Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I was a total believer of the headlines that diet food was good, the fewer calories the better, and spent years avoiding anything with fat in it. I propelled myself through life on a diet of undressed lettuce, low-fat cottage cheers, weight watchers canned soup and pic n mix as a treat, washed down with large amounts of diet fizzy drinks to fill me up.

Then one epic life event after another took me to my knees in my 20s and I began the beautiful and grueling journey or rediscovering my body, true health, vitality and healing. I’ve spent over a decade hopping from one paradigm-shifting stepping stone to another. Learning the truth about mainstream food, medicine and perception.

Funnily enough, it took me years of working with other shamanic plant medicines, until I came to reclaim a relationship with chocolate, or rather cacao, based on love, rather than fear.

Early in my healing journey, I was sat on the floor next to a healer dressed in white, with long hair and beads after a weekend of fasting and intense healing work. I was spent and not quite sure who I was anymore.  It must have shown as he leaned over and asked if I would like some cacao beans.  I didn’t know what they were. As he explained I was perplexed as to how chocolate ‘a bad food’ was allowed into this sacred environment. I declined, thinking he must have smuggled them in and be trying to corrupt me!

Years of people offering me cacao in various contexts passed by until I ended up at my first cacao ceremony by accident. It was magical and took me completely by surprise. The bitterness allowed me to meet the medicine as an unexpected stranger without any of my deeply engrained prejudices and uncomfortable memories of sticky sugary squares pulled out of shiny wrappers. It took me on a journey, quite literally, and I began to allow my body to lead the way to understanding my healing path where my mind had failed.
Years Later cacao is one of my stable foods.
Cacao, not chocolate

I import ceremonial grade cacao from Peru and Ecuador as I am passionate about sharing this plant medicine which has helped transform my physical health, open my heart and let more pleasure and love flow through my life. I trained to hold cacao ceremonies which I have done for hundreds in not thousands of clients both in 121 work and large groups, both around the UK and Europe. In all my ceremonies I use Indigo Herb’s raw organic cacao beans as a way to introduce people to the extraordinary nutritional benefits of cacao before serving the ceremonial grade drink.  The beans alone are amazing for energy pick-me-ups, vegan treats, camping saviours and nutritional heaven.

Why is Cacao so special?

Cacao trees look like they popped out of Roald Dahl’s imagination, eyeline height you can’t miss ’em, their branches bowing under the weight of the large multi-coloured pods which hang heavily from the branches, shouting ‘EAT ME’, this was my experience in the Amazon jungle at least. Inside are cacao beans.  Now, the journey from bean to bar is what separates cacao from chocolate: once you start overheating it, adding sugar and dairy plus processing and manufacturing methods the true medicinal properties of this plant are lost.

Cacao can:

  • Sharpen the mind and improves mental focus
  • Strengthen the cardiovascular system, heart function and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack
  • Regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Diminishes appetite and aids weight loss
  • Facilitates regeneration and rejuvenation
  • Builds and restores stress defense shield
  • Balances hormones and brain chemistry
  • Strongly detoxifies, and repairs free radical damage
  • Potential in amplifying the benefits of other herbs and medicines
  • Antidepressant qualities
  • Supports the re-balancing of PMS symptoms
  • Helps to heal and support the liver
  • ADHD, Focus and Cacao

I was working with ceremonial grade cacao for years before I realised I had a neurodiverse brain and ADHD is massively helped by cacao.  It is all to do with the way people with ADHD process dopamine. So whether you have it, experience traits or just find focus a real struggle at times, ceremonial grade cacao can be a wonderful alternative to caffeine as it aids focus without the crash.

But how does it do all the good stuff? The science nutshell:

  • Stimulates the release of endorphines = runners high
  • Anandamide: the only food on the planet that contains this ‘the bliss molecule’ naturally
  • Magnesium: hormone regulation, supports metabolism
  • Seratonin: supports the endocrine system,  with stress, overwhelm, emotional and psychological resistance
  • Arginine: nature’s viagra. Stimulate blood flow to the genitals, repairs muscle damage (gym goers) and sends up to 40% more blood around the brain enhancing creativity!
  • PEA: Mood enhancer, aids focus and concentration
  • Dopamine: Hormone and neurotransmitter, great for aiding focus, and supporting ADHD symptoms and those with Parkinson’s
  • Vitamins and minerals: including hard to source naturally; potassium, chromium, zinc, copper, manganese, sulphur, iron and more
  • Antioxidants: Cacao is the no. 1 antioxidant food on the planet.
  • Theobromine: Relative of caffeine without the crash. Helps detox and flow blood around the brain and major organs
  • Essential Fats: the thing I was scared of!  Essential omega-6 fatty acids, and 22 other types of healthy fat to support the brain, metabolism, beauty and taste.

World chocolate day gift for you!

July 7th is world chocolate day and as a gift, I am offering 15% off ceremonial grade cacao with the code indigolove at the checkout you can download my free ultimate guide to ceremonial grade cacao full of recipes, instructions and personal ceremony tips:

Cacao Ceremony Training

Later this year I will be running an in-depth ceremonial grade cacao immersion training. Whether you are looking to deepen your own practice or safely hold space for others, this will be a deep dive into empowering and supporting you with all I have learned over the years of ceremony and space holding. Register your interest here.

Whether you are looking to make healthier choices, support yourself through grief or stress, or get the ultimate gift, I hope cacao can be a wonderful ally on your journey from head to heart.

Big Love,
Helen ❤️❤️❤️