Alta Verapaz Ceremonial Grade Cacao
We are proud to collaborate with this co-operative, made up of single mothers, all strong Mayan women that are cultivating and recovering practices once lost in their heritage & are rising up to give their families a different life. This is a very special Traditional Ceremonial Cacao Medicine from the region of Alta Verapaz. This is 100% pure ceremonial-grade cacao that has been grown, harvested, toasted, fermented & packaged by Guatemayan natives.
Alta Verapaz is from the jungles in the far north of Guatemala. This is a collective of micro-family-farms that create an interesting mixture of beans that is definitely not “single origin,” but has the strength found in diversity. This area is known as the Cacao Rainforest of the World and is world famous for its Cacao. This is also the largest region of Mayan ruins in existence, where they used to revere cacao as ceremonial drink for every occasion.
– Very “chocolate-y”
– Hard to pinpoint, on the tip of your tongue
It’s practically impossible to speak about the ancient Mayans without discussing Cacao. This plant, its spiritual significance, its history, its energy and its powerful roles in sacred rituals are all key parts to honor and learn from. This Cacao is one of the most revered and honored plants for the Mayan people and now by many around the world.
It’s important to note that our ceremonial cacao is 100% Guatemayan from start to finish. This is crucial to mention as the colonization of sacred indigenous plants continue on to this day. Often times the profit greatly benefiting foreigners while the local people work as their employees only and never as actual land owners and/or be truly fairly compensated as the original sacred keepers of this plant. It is our social responsibility to do our part in making sure the words “ethically sourced” stand for a true ethical business model and not simply a nice catch phrase.
Cacao’s scientific name “Theobroma” means “the food of the Gods” and it was once worth more than gold and utilized as a currency in ancient Mayan times for its sacred medicinal and spiritual powers. Unfortunately this too was taken and appropriated by the European invaders whom commercialized this sacred plant into what it is now.
Many centuries later the great demand for modern day chocolate which is made of Coc-OA (the alkalized by-product of Cac-AO) used in the 99% of the chocolate you see now in the stores, has brought down the production of this native Criollo Cacao to an extremely low percentage. This is because other strains such as the Forrestero & Trinitario strains tend to grow at much faster speeds and require easier climates. “Nana Marina’s Cacao” is 100% criollo cacao. The spirit of this Cacao is what make this plant a powerful healing medicine and heart opener when it is consumed intentionally. Criollo Cacao in particular has the highest concentration of Anandamide and Theobromine, which is what scientist attribute its physical effects to.
Each individual block or grounded bag of your Four Visions Market Cacao contains 454 grams or 1 lb of cacao.
The following is what we recommend in regards to dosage:
Ceremonial Serving: The recommended individual ceremonial serving is 40-45 grams (approx. 3 tablespoons) of cacao for every 3/4 cup of hot water. For larger groups, the entire block/bag mixed with 8 cups of hot water will serve approximately 12 people.
Meditation Serving: The recommended individual meditation serving is 20-25 grams (approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons) of cacao for every 1/2 cup of hot water. For larger groups, the entire block/bag mixed with 10 cups of hot water will serve approximately 20 people.
Preparing Your Cacao:
Bring the water close to a boil and then mix in the cacao (do not boil the cacao). It can be blended or whisked for a creamier texture, remember to set an intention as you prepare it as the aroma is part of your offering.
*The are no additives or emulsifiers in our cacao as it is 100% pure which means that some natural fats from the plant might separate from the solids and create a thin oily layer or white crumbles as it cools. This is perfectly normal and does not affect the taste of your drink, simply reheat for consumption.
Nana Marina, our Guatemayan Cacao Wisdom Keeper shares that it’s not about how much we consume or how much our body physically feels the effects but rather what are we offering the plant in our prayer, in our intention. As we deepen our relationship with the spirit of the plant, we may need to consume less to connect.
Sample Cacao Ceremony That Honors The Mayan Tradition:
Intention: Set a clear intention which honors the plant first, then your journey and experience second.
Honor: Take a moment to acknowledge the Original Keepers of tradition, their efforts and sacrifices.
Offering: Make an offering, whether to the spirit of the cacao, the earth, the waters, etc. It’s always good to give thanks by giving back in the form of an offering for all of which we receive. Your offering can be in the form of flowers, copal/herbs, songs, prayers, etc. We always like to offer the best of the best and not just what we have left.
Gratitude: Gratitude is the most important part of our rituals. We give thanks to our ancestors, to the four elements, the four directions, the spirit of the plant(s), the sacred sites, etc.
Important Cacao and Health Information
Heart Rate: Cacao will naturally raise your heart rate slightly. Please consume accordingly and mindfully.
Blood Pressure: Epidemiological studies suggest that cacao reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols found in cocoa have shown to support blood pressure reduction.
Antidepressants: If you are currently taking SSRI antidepressants and/or anti-psychotics, they might not be compatible with the MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) in cacao. Depending on the dosage, consuming cacao might be ok, as always, if you’re taking these types of meds please consult with your doctor.
Pregnant and nursing women: In Guatemala, mothers will drink cacao during pregnancy and certainly during lactation. It is is regularly utilized due to its numerous health benefits.
Other substances: Raw cacao contains both serotonin and tryptophan which have positive effects on our mood. Blood flow to the brain is also increased amplifying brain power.
Caffeine: The caffeine content of cacao varies widely amongst cacao plants and processing, this cacao has shown a very low, to no-caffeine feel.
Children: In moderation and of course smaller doses based on their weight is recommended for children.
Pets: Cacao should NOT be consumed by your pets as it can be deadly. Please keep out of reach from your beloved animals.