top of page

Why Your Body Loves Cacao

Updated: Jul 10

Cacao Origins

The ancient practice of utilizing cacao dates back to 2,000 BCE and holds profound sacred significance among the indigenous peoples of Central and South America. Embraced by civilizations like the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans, cacao was not only cherished but revered as a vital plant integral to their ceremonies, rituals, and spiritual offerings. Cacao is celebrated for its medicinal qualities that support our well-being.

Translated as "food of the gods," theobroma cacao contains compounds that boost energy, heighten mental alertness, alleviate feelings of depression and grief, cultivate joy, and foster a profound sense of love and connection. Theobromine, caffeine, and the renowned cannabinoid anandamide — known as ‘the bliss molecule — stimulate the nervous system and enhance feelings of openness and love. [1]

Cacao benefits include

  • Nourish the heart and shen (spirit/consciousness)

  • Moves blood by dilating blood vessels and stimulating the liver

  • Promote energy by tonifying the kidney yang, which is responsible for our sexual energy

  • Helps regulate menstruation

Cacao & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

In the realm of ancient wisdom found in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Five Element Theory provides a comprehensive framework for comprehending the fundamental forces of nature and their significant impact on our physical and emotional well-being. The five elements  — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water — are the very building blocks of life, each possessing unique properties and associations.

Fire, the most masculine of the five elements, stands as the ultimate embodiment of yang energy. Its earthly representation arrives through the summer season, characterized by heat, growth, warmth, and intensified light. Linked to the heart and small intestines, Fire symbolizes qualities of brightness, upward movement, and evoking joy. [2] 

The Fire element is characterized by a bitter taste, which is prominently associated with raw cacao or dark chocolate.

This thread of connection underscores its extensive benefits and historical use across ancient civilizations and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cacao nourishes the heart and shen, increases energy levels and supports liver function by promoting blood circulation through vasodilation, which enhances blood flow by opening your blood vessels. It helps tonify kidney yang, vitalizes life force energy, alleviates fatigue, and serves as an anti-inflammatory agent. Adding sweetener can bring in the Earth element, which tonifies the spleen and stomach, helping to relax thoughts and slow worries.

The combined effect of sweetened cacao on the liver, spleen, heart, and kidney, offers a comforting embrace of peace and revitalizing energy. Consider incorporating cacao into your well-being practices if you suffer from stress, irritation, PMS, anger, overwork, or tiredness. It serves as an excellent source of antioxidants and diuretic properties, while also functioning as a vasodilator, enhancing blood flow by opening your blood vessels wider. Additionally, you'll discover beneficial amounts of magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, along with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E. 

For best results, enjoy raw cacao in hot water or plant milk with unprocessed sweetener. Adding dairy milk to chocolate causes the antioxidants in cacao to deactivate, potentially negating its health benefits. This effect is thought to occur because the milk protein, casein, binds with antioxidants, reducing their ability to fight harmful free radicals.

Where To Source Cacao

It’s worth noting that not all cacao sources are created equal, with most chocolate production owned by major monopolies. Craft cacao production represents only 3% of the chocolate industry. How do you find the good stuff? Check the label, do thorough research, and seek out sustainable and fair trade products.

It's essential to be mindful of sustainability and fair trade practices due to the monoculture cocoa cultivation that is bad for the land it is planted in, the people who harvest it, and the heavy reliance on harmful pesticides and chemicals. 

We have included a Medicinal Cacao Drink Recipe card below that shares Tess Bloom’s delicious raw ceremonial grade cacao. Tess has fostered partnerships with cacao processors in Colombia, offering ethically sourced, fair trade, raw ceremonial grade cacao through her website. Ensuring that when making your cacao elixir you are supporting both your health and global sustainability efforts. Remember to brew responsibly and honor this indigenous medicine with deep reverence.

Written by:

Natasha Gaye & Jordan Thomas

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page