Are Cacao Ceremonies Safe?

Are Cacao Ceremonies Safe?


According to the good folks at Malocasound, a question often asked of them is whether cacao ceremonies are safe. To answer this question properly though, it is important to first learn a bit more about what these ceremonies are.

In short, a cacao ceremony is one in which pure cacao is taken by participants to open their hearts for spiritual awakening. These ceremonies are extremely popular within the yoga community and have actually been used for thousands of years, dating back to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.

What is the Cacao Beverage Made From?

Most people associate cacao with chocolate and would be forgiven for thinking they will be getting a nice cup of hot chocolate to drink during the ceremony. However, the cacao beverage does not taste anything like hot chocolate.

The cacao beverage is considered to be medicinal and is made from ground cacao beans which are mixed with cacao butter, water, and sugar. Sometimes honey is used instead of sugar and there may also be cayenne pepper added as well. It depends on the facilitator. This medicine is quite bitter but is full of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, and B vitamins.

Is the Cacao Beverage Safe?

There are many misconceptions surrounding cacao drinks and ceremonies, with some believing that the drink is a psychedelic that gets you high. This is not the case, although it is a stimulant. Cacao beverages are classified as safe with only fairly mild effects. However, it is always best to speak to a doctor before consuming anything that could have an impact on medication you are already taking.

The stimulating effects of cacao are similar to those found in coffee, although unlike coffee which contains caffeine, cacao contains its sister molecule theobromine. But while caffeine stimulates the nervous system, theobromine increases blood flow to the heart. Cacao energizes the drinker without any of the jitteriness.

What Happens at a Cacao Ceremony?

How a cacao ceremony is conducted really depends on the facilitator. There are usually several participants who will sit around in a circle with the facilitator or guide. Ceremonial cacao is given to each participant to drink, which typically contains between 70 to 100 percent pure cacao.

While the cacao itself helps to boost mood and open the heart, other tools such as breathwork, sound baths, dance, or meditation may also be used by the facilitator to encourage an altered state in the participants.

What Can You Expect to Feel During the Ceremony?

Everyone is different and how they experience the cacao ceremony will be unique to them. However, some of the more common experiences reported include a feeling of love and happiness, a connection to the higher self, improved focus and energy, and a spiritual journey.

Some individuals will experience physical sensations during a cacao ceremony including tingling, pins and needles, and even discomfortas energy courses through their body. It is not unusual for some people to become so relaxed though that they fall asleep. The length of a cacao ceremony will depend entirely on the facilitator but will typically last for between one to two hours.

Can You Drink Ceremonial Cacao at Home?

Some people drink cacao at home, but before you do thisit is important to consult witha doctor as it can interact with certain medications, such as those prescribed for depression and hypertension. The theobromine in cacao increases blood flow to the heart, causing an increase in heartrate and a reduction in blood pressure. While drinking cacao is safe for most people, it is always best to seek medical advice before consuming it at home.