Ayurveda and Cacao

Interview with Sahara Rose,  Certified Holistic Ayurvedic Nutritionist


Question: Medicinal Foods has delicious herbal chocolate products. The over arching ingredient in these products is of course the cacao. What are the effects of cacao on the body in relation to Ayurveda?Cacao and Fire

Sahara Rose: So, cacao doesn’t come from India so when we look at Cacao now from the Ayurvedic perspective it’s very Pitta inducing. It brings up the fire, the agni. So with anything that’s fiery, it makes you more energetic, more sharp and more heated. Someone who has excessive heat in their body might not want to use too much cacao because it could be too activating. It might be something they do more of in the day time because it’s going to give a lot of energy.


roasted Cacao beans
Roasted Cacao Beans

I know just from my own studies of some shamanic practices, cacao ceremonies are a huge part of some south american cultures. Cacao is a great heart opener. They would just mix the cacao with warm water, vanilla, some cayenne pepper and no sort of sweetener, because they believed that the cacao had to be bitter in order for it to be medicinal. They would sit around in a circle and just drink the cacao and sing songs that would come into the state of the earth and made decisions about the village. In this practice we see that cacao is really a tool for them to become more centered and grounded in with earth.


So now you are seeing that oh, people love chocolate, but they don’t really understand that the reason they love chocolate so much is because it’s literally opening their hearts. That’s why in times of break ups and emotional challenges we crave chocolate because it’s literally a heart opener. If you have it in a medicinal way without sweeteners
and really drink it or eat it in the way it was meant to have, you’re taking on that bitter quality and that bitter quality is what brings transformation because in life, some things are bitter and some things are tragic, some things are hard and when you eat a bitter food, you’re going through that type of experience with the medicine.

Question: Wow that is so insightful. What about this concept of having hot chocolate at night or maybe a tonic with cacao? What would you say are the any benefits to that even though it’s something that might wake you up?

Sahara: We don’t really live in a perfect world. A lot of us, we get a sweet tooth and we crave chocolate at night. So Cacao Drink
instead of eating a chocolate bar at night it’s going to be a lot better for you to have some sort of elixir that has some cacao in it. That’s much more natural than just eating a Hershey’s bar but keep in mind that cacao is energizing and if you have trouble falling asleep, if you have insomnia or something and you have cacao at night, you might stay up especially if you’re energetically sensitive.

I would use the energy of cacao at night as more of a “you need to pound out an article” or “you need to just study” type of thing. Instead of drinking coffee, have some cacao.

For your own Medicinal Foods energizing and mood enhancing cacao, click on the image below.

mood enhancing cacao elixir

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2 thoughts on “Ayurveda and Cacao

  1. That’s a wonderful commentary. I suspect cacao beans aggravate the doshas. The bitterness increases vata, the heating quality increases pitta and the oiliness increases kapha. Unsweetened cocoa powder balances kapha I suspect but aggravates vata and pitta to some extent- maybe alright as an occasional treat for people with pitta and vata dominated prakruti and as a regular food maybe good only for kapha dominated prakruti. Please comment on the preceding if you care to. Thank you, RK Remmen

    1. Richard, great synopsis- I think you are spot on!

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