Theo-Broma Cacao -
"Food of the Gods"
Theo-Broma – Meaning “Food of the Gods” which owes its name to the 18th century Swedish scientist Carl von Linne’.
Different from most plant medicines, cacao has many active elements working together. It is a very chemically complex food – With over 300 individual ingredients, cacao truly is a superfood/medicine. It is amongst the richest sources of magnesium, loaded with copper, zinc, iron, manganese, vitamin C, healthy fatty omegas, chromium, etc.
Cacao is a medicinal plant, a Sacred plant, a Hot Plant, (sustainable & aphrodisiac) & a plant which has the natural ability to soften our pre-frontal cortex in order to support deeper, clearer connection.
According to both archeologists and Mayan spiritual elders, the Cacao Spirit was one of the most powerful deities in ancient Mayan cosmology. While the ancient Mayans and Aztecs of Southern Mexico and Guatemala are best known, there are contemporary Indigenous cultures in Central and South America who continue cacao use in shamanic ceremony, preferring it to locally available psychedelics. Although one of this world’s finest spiritual or shamanic partners, cacao may have been ignored by some because it does not act like a psychedelic – It does not force you into a trip yet heightens your natural states to support you to go on your own chosen journey.
Some believe that cacao is being called back during these times as a way to support our hearts in remembering.
About 200 cacao drinking jars dated 900 to 1000 years ago have been unearthed in a room at Native American Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, northwestern New Mexico, USA. The jars are the same shape as Mayan cacao drinking jars of the same period. The nearest available cacao is more than 1200 miles (1920 km) south in Mexico. At 8 to 10 servings per pound (454 gm), the cacao would have been extremely heavy to carry. This area already containing a local psychedelic and 2 major psychedelics (psilocybin mushrooms and peyote cactus) much closer, the questions is, “Why this huge expenditure of effort to obtain cacao… what did they know?”
According to the best estimates of archaeologists, either the ancient Olmec, or the Maya, are believed to have cultivated the cacao tree for the very first time around 1000 B.C. The oldest evidence of cocoa consumption is residue in a ceramic pot recovered from a Mayan site at Rio Azul in the northeastern part of Guatemala. According to anthropologists, this confirms the use of cacao by the Olmec.
According to legend, cacao cultivation was initiated by the Mayan demigod king Hun-Apu, or Hunahpu. Hunahpu was one of the two Mayan Twins, brother to Xbalanque. The two play heavily in early Mayan mythology. In constant strife with other gods of the period, they were eventually burned to death and their remains thrown into a river, where they transformed themselves into catfish and lived on happily for a long time. The significance of this is that cacao is considered divine in origin, and this establishes its importance in the world of the Maya. The Maya so highly valued cacao, they used cacao beans as currency, and to pay taxes. Like many events which occurred a long time ago, the specifics of cacao’s rise to popularity remain largely veiled by the mists of time. But we do know this much, that from the very onset of its use, cacao was assigned high status.
Cacao and its affects with brain chemistry
PEA, or phenethylamine. a chemical, which occurs in cacao in small quantities, stimulates the nervous system, triggering the release of opium-like compounds known as endorphins. It also increases the activity of dopamine, which is directly associated with sexual arousal and pleasure. Phenethylamine increases in the brain when we fall in love, and during orgasm. Cacao being the only “food” “plant” “medicine” which mirrors the chemical response that happens when people “fall in love”.
Cacao boosts a sense of well being due to supporting the increase of serotonin, the so-called feel-good brain chemical. For this reason cacao has the ability to provide a mood boost to women during PMS and menstruation.
Another beneficial compound found in cacao is Anandamide (whose name derives from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss), is a cannabinoid, a member of the same psychoactive substances found in cannabis. Anandamide binds to the same receptor sites in the brain as THC. Which produces a feeling of euphoria.
When cacao is ingested, as we do in our ceremonies, one gains a direct understanding why cacao was named the "food of the gods"/ "god's food". After the release of dopamine, endorphins, tryptophan and serotonin our Be-ings go through, is the release of anandamide. Ananda is a sanskrit word translating into "Bliss" or "joy". It is in this place that our pre-frontal cortex is softened in a sense. Allow us to go deep into various processes, look at situations in a new perspective, have greater clarity, visions, awareness and connection. As the fear based judgements are no longer blocking the heart. Some call cacao “truth serum” for this purpose. It is a gifted medicine which allows us in this days ceremony to place our armor , masks, personas aside and welcome in a new experience of our higher self. I like to say it supports us to deep listening to hear our higher self and spirit world with greater clarity.