How to work with your cacao at home:

Where it comes from: The Cacao is sourced from a Peruvian co-operative, which was founded in 1998 to preserve traditional methods of harvesting, working with small farmers to cultivate, process and market their products in accordance with the Soil Association’s organic standard. Their four founding principles are:

 

1) Quality over quantity

2) Supporting Andean mega-biodiversity, not homogenisation

3) Promoting organic methods of production

4) Fair income distribution among the people participating as suppliers, transformers and traders

5) Social responsibility, following the principles of Fair Trade

 

The co-op works alongside the small farmers, generating employment for the local community and offering training and financial support to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship, thus raising the living standards of small farmers and sustainably increasing crop yields.

 

Warnings: 

*If you are on antidepressants or anti-psychotics please take a micro-dose amount, 5-10g, especially if on a high dose of medication and monitor yourself, gradually build up the Cacao over a period of weeks if you feel no effects.  Please Google your medication. Taking too much Cacao can result in painful headaches or Migraines. If this happens drink lots and lots of water to dilute the medicine in your system and rest. 

 

*Any real cacao can easily kill dogs, cats, parrots, and horses, who genetically lack the enzyme that metabolically processes the theobromine in cacao.  

 

*People with a heart condition, where a 20% increase in heart rate would be a medical emergency, should drink less of this cacao while they monitor its effect on their heart rate.  However, it does lower blood pressure (cacao is a vasodilator), if your pressure is high. Many people, including myself, have had no problem with low blood pressure and Cacao.

Dosage:

Different dosages may have different effects on you on different days, so start slowly, tune in and listen to your body’s wisdom. So there is no strict rule.  However, I work with the rough guidelines 5-10g is a microdose. 15-20g medium dose. 25-40g strong dose. I would not recommend working with the higher end or more than 40g unless you are very experienced, or the space is being held for you securely in a small group or individually. I would certainly start low and build up your personal knowledge of how she works with you. 

 

Recipes:

There are many, many ways to make Cacao.  Google for inspiration and experiment. My starting advice is:

  • Set your intention.  They weigh out your Cacao on digital scales.  Chop it finely with a knife so it is almost powder, pray into it whilst you do this.  I find the chopping/grating very meditative.

  • Measure out approximately 200-300ml of purified water. Boil it in a kettle then place in a small pan.  Add the Cacao, then I always add a base of cinnamon, a pinch of good quality salt, cayenne pepper (helps get it into your system faster).  

  • Optional extras to thicken include coconut oil or cashews.

  • Sweeteners could be dates, as a vegan I avoid honey but some people use it, or agave.  However, I think there is more of a conscious connection with the medicine when you embrace the bitterness.

  • Dairy milks prevent your body being able to absorb a lot of the benefits and are full of chemicals.  If you need to work with a milk, try unsweetened almond, hemp, oat or coconut.

  • Slowly head the water with all the ingredients in. Careful in simmers but never boils.  If you want to add a froth to it then blend it once warmed.

Guidance:

Find a special/sacred place to drink your Cacao, stir in your intentions clockwise with a spoon.  It can take up to 20-30 minutes to begin to work, so go slowly if you are starting out with smaller doses, it can creep up on you. 

 

Shelf Life:

Cacao will easily last two years.  You can freeze it as well, but let it return to room temperature before you start working with it.  I recommend keeping it in a glass jar or BPA free tupperware. 

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