Cacao 101 Course - Day 18

Today’s Cacao: Mystical Mushroom

One of the biggest themes we have focused on during this course is that of treating cacao as a living being whom we can interact with as a teacher, friend, ally, and confidante.

In maintaining this relationship, there are two very important things to know and consider, especially if you choose to drink it daily: the frequency of your cacao ritual and contraindications or potential side effects.

1. The Frequency of Cacao Ritual

Drinking cacao on a daily basis is both safe and healthy, so if you feel called to include cacao in your every day life, you can!

Cacao is one of nature’s most pharmacologically complex plants and is what makes part of having an open mind with cacao so important.

Over time you will begin to notice that cacao will work differently within you depending on your intentions, or even what cacao knows you need to experience. This is how plant spirits work, just as humans, they don’t always act the same.

Here are just some examples of the varied experiences you may have with cacao:

  • Blissful, expansive, joyous
  • Grounded
  • Relaxed and/or sleepy
  • Inspired
  • Emotional or vulnerable

When it comes to deciding if you want to drink cacao on a daily basis, we invite you to feel into your intentions, what you’re wishing to cultivate, and if your body is in agreement.

In our experience, more is not always better, and working with cacao for a few days in a row and then taking a day off works well. We also invite you to listen to your body and vary your dosage - there may well be days when you need far less cacao than you think you might!

2. Contraindications or “side effects”

There are of course some contraindications for certain people as with any other plant medicine.


One of the first reasons for headaches with cacao is that cacao is contraindicated with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), and will cause side effects such as splitting headaches if both are combined. The simple way to understand this is that both SSRIs and cacao are power neurochemistry regulators, so combining full doses of both can overload the system.

We believe cacao has potential as a holistic therapy for depression, and we have encountered the effects of cacao during depressive episodes to be uplifting and stabilizing. It is our sincere hope that someday cacao could become a part of a clinically proven method for treating depression naturally, or as a method for assisting people in reducing their dependence on powerful pharmaceuticals.

The second reason for headaches (if you are someone who isn’t taking SSRIs) could be dehydration. That is one of cacao’s many lessons. Stay hydrated! When we drink cacao, our bodies require more water as cacao tends to absorb the water in our body.

The last reason for a headache comes from a more spiritual/emotional point of view. Sometimes headaches may be caused due to a resistance to the experience cacao wishes to gift you. The best way to counter this is to surrender to the experience and breathe. Allow cacao to lead the way, and trust.


Another side-effect from cacao may be jitters. If you feel jittery this is a clear sign that you may have drunk too much. Jitters usually indicate a nervous system overload. If you have this experience, the best way to soothe is through some movement as this may relieve the jitters.

For today’s meditation, you will be listening to the meditation we did on day 9: Meeting the Cacao Spirit. This will be an opportunity to observe how much your relationship has shifted with cacao!

Play Day 18 Audio Meditation

Reflection for day 18

  • By revisiting Day 9’s meditation, were you able to observe any shifts in your connection to the plant spirit?

  • How do you feel you have gotten closer to cacao?

  • After this cacao challenge is over, how do you see yourself moving forward in your relationship to this plant spirit?