Ceremonial grade simply means cacao that has not been roasted or processed beyond what is necessary to make it safe for human consumption. Most commercially available cacao is roasted at high temperatures and then commonly mixed with preservatives and/or mixing agents. Both processes lower the cost of production but they also deplete the fruit of its many natural qualities. In order to properly experience the effects of cacao what you want to look for is organically farmed, raw cacao solids or powder and dark organic unroasted (raw) bean to bar chocolate.
Given the spiritual nature of the shamanic Ceremonies, the cacao used needs to be a pure form of unadulterated cacao, sourced from its natural habitat.
Our cacao is grown in its original habitat using sustainable farming practices and promoting favourable living conditions for farmers and their families. This cacao is cultivated in the original landscape of Mesoamerican civilizations and can be used in cooking and ceremonies.
Cacao has been used in ancient ceremonies by Central & South American civilizations (the Mayans and Aztecs), they considered it a divine food and developed many of their rituals around this plant. The cacao plant has the scientific name "Theobroma cacao". Theobroma means, in Greek, "food of the gods". Therefore, it makes sense that cacao was given its sacred status, and enjoyed in communal ceremonies by the Mayans and Aztecs with their gods.
The rituals of the KAKAO Ceremony Cacao ceremonies are actually a type of shamanic healing, but they do not have hallucinogenic or "out of body" effects, unlike some of the other medicinal plants. Cacao ceremonies have their roots in helping to rebalance the energies within us and restore good health. Today there are many different ceremonies. Some will take you on a dance trip, while others will focus on meditation and inner reflection. Many cacao ceremonies will involve a group of people sitting in a circle looking for a space to express their inner selves. Each person shares what they feel they can, but in a very deep way, creating a safe and intimate space where they can share the fears, hopes, sufferings and dreams of all.
Ceremonial Cacao is packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for cardiovascular health. Cacao is also known as a Mood Enhancer because it releases dopamine and endorphins (the happy hormones) in the body. Cacao is composed of many substances (an estimated 300), mainly flavonoids, tyramine, iron, zinc, magnesium, serotonin and anandamide, the latter known as the molecule of bliss. This is the same thing your body produces when you exercise and feel a rush of good energy. In addition, it helps balance blood sugar levels and create more blood flow to the brain, helping to strengthen awareness and concentration. It is also a naturally stimulant, which acts as a burst of energy, and is said to enhance creativity as well as deep meditation.