Cacao Ceremony - A Tasty Recipe for Wellness
First of all, it's not a religious thing. Not even something of Buddhist influence (which is a philosophy and not a religion). Relatively new in the western world, Cacao Ceremonies have been used as a ritual for healing and cleansing for generations by indigenous tribes. Maybe it sounds cheesy and ‘new age’ but for centuries it has been a mainstay of many cultures as way way to reconnect, open your heart and heal inner wounds. Ancient traditions certainly must account for something.
"Cacao Ritual" just doesn't have the same ring to it...
But what exactly is a cacao ceremony? Do you have to travel to all the way to Mexico or Bali to take part in one? No, you most certainly don’t, unless you are the type of person that can’t boil water. It’s really not all that hard to do and actually only requires least one other person for a ceremony (you can do it alone too).
You don’t need much:
Half a cup of water.
Pinch of chilli or some cayenne pepper
A sweetener such as honey or agave (you can use some sugar if you want)
Any spice, such as ginger, cardamom, cinnamon or even vanilla
Heat the water until just before it boils. Or let it boil and cool for a couple of minutes. Add the cacao and stir until you make a smooth texture. Add the pinch of chili. Now add the optional sweetener and spices (which just make it nicer).
I look to wholistic teachers for advice, and this is what they shared with me:
"...This is an ancient shamanic ceremony using a holistic approach to regain balance of both energy and health. It’s been done for 1000s of years but only now is becoming popular in mainstream culture.
No sculling, drink it slow...
Try to really enjoy the aromas and flavours for a full sensory experience."
Don’t expect a cup of hot chocolate, this is very different. Although I’m sure you’ll remember how as a child hot cocoa had a warm soothing effect on you. This mixture is actually quite thick and a bit bitter (hence honey or sweetener). Don’t expect an out of body experience or a psychoactive high, but you will notice something.
Cocoa takes about 20-30 minutes to have any effect and the energetic feeling can last for up to 5 hours, depending on the amount that you have consumed. But start slow, until you are used to it.
No matter if you are doing the ritual alone or with a group, be sure to prepare your drink in a light-hearted and happy mood. Afterwards, meditation and yoga are absolutely brilliant. Always drink lots of water when you do a cacao ceremony. If your tummy feels upset, perhaps have a bit of yoghurt.
Even though there are a few contraindications (of which you can do more research on your own), most people experience no ill effects. If you are sensitive to coffee or other stimulants, just take it slow. But for most people, it’s not much more intense than an espresso, but a lot healthier.
If you are on a keto diet, you can even add MCT powder. Others add protein powder or vitamins. But cocoa is really good for you. It is the highest plant based source of iron, has 40 times the anti-antioxidants of blueberries and is loaded with calcium and magnesium.
It’s actually quite a social fun exercise to sit in a circle in a comfortable space and share this ritual with friends.
Kristina is Resident Mama @Calm-a-Mama and a self-admitted yoga nerd and avid wellness enthusiast, interested to learn more about every element of wellness from every culture far and wide.