Ancient Meso-America civilizations like the Olmecs, Aztecs and Maya believed that cacao was gifted by their gods as profound plant medicine, to heal the physical, emotional and spiritual body. They believed the cacao tree had been taken from a sacred mountain by the feathered-serpent god Quetzalcoatl who gifted it to the people and taught women to make drinking chocolate, so they humans could feel their hearts energy more profound. They held the cacao tree in high regard as their bridge between heaven and earth.

The cacao grows natively from the original string on the sacred lands of these ancient Meso-American civilizations. This tree is known as the “Theobroma Cacao Tree”.  (meaning Theo=God Broma=Food). The Theobroma Cacao tree bears fruits, known as cacao pods. Inside these pods are seeds and these are the actual cacao beans. This tree is still up today a sacred tree for most indigenous people in the ancient Maya lands.

The Maya have been consuming this “Food of the Gods” for thousands of years by grinding the cacao beans and then mixing it with water. This creates this sacred (slightly bitter) beverage we have been talking about here 100% pure ceremonial grade caca. Sometimes spices were added to enhance the flavor, or to enhance some other healing properties depending on the use of this sacred beverage.

This sacred cacao drink was then shared in the community for all sorts of ceremonies and rituals. They deeply believe in the plant spirit “Espiritu Cacao” (also referred to as mother cacao) to help heal the physical, emotional and spiritual body. They believed that by drinking this sacred beverage some of their gods Quetzalcoatl’s (God of Learning and of The Wind) knowledge will be transferred upon the lucky one drinking it.  Also, some of the special cacao seeds were gifted from priests to children’s ‘coming of age’. In weddings and baptism ceremonies ceremonial cacao was drunk to enhance the love life force and even given to warriors before they are heading for war. But mainly was ceremonial cacao used by the shaman and the elite on a daily basis as this sacred beverage was believed to be extremely profound and nourishing.  Even up to today with the Maya, some medicine women used to help against upset stomachs or gave it to a mother after childbirth for extra nutrition.

One thing is for sure they all loved cacao and worshipped it highly for its nourishing, heart-opening & bliss-inducing properties.

olmecs cacao

Thank you for reading my blog post in our Herbal Cacao Journal. 

Feel free to share this post with anyone who you might think can benefit from reading this.

Sharon Fernie (Founder of Herbal Cacao)

With love, 

Sharon Fernie, Founder Herbal Cacao