Made from whole-bean, organic Cacao. These beans undergo a fermentation process necessary for cultivating their flavor profile and activating certain natural compounds. The beans are cold pressed into a paste which naturally harden into blocks. Ceremonial Grade Cacao is NEVER tempered. The trees from Ecuador are called “Arriba Nacional,” and are the highest frequency and oldest cacao trees on Earth. They have not been genetically altered to resist disease and grow in their natural environment in the Amazon.
Use for Cacao Ceremony or daily use for good health as a superfood.
Learn more about Kichwa Cacao Paste
Kichwa Organic Ceremonial Paste comes from a family-owned company, dedicated to making the highest quality organic Ceremonial Cacao from Ecuador. Preserving the native Arriba Nacional Cacao trees that were thought to be extinct, it is the first single-origin organic chocolate made entirely in Ecuador. Nacional Cacao is the oldest variety in the world, dating back 5,300 years in the land now called Ecuador.
We are concerned with the sustainability of the ecosystem within Ecuador. We believe that business, especially in a developing country like Ecuador, has a duty to support healthy and environmentally sound production. Over the past few decades, we have seen significant growth in non-organic agriculture, which can cause irreparable damage to the environment as well as the health of the farm workers.
Using organically produced ingredients ensures that no harm is done to the environment during the growing process. In an effort to promote the use of sustainable and organic agriculture, we only purchase from certified organic farms. By working with traditional cacao growers, not plantations, we seek to protect the priceless and irreplaceable genetic stock that is Ecuadorian Cacao.
On these small farms, the cacao trees have been growing and intermingling for hundreds of years. The cross-pollination of Cacao which occurs in natural settings greatly reduces the possibility of a plague decimating the trees in Ecuador. Much like seed banks that exist for other crops, supporting family farms in Ecuador ensures that there is genetic material that can be used in the event that a disease does affect Cacao in other countries.
We work directly with small-scale farmers, not middlemen, to ensure that the farmers are fairly compensated for their products. We pay a significant premium over market prices so that the producers capture sufficient value for their hard work and can continue their sustainable farming methods, preserving the genetic diversity of Cacao in Ecuador.
Chemical Constituents in Raw Cacao
Synopsis: The Raw Cacao bean is one of nature's most fantastic superfoods due to its mineral content and wide array of unique properties. Since many of the special properties of cacao are destroyed by cooking, refining and processing, planet Earth' s favorite food is still unknown to most of us. Now we get to reconnect with the power of real chocolate.
Chemical Constituents in RAW CACAO include (in alphabetic order):
THEOPHYLLINE 3,254 - 4,739 ppm -- Theophylline is a methylxanthine with
diuretic and bronchial smooth muscle relaxant properties.
THIAMINE (Vitamin B1) 1 - 3 ppm
THREONINE 1,400 ppm
TOCOPHEROL (BETA, GAMMA) (Vitamin E forms)
TYROSINE 5,700 ppm
VALINE 5,700 ppm
WATER 36,000 ppm
We think of our Cacao as a plant medicine. As with any potent medicine, it is important to be mindful in its use.
In most cases, there are no concerns to be aware of. The points listed below are mainly a concern when you take higher doses, as is done when the Cacao is used ceremonially. In these cases, the combination of potent cacao and a higher dose warrants some additional mindfulness.
First, if you are working with it ceremonially, we recommend that you start off with about half the full dose. A full dose, the maximum we use, is two ounces, so that means starting off with one ounce. See how it feels and wait at least thirty minutes before consuming more.
Cacao is a strong bitter and stimulant, so there are some potential side effects to be aware of, as well as certain contra-indications. Since cacao is consumed in higher doses in ceremony, people might experience symptoms such as light-headedness, sweaty palms, headache, or nausea. Simply slow down, drink water, and practice self-care as needed until symptoms subside. Cacao can also stimulate detox symptoms in some cases. If this happens, take it as a blessing and drink plenty of water as your body lets go of whatever it didn’t like. This will likely be accentuated for people on a raw diet or who are fasting. Go with lower doses in this case.
Certain antidepressants are worth extra consideration. MAOI-based antidepressants are contraindicated with the tyramine in chocolate, so a larger dose of cacao is not recommended. MAOI-based antidepressants are first-generation antidepressants and are less common these days. People taking them are on a restricted diet that includes limiting or avoiding chocolate, so they should know if they can consume or not. Side effects could include more serious headache and nausea, so make sure to check medications first.
Additionally, there has been some concern with larger doses of cacao and SSRI type antidepressants because of the MAOIs in cacao. Specifically, tryptophan, a type of MAOI that is a precursor to serotonin, has been cited by some as a possible contraindication. The research about this interaction is minimal, but studies on both the amounts of tryptophan in chocolate and how that might cause “serotonin syndrome” don't indicate any problem. However, to be on the safe side, for those on SSRIs, we suggest consulting with your doctor and/or pharmacist regarding higher doses of cacao and to consider starting with low doses.
If you have a serious heart condition: The theobromine in cacao increases heart rate significantly and is a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure. If you have such a condition, consider consulting a physician and certainly go lighter on amounts.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The theobromine in cacao, which is very similar to caffeine, has a stimulating effect. Thus, we recommend using lower dosages (e.g., a maximum of one ounce in a ceremonial drink).
Pure cacao can be fatal to dogs (and possibly horses and parrots), so be sure to keep it away from pets.
If any symptoms do present, drink lots of water, get some rest, and the symptoms will pass.