Season 10 Episode 12:
Cacao with Rocio Alarcόn

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Cacao with Rocio Alarcόn

Episode Summary

It was such an honor to sit down with Rocio Alarcόn and talk about cacao, ancestral and traditional wisdom, hummingbirds, and so much more. 

You can find a wealth of inspiration in Rocio’s stories to help you deepen your own relationship with the plants, animals, family, and larger community in your life. I know you’re going to love the sense of gratitude and joie de vivre that shines through as Rocio speaks! 

Also, don’t miss downloading your beautifully illustrated recipe card for the recipe Rocio shares, a Cacao Beverage from Ecuador. Be sure to listen to the episode for details on kid-approved ways to make it more sweet, more savory, or more hearty!

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► How can a plant provide healing, nourishment, and connection between generations?

► Why do we feel happy when we eat or drink cacao?

► In hummingbirds, Rocio sees the energy of the sun, a rainbow of light, and an invitation to let go of worries and sink into the present moment. But if hummingbirds don’t live where you do, how can mindfully spending time with plants help you to tune in to the gifts of the hummingbirds?

► and more…

For those of you who don’t already know her, Dr. Ligia Rocίo Alarcόn G., PhD is Director of the IAMOE Centre in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a curandera, an ethnopharmacologist, and an ethnobotanist. She has spent over 40 years working with ethnic groups in the tropical rainforest, the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, and in the Basque Country of Spain.

She practices and teaches the art and science of curandero (shamanic) healing ceremonies, a knowledge that she received from her mother and grandmother.  She was born in the Andes of Ecuador, at the foot of the Pichincha volcano.  

Dr. Alarcόn offers workshops for different organizations and universities around the world and has published multiple articles for various scientific journals such as The Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

I’m delighted to share our conversation with you today!

Would you prefer reading this episode? If so, click here to download a transcript.

Would you prefer watching this episode? If so, scroll down below.

Connect With Rocio

What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:10] Introduction to Rocίo Alarcόn
  • [03:45] Rocio’s path to the plants
  • [10:21] Pursuing a Ph.D.
  • [23:57] Why Rocio loves cacao (Theobroma cacao)
  • [30:11] Recipe for a cacao beverage from Ecuador
  • [39:17] The Oracle of the Hummingbirds
  • [46:23] Trips with Rocio
  • [53:23] Messages of hope from the plants
  • [59:12] Herbal tidbit


This is delicious warm and fresh or chilled with ice on a hot day. It’s also rich in important nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.


Shake with a wooden spoon to produce foam.


  1. If using cacao powder, mix well with the coconut milk or water. If using cacao paste, melt the cacao in the coconut milk or water as you heat the mixture.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the cinnamon sticks.


  • 01:21 - Introduction to Rocίo Alarcόn
  • 04:01 - Rocio’s path to the plants
  • 11:00 - Pursuing a Ph.D.
  • 25:17 - Why Rocio loves cacao (Theobroma cacao)
  • 31:46 - Recipe for a cacao beverage from Ecuador
  • 41:28 - The Oracle of the Hummingbirds
  • 48:55 - Trips with Rocio
  • 56:32 - Messages of hope from the plants
  • 1:02:32 - Herbal tidbit

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.  


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