Cacao has the gift to give access to Mother Nature’s herbal pharmacy
acting as a catalyst for many herbs and plants.
Floral diagram - Partial inflorescence of Theobroma cacao (after Ronse De Craene). Floral formula: ✶ K5 C5 A(5°+5²) G(5)
Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants and magnesium of any food in the world, rich in chromium, theobromine, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, vitaminC, omega-6 fatty acids, tryptophan, serotonin, and more.
Cacao is a highly effective natural energy enhancer and aphrodisiac. Cacao contains PEA, a chemical that we produce in our bodies when we fall in love. PEAs also play a role in increasing focus and alertness.
Anandamide is an endorphin that the human body naturally produces after exercise. Anandamide is known as the bliss chemical as it is released while we are feeling joy. It has only been found in one plant - cacao.
Raw Cacao is Nature's most magical superfood due to its nutrients
formed of some 1.200 individual chemical components.
Credit: Jens Kaufmann
Worldwide only three major species variations of Theobroma Cacao are cultivated: Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. Arriba Nacional is the most delicate species, cultivated mainly in Ecuador. The name Theobroma Cacao, literally food of the gods, was given by the scientist Carl von Linnaeus in 1753. Cacao grows 20 degrees north and south of equator. This is called the 20/20 zone.
Cacao loves well drained soils with a high content of organic matter and grows best in the shade of larger trees. Each cacao tree delivers a specific composition of nutrients, depending on the soil, the climate and the trees that are neighbouring cacao. It goes along well with avocado trees, mango trees, bananas, coconut palms, coffee, pineapple trees and durian. Permaculture and diversity is naturally encouraged by cacao.
In a good environment a young tree can bear fruits within three to five years. A mature cacao tree will produce about 50 fruits, which are harvested twice a year. The fruits develop into red, orange, yellow, blue or purple varieties. In five to six months a fruit pod ripens, containing 20-50 seeds, surrounded by a sweet pulp.
By 2020 the supply will no longer cover the growing global demand. This promotes the cultivation of hybrids such as CNN-51 on a larger scale. Even though the production is higher, the hybrids need more fertilizers and pesticides which hurts the Earth on a serious level.