Chocolate is a food that everyone knows and most people love, but did you know it has medicinal benefits? Cacao is one of those traditional ceremonial plants that has been distorted by our modern society from a sacred plant to a highly processed food that is overused, abused, and adulterated.
In Mayan culture, cacao (Theobroma cacao) was thought of as the “food of the gods” and was so highly valued that it was used as currency to pay taxes. When Europeans discovered cacao, they brought it back home with them, added milk and sugar, and created the chocolate we know and use today. Traditionally, however, it was used in an unsweetened form in sacred ceremonies to enhance trance-like states.
In the United States, we have taken cacao, cooked it, sugared it, added milk and call it cocoa. So when you hear someone call chocolate cocoa they generally are talking about the processed product, but when you hear them say cacao, they are talking about the plant and the raw plant materials.
Raw cacao has been touted as a super food in the natural health circles. I think after reading this issue you may get an idea as to why. Enjoy this with a nice cup of hot chocolate (home made herbal hot chocolate) or some delicious herbal cacao truffles and see just how cacao can benefit your body.
Cacao Herbal Monograph
The Importance of Fair Trade
The Spiritual Heart of Cacao
Cacao for the Heart
The Flesh of Madre Cacao
My Favorite Cacao Recipes