Cacao is the pure bean that chocolate originates from. It is deemed the "fruit of the gods". It is extremely high in anti-oxidants and other health benefiting elements.
ORAC scores for the Top 10 Antioxidants Foods (per 100 grams)
1) Raw cocoa powder* 95,500
2) Raw cacao nibs* 62,100
3) Roasted cocoa powder 26,000
4) Organic Goji Berries* 25,300
5) Acai Berries* 18,500
6) Dark Chocolate 13,120
7) Milk Chocolate 6,740
8) Prunes 5,770
9) Raisins 2,830
10) Blueberries 2,400
Source: US department of Agriculture/Journal of American Chemical Society
There are many shamans in the world that use Cacao as a ceremonial plant. I have been experimenting with it a little recently and have found that It helps me in my meditations and pranayamas. It is said to open the heart and improve focus and visual concentration. I have found this to be true.
It does not have the stimulating effect from caffeine like coffee does, it has some caffeine but it is a different form of caffeine, Theo-bromine. I feel like it really helps me with separation, allowing me to observe myself better. I can still provoke drowsiness as well.
"Theobromine has a similar effect than caffeine, but about 10 times weaker. Theobromine has diuretic, stimulant and relaxing effects. Theobromine can lower the blood pressure because it can dilate blood vessels.
Theobromine has stimulant properties, similar to caffeine. Unlike caffeine theobromine does not affect the central nervous system.
Theobromine can also relax bronchi muscles in the lungs. Theobromine can be used as cough medicine. Studies indicate that theobromine acts on the vagus nerve, which runs from the lungs to the brain."
[link to http://www.phytochemicals.info
I have found it helpful in my practice but I am making sure that I do not become dependent on it.
Is this kosher in the Gnostic world?
I believe that it effects the pineal gland a lot, helping to cleanse it with anti-oxidants and by stimulating it a little. It also helps to flush out mercury and fluoride which both damage the pineal gland I have read.
It also has phenylethylamine!
"In addition, cacao also contains the chemicals phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide. PEA is an adrenal-related chemical that we create naturally when we're excited. It also plays a role in feeling focused and alert because it causes your pulse rate to quicken, resulting in a similar feeling to when we are excited or fall in love!"