:
  • Heal emotionally and spiritually
  • Enhance creativity and productivity
  • Assist in meditation
  • Promote a sense of wellbeing
  • Ground oneself
  • Connect to oneself and community

A cacao ceremony is a spiritual ceremony conducted by a ceremonialist who has trained in the art of preparing the cacao drink as well as the space where the ceremony is held. During the ceremony, the ceremonialist prepares recipients by helping them to set intentions and guides them through the ceremony.

The great thing about cacao is that you can enjoy it wherever, whenever, and however you like. So long as you set out with the right intentions and prepare it with respect for the plant medicine, you can prepare cacao and enjoy all the benefits of a cacao ceremony in the comfort of your own home.

Using Cacao Ceremonially

Some popular flavorings are:
  • Vanilla
  • Peppermint
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne pepper*
  • And anything you like!
*Cayenne pepper enhances the effect of the cacao and should be used with caution in sensitive individuals.

Note of Precaution: Cacao can increase the heart rate and should not be used without consulting your physician. Some individuals experience headaches and other side effects, so those new to cacao should start with a small amount.

Creating Your Own Cacao

Hāloa Healing is a proud affiliate of Love Cacao, which sources its cacao directly from the Maleku tribe of Costa Rican and a Mayan Women’s Collective in Guatemala. This means the locals benefit directly from your purchase, and you benefit from the pureness of the cacao which is grown, harvested, and prepared with love.

We use Love Cacao in our ceremonies and also offer it to you to create your own ceremony at home to use with your personalized Cacao Prayer.

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If you are interested in learning more about cacao and becoming a ceremonialist, check out our friend Mindy’s course on Becoming a Cacao Ceremonialist.

This course teaches you everything you need to know to start holding ceremonies for your friends, family, and community.

Become a Ceremonialist

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