12 Days of Plant Medicine: On the Fourth Day
In the spirit of the holiday season, we’re offering 12 Days of Plant Medicine. Get to know some of the natural adaptogens and herbs that come together to create our incredible experiences.
We Give You...Theobromine
Call it caffeine’s mellow cousin. Theobromine is a natural stimulant found in tea leaves, kola nuts, and – perhaps most significantly – the fruit of the cacao tree, which also gives us chocolate. Chocolate held deep significance in Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Maya and the Aztecs, who considered it a gift from Quetzacoatl, the god of wisdom, and brewed it as a hot drink (Xocolātl) for energy and arousal. Theobromine, which stems from the scientific name of the cacao tree, actually means “food of the gods” in Greek.
Theobromine was first identified in 1841, but scientists long failed to recognize its significance, in part because they focused on its more muscular relative, caffeine. Thanks to recent research, we now know that Theobromine is a key ingredient in dark chocolate and is believed to be one of the compounds that contributes to chocolate’s health effects. It’s an effective heart stimulant and vasodilator, lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the brain and body, so you can function at a higher intensity. Structurally similar to caffeine, Theobromine has a longer half-life than its cousin, and a smoother and more sinuous energy curve, without the undesirable jittery side effects – in fact, they make a great combo as Theobromine prevents the unpleasant caffeine crash when they're used in tandem. Talk about a gift from the gods—we love it so much, we’ve included it in four of our six experiences.