For several years now the Nutrition Community has been working with Cacao Beans as food and medicine. There has been so much debate about this in the health community.... some say Cacao is the ultimate Superfood, rich in antioxidants, others say it is a dangerous Stimulant Drug... So, is it a Medicine or a Poison?
The answer is obvious... It is all of the above!
Allow me to explain.
We have had our words and definitions a bit mixed up when it comes to substances that affect our consciousness... For instance we have in this country a "War on Drugs". We also, simultaneously, have be-speckled our every street with "Drug Stores". The Drugs on the street are considered Poisons. The Drugs in the Stores are considered Medicine. Many illegal street drugs were once or still are considered Medicines. Most of the world is waking up to the fact that Pharmaceutical Drugs are Poisons (just listen to the long list of toxic chemical side effects on the drug TV commercials).
What is the difference between all of these substances? How can we use the words "drug", "medicine", and "poison", which seem to mean such incredibly different things, to describe the same substances?
Thats easy! Its because they are Synonyms!
The Alchemist, and "Father of Modern Chemical Medicine", Paracelsus left us a phrase that has lit my path through the world of nutrition for years; "Everything is Poison, nothing is Poison, Dose is everything!"
Cacao Beans are a Mildly Psychoactive Cardiac Stimulant, no question. This means they are Medicine, a Drug, and yes with over-dose or over-use, a Poison as well.... Welcome to the world of Pharmacologically Active Indigenous Nutrition... here the lines can get a bit blurry.
The separation of "Foods" and "Drugs" is a relatively new concept that has very little to do with your health and safety. In fact, when it comes to Plant Foods most, as they are found in the wild, are very medicinal... In other words they are "drugs". It is only with the extreme hybridization of our food supply that these medicinal substances have been bred out of our food.
Domesticated Humans don't like the taste of medicine.... Bitter.
Remember Hippocrates admonition "Let Food be they Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food. Another way to say this is "Let your Foods be your Drugs, and your Drugs be your Foods".... Interesting. This timeless (or maybe 'timely') piece of advice can be a bit challenging to follow when the foods in our marketplaces are devoid of the medicine they once contained... Take lettuce for example... in the Wild it is a Mild Narcotic!!! In fact, its sap is called Lettuce Opium! This lettuce is by nature quite bitter. While it is the source of all of our supermarket varieties, its use is radically different.
Its the difference between a Wolf and a Chihuahua...
Because of the down breeding of our staple plant foods, we now have to have our Foods and Medicines separately.
Enter the Cacao Bean... Still bitter... the taste of Medicine... still psychoactive... Still intact. And unlike so many other "Drugs" that have survived in our culture, tobacco as an example, Cacao Beans are a food! Food as Medicine!
Just remember, everything in Moderation (especially moderation)!
Now that we have put that to rest... How do we use them??!!!
Here are some vids from my travels in Arizona. While in Sedona I gave a talk at the "ChocolaTree" Cafe' where I recieved quite a Chocolate Education! From where they get their Beans, to how they Process and Temper them, this team has it down!
They are also running one of the countries most cutting-edge high-vibe nutrition cafe's... They serve excellent Raw Food dishes, Soups, Juices, Elixirs, Tea's and of course.... Chocolate!
Big Thanks to the whole team for hosting me for such a truly amazing event! Even bigger thanks for your total committment to excellence. From the ethics to the quality, to the standard of production... You are really a model for the future! ~Daniel