In today’s blog we are going to tell you about cacao, the main ingredient in what we now call chocolate. Aside from providing the base ingredient to one of mankind’s favourite treats, it is a powerful substance on its own, with a long history among the tribes of Mexico for both taste and in use during ancient ceremonies that are still carried out today.
The Maya began growing Cacao 2,500 years ago and from its seeds came a bitter drink called “Xocolatl”, the origin of the word chocolate. It was also known as the drink of the Gods, so special and rare that it was reserved for and only consumed by the Emperor and nobles.
Cacao is a superfood which contains antioxidants such as magnesium and vitamin C. Not only does it give you a natural boost, it can be stimulating as well providing energy and keeping you mentally sharp. Cacao also small amounts of endorphin-like substances that make you feel good by affecting your pleasure centers. Chocolate gives a feeling of relaxation and well being and the natural antioxidants that help avoid heart illness and help prevent degenerative illness, cells aging and even cancer.
Here in the Riviera Maya ancient cacao ceremony are performed as sacred rituals run by healers that live and grow the cacao beans right on their property, harvesting them by hand. The ceremonial cacao drink contains spices and local honey but no milk or sugar, which maintains the healing properties of the chocolate.
There are several places that you can go in order to attend a cacao ceremony. Gate48’s location near Akumal puts in within easy driving distance from any number of organizations running ceremonies. A search on the internet will turn up many places that offer this ancient ritual so that you can experience for yourself the power of this super-food and why it was held in such high regard by the Mexican cultures that elevated it to a high spiritual level.
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