Certain dietary and lifestyle restrictions should be followed during ayahuasca healing to enable the medicine to properly do its work and ensure your health and safety. You must refrain from eating sugar, red meat and chilli, and from any sexual activity (including masturbation) during retreats and for at least 24 hours before. You should also cut down on salt and fat intake and stop eating processed foods during the days leading up to your retreat. The origin of these dietary restrictions is unknown and widely debated but what is clear is that following these restrictions helps to prepare you mentally as well as physically for ayahausca healing. As well as honouring shamanic tradition the diet detoxes the body. It is also a test of discipline and a display of respect to the spirit of the Mother Medicine demonstrating commitment to the healing process. Failing to follow these restrictions is unlikely to cause health complications but can make the medicine less effective, and will often result in excessive purging (ie. vomiting) which can be unpleasant. It is better to be as clean as possible when you begin so the medicine can work deeper! We recommend you follow the diet for at least 5 days before your first ayahuasca ceremony. We will ensure you follow restrictions with us for at least 24 hours before your first ceremony at Chinchelejo and throughout your retreat and advise you to keep to dietary restrictions for at least 24 hours after your last ayahuasca ceremony to allow the medicine to integrate into the body.
The most important dietary/lifestyle restriction that must be followed is to stop taking all drugs, including medication and herbal supplements, before, during and after ayahuasca healing. Contraceptives and most malaria tablets are acceptable. We recommend you follow this restriction for the week before and at least 3 days after ayahuasca ceremonies but it depends on the kind of drugs/ medication you are using. Some drugs and medication, most notably SSRIs, are very dangerous in interaction with ayahuasca. It is essential the body is fully cleansed from these substances when ayahuasca therapy begins. We will consult you fully before your retreat about medical issues to ensure it is safe for you to drink ayahuasca and to stop taking drugs/medication if necessary.
Refraining from sexual activity for at least 5 days, preferably 1 week before your first ayahuasca ceremony is advised to prevent absorbing another’s energy or the release of powerful energy inherent in sexual activity. The spirit of ayahuasca is also thought to be a jealous spirit so requires your full attention when undergoing ayahuasca healing.
- No Sugar
- No Red Meat
- No Spice
Modern lifestyles mean additional dietary restrictions are recommended in preparation for ayahausca healing and required to detox and cleanse the body fully. These are as follows:
- No caffeine
- No alcohol
- No dairy
- No street drugs such as cocaine and weed (weed is natural yes but does not interact well with ayahuasca - both spirits are jealous types!); smoking cannabis close to drinking ayahuasca usually prevents visions
- No pharmaceutical drugs, especially SSRIs (anti- depressants): This is very important as certain drug interactions with ayahuasca pose serious health risks.
- We recommend you do not use fluoride toothpaste for as long as possible before and after your ayahuasca retreat to allow your pineal gland (the spirit gland) to detox. If possible it is better to use only natural products for bathing and otherwise on your body.
- It is preferable to block out unnecessary noise such as loud music, television and other distractions that are part of modern life. This will help you to clear the mind and focus inwards creating space for the journey you are about to begin with ayahuasca.