Cacao Doses & Contraindications
This Section gives you the recommended doses to take, how to make a cup of cacao and also the contraindications you should be aware of.
These are just guidelines; as your relationship with Cacao grows, you will start to know what dose is right for you.
If you have any of the contraindications that we have listed, we recommend you start on a low dose until you know your tolerances.
If in doubt always consult your medical advisor.
Daily : A daily dose up to 20g You can take this dose daily to nourish your body, lift your mood and benefit from the nutrients and antioxidants. If you also take high doses for ceremonies take a break on some days so that your total intake does not exceed 20g a day. Adrenal fatigue would be the side effect of taking too much Cacao too often
Meditation : For meditation Around 25-28g
Ceremonial Use : For Ceremony up to 42g. You can take up to this amount for ceremonies, rituals, meditations and shamanic journeys.
Children : 10-15g For babies and infants see Doula Services page.
Pregnant & Breastfeeding : For pregnant and breastfeeding women, start on a low dose of 10-12g. For more detailed information on Cacao and Pregnancy see Doula Services page.
Contraindications : Those with any of the contraindications (see list below) if you do take cacao, you should start on a low dose around 10-12g
These doses are guidelines and not targets. If you are new to Cacao start low and experiment within these guidelines. For example if the Cacao upsets your stomach take a lower dose.
A ceremonial dose of Cacao can be up to 42grams as opposed to a daily dose of up to 20grams. Each person will have different tolerances and some people will find much lower doses will be enough to induce the meditative states and internal work that are part of Cacao ceremonies.
I always encourage you to start on a lower dose around 10-12g , particularly if you are prone to any of the contraindications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Cacao comes from different parts of the world and so these guidelines of starting on a low dose should be followed if you change your supplier, as what suits with one brand of Cacao may not be suitable for another.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CACAO DRINK
Everyone will have their favourite version of Cacao, this is mine.
I use 250ml almond milk
15-20g cacao as my daily dose
honey to sweeten
I don't blend my cacao in a processor as it destroys the enzymes, so I just slowly melt the cacao with the oat milk, whisking constantly, until it starts to thicken slightly, which is usually just before simmer point. Don't bring to simmer or boil, as again this will reduce the nutrients in the cacao. I then take off the heat and stir in some honey for sweetness. This version is very silky smooth and luxurious.
Other options :
Make with a combination of water and plant milk
make with water only
add more or less liquid for thicker or thinner consistency
use any sweetener of your choice
add other flavours such as a drop of food grade essential oil
drop some chopped nuts or goji berries on top of your drink
Below is a list of contraindications. You can still take Cacao for most of these but the dose may be different. If in doubt please consult your medical advisor.
High Blood Pressure Consult with a doctor before using cacao and also begin with a lower dose 10-16g. Avoid if you are caffeine sensitive although if you can drink coffee and tea you should be able to drink cacao.
Low Blood Pressure Consult with a doctor before using cacao and also begin with a lower dose 10-16g.
Antidepressants Those on MAIO antidepressants should not consume cacao. Please avoid consuming cacao if you are taking high doses of SSRI’s. Cacao releases serotonin, so it works as a mild anti-depressant. When taken with SSRI’s that release serotonin chemically it can lead to serotonin syndrome. Those on a low doses oÿ SSRI's and who drink coffee regularly, start on 10g cacao daily, and see how you get on. If you start getting a headache, or any other symptoms please stop and check with your doctor.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Cacao is generally considered safe in pregnancy and during breastfeeding when taken in moderation 10-20g, although if you are caffeine sensitive it is best to avoid cacao. For a much more detailed study on pregnancy and breastfeeding see the Doula Services page.
Adrenal Fatigue people with adrenal fatigue, and people with heart or high blood pressure medication should avoid cacao if they are caffeine sensitive (if you drink coffee, green tea or black tea, you should be able to drink cacao. It is also advisable to not consume more than daily guidelines to avoid adrenal fatigue.
GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) It is best to begin consuming cacao in a smaller quantity .
IBS It is best to begin consuming cacao in a smaller quantity to monitor any sensitivity start low 10-15g.
Bleeding Disorders Consult with a doctor prior to consumption if you have a bleeding disorder or are consuming any related medication.
Heart Conditions Consult with a doctor before using cacao and also begin with a lower dose 10-15g. If you are caffeine sensitive avoid altogether, although if you are able to drink coffee and tea you should be able to drink cacao.
Sensitivities (e.g caffeine or stimulant sensitivities) It is best to begin consuming cacao in a smaller quantity to assess sensitivity. 10-15g If you drink coffee, green tea or black tea, you should be able to drink cacao.
Medication use It is best to consult with a doctor about all drugs and supplements you are using or considering, prior to the consumption of cacao.
COWS MILK Avoid making Cacao with dairy milk as it may block intestinal assimilation of flavonoids. Use plant milk (nut or oat) or water only
CAFFEINE Avoid caffeine when taking Cacao as the extra caffeine from coffee and tea and the Theobromine in Cacao may cause issues, especially if drinking Cacao on a regular basis
WATER Cacao is a diuretic and may cause slight dehydration so we recommend drinking water during ceremonies