The single precaution which most concerns us at Chocolate Strategy:
Precautions in using
Raw Cacao
A second precaution:  Because Raw Cacao helps normalize
several conditions for which medications may have been
prescribed, please use wisdom in stepping down drug
dosage gradually rather than suddenly.  Work with your
physician, most of whom now advocate life style changes
over heavy medication whenever possible.

Be especially watchful if you have a condition for which Raw
Cacao is known to be highly effective such as lowering high
blood pressure, easing depression, improving asthma or
balancing diabetic conditions.
If our third precaution applies to you, you have probably already considered it.  For people bothered by ordinary chocolate in any
way not related to its sugar or fat content, then common sense is needed with Raw Cacao.  Go slowly.  Use only a small amount.  
Try it under  ideal circumstances to more accurately gauge your reaction.  Wait 5 or more days before trying the second time.
Expectant Moms! The research looks good for you. So far there is great evidence that the beneficial chemicals in chocolate (which are
even more plentiful in Raw Cacao) can provide you protection against gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and the risk of pre-eclampsia.  
Obviously maternal health benefits benefit Baby, but there are also benefits for babies whose Moms ate (good quality) chocolate while
pregnant!  We reprinted several reports to get you started with your Raw Cacao research:
Next we picked some of the dire sounding precautions you may encounter online.  They fall within the frustrating categories of internet misinformation,
incomplete information, conflicting information...

They sound more or less like this:  "No, you must never use Raw Cacao because it is a high oxalate food, or a high arginine food, or a food which is
contaminated with aflatoxins or the caffiene content is high" or (my personal favorite) " it has neurotransmitters.  oh no!"

Chocolate
is among foods containing oxalates.  Oxalates bind with dietary calcium and can become a problem for people subject to kidney stones or
gout.  That sounds bad, right?  So therefore we shouldn't eat chocolate, right?  Except that, logically, we should
first completely avoid any foods with
a
higher oxalate content such as lentils, rhubarb, buckwheat, okra, beets, spinach, potatoes, sweet potato, most nuts, most legumes, figs, tea, many
grain products, many berries including raspberries and blackberries .... plus
dozens more common foods.  

So, nope.  Not a valid reason to avoid Raw Cacao.  (But for kidney stones - research watermelon & watermelon tea.  Gout - for starters, check out
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00368/Gout.html.  Also skip the alcohol and substitute anti-inflammatory foods for pro-inflammatory foods.
Inflammatory = refined sugars and grains, harmful fats.)

Okay, what about the dangers of eating high arginine foods?  Unless complemented with high lysine foods or supplements, arginine may provoke
flare ups for people with cold sores / herpes.  Well,
that sounds bad, right?   But first consider 3 important things:

1) Again, as with oxalates, many, many foods are higher in L-arginine than chocolate. (fish, meat, poultry, most legumes).
2) Even if chocolate was high in arginine, this amino acid has perhaps more benefits than detriments -  
  • L-arginine eases symptoms of angina and increases exercise tolerance.  
  • It helps with erectile dysfunction.
  • It improves cardiac performance in people with congestive heart failure.
  • And to the joy of athletes and dieters, L-arginine increases muscle gain and reduces body fat mass.  

Why are we at Chocolate Strategy listing the virtues of arginine if cacao is not a particularly rich source?   Because: 3) Raw Cacao, especially
as used in our recipes and strategies, produces results even more SPECTACULAR than the above list!

What about aflatoxin?  Sounds nasty.
Is nasty.  Potential problem with just about any food.  Not likely to be a problem with chocolate or raw cacao.  
Most likely to be a problem with peanuts or corn and other cereal grains.  Most likely to bother you if you have Candida overgrowth, a yeast /mold
sensitivity or Valley Fever.  (Raw garlic helps tremendously with these problems).  From Wikipedia:
 Aflatoxins have been isolated from all major
cereal crops, and from sources as diverse as peanut butter and marijuana. The staple commodities regularly contaminated with aflatoxins include
cassava, chillies, corn, cotton seed, millet, peanuts, rice, sorghum, sunflower seeds, tree nuts, wheat, and a variety of spices intended for human
or animal consumption.  When processed, aflatoxins get into the general food supply where they have been found in both pet and human foods,
as well as in feedstocks for agricultural animals.  Aflatoxin transformation products are sometimes found in eggs, milk products and meat when
animals are fed contaminated grains.[14]

Because someone years ago claims to, and may well have encountered a problem with aflatoxin in raw cacao and then campaigned vigorously
against raw cacao and because subsequent writers have unthinkingly re-posted the original complaint, you may still see lingering misinformed
warnings.  We are not saying that aflatoxins are lovely.  We are saying they are much more likely to be a problem with other foods.

High caffeine content?  No.  Very low.  More caffeine in cacao pods than in the part we eat.  Start a computer search and be prepared for extremely
conflicting "information".   

This may not have been on your radar of concern, but good to know...  regarding acid/alkaline balance: foods that most strongly acidify the body are
tea, sugar, coffee, cola drinks and
regular chocolate.  Just as raw or lightly steamed vegetables have an alkalizing effect which becomes more
acidifying the longer they are exposed to heat, so is Raw Cacao much less acidifying than its roasted counterpart.  Which is a good thing.

Raw Cacao is becoming known as an extraordinary cancer preventer.  
For people with a cancer diagnosis, there is an understandable
urgency to refocus diet choices towards super foods.  However, this
is where caution should be exercised.  The cancer treatment is
designed to kill cancer cells.  High antioxidant foods will cancel out
some of this killer affect. Talk with your doctor to learn at which point
during your treatment high antioxidant foods should be avoided and
when antioxidants may be eaten so that your body is strengthened.