The body is a vessel. All what is put in the body, everything that is consumed, eaten, all physical activities we engage in, leave a trace in us creating an impact on our well being. The body absorbs the elements from it’s surroundings, affecting us physically as well as energetically (mentally, psychologically, spiritually). Think of your physical part as of a vessel in which you navigate the Reality in a broader sense.
The body is also a part of the energetic system, that receives and transmits energy. It absorbs, filters, it can be clogged, blocked, saturated by what it consumes. Therefore the more clean is the body, the best energetic exchange with the environment is possible.
That said, the better homework we do before the Ayahuasca experience, less “dirty work” we leave for Ayahuasca to be done and more direct the connection is with the medicine. Physical preparation means to make the best effort within your capacity.
Main guideline is to quit using any medication that is not used for a life support. Whichever pharmaceutical products that function to suppress the symptoms are better to quit within a distance of few days up to three weeks before and after taking Ayahuasca. Most of the medications may be an unnecessary admixture into your Ayahuasca experience. Keep in mind, whatever the causes for your ailments, an Ayahuasca experience has a potential to cleanse the body and to provide an insight for a solution.
Some of the medications could also be dangerous in combination with Ayahuasca, for example all antidepressants, SSRI’s and mood stabilisers are better to quit gradually before taking Ayahuasca, so that no traces of medication are present in the body at a time of ceremony.
Ayahuasca is classified as MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitor), meaning that it has specific interaction with some types of medication. Please check the Drugs to be avoided with Ayahuasca page, or check with the ceremony personnel and/or your doctor about the interactions MAOI’s may have with the medication you are taking.
Ayahuasca nutritional diet
Are there foods contraindicated with Ayahuasca? What is better to avoid? What is the best to eat before and after the Ayahuasca ceremony?
A universal answer is - the lighter the better. That summarises to a nutrition with minimum or zero products of animal origin. The main NO with Ayahuasca however is NO PORK and NO ALCOHOL.
To be physically prepared does not mean that we are completely purified and cleansed or that we don’t have any physical issues.
The basic guidelines are:
- NO red/heavy meats (pork, beef, sheep, tuna, eel etc.) - week before and after
- NO strong alcohol, beer, wine – week before and after
- NO hot food, red pepper, etc. – 2 days before
- NO fermented food, pickles, herring, anchovy’s, cured cheese, etc. – 1 day before and after
- NO seafood (shellfish, clams, shrimps, eel etc)
Moderate consumption of salt and sugar/honey – 3 days before and after
Before and after Ayahuasca ceremony
Usually its more easy to follow a set of principles than try to learn all of the possible combinations. These recommendations are the preferred choices of the author, based on personal experiences in combination with guidelines from the native Peruvian Ayahuasca tradition. Any of it can be a subject for your personal exploration and is a personal responsibility.
Use olive oil or ghee, no fried food. Fresh or cooked vegetables and or legumes (beans, peas) with rice, buckwheat, oats, barley or other cereals. Fresh fruits and juices. Eventually some fresh organic eggs are fine (better not on the day of the ceremony).
The most simple diet is to eat light vegetarian food for 3 days before and after the Ayahuasca ceremony, with moderate-low levels of salt, sugar and fat. Raw food on the day of ceremony is most recommended.
On the day of Ayahuasca night ceremony
Simple vegetarian breakfast and lunch (recommended vegan food or fasting in individual cases). No chilli! Avoid coffee, black or green tee (no caffeine), eggs, dairy and sweet pastry. No food after 15:00 (or at least 5 hours prior the session). Drink only water or herbal tea after lunch. Some fruits are ok to have at the end of ceremony if there is no nausea or dizziness.
For persons having an unstable, problematic digestion its recommended to exclude the following foods from the diet at least a week before the Ayahuasca ceremony: all dairy (cheese, cream, except yogurt and kefir) and white bread, products with high gluten, butter and its products like cakes, cookies etc.
If you are not sure what to eat or about your digestion a universal recommendation for diet prior the Ayahuasca ceremony is to eat raw fruits and or vegetables, drink juice. This provides the body a very light feeling and decreases possible heavy aspects of purging during the ceremony.
Optional cleanse and Dieta
Based on the experiences of many Ayahuasca practitioners, no selective nutritional regime (suggested above) can compare with the physical renewal that comes out of a specific cleanse program or a traditional Dieta with medicinal plants. The degree to which a body and mind becomes recipient to Ayahuasca is of a significantly deeper level, being much more sensitive than when no cleanse has been done.
There are many types of cleanse programs developed and here are a few we can recommend:
- vegan diet
- raw diet
- liver and gallbladder cleanse
- juice fast
- traditional Dieta with medicinal plants
- Kambo treatment
Contact us in advance if you wish to do a cleanse or Dieta prior or during an Ayahuasca Retreat.
Preparation of the Mind and Spirit
While the body is a physical vessel of our experience, making it easier to navigate our journey, our mind is what largely determines the possibilities we can tap into.
Whatever we call it - the mind, consciousness, psyche - it defines our possibilities. Any concept or belief that we hold on to consequently creates thought patterns and behaviours that lead to actions or inactions. The mind is the ultimate filter of the Reality. What we believe is what we feed is what we deal with throughout our lives.
An Ayahuasca ceremony is the most beneficial when approached from a humble heart, clear intentions and open mind.
Ayahuasca represents a guiding force that stands out of any particular tradition or system of belief, merely helping us to expand our boundaries, opening our mind to the unknown. In an Ayahuasca experience we can break the limitations imposed by our earlier “teachers”, the education system, and “zoom out” of a narrow views we once trusted to be the truth.
However, the potentiality of Ayahuasca experience is constrained by a mind-set one brings into an Ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is a “guide” showing us the possibilities, but ultimately we are the ones that help those possibilities manifest.
What supports mostly the depth and transformational power of our experience is a clear intention and solid motivation. It is helpful prior the ceremony to have a clear grasp on what would you like to change in your life, what would you like to resolve, clarify about your-self, your relationships, your path or practice. Take your time and contemplate about these things.
To take your experience even deeper, it is recommended to know your motivation. What is really behind the changes you’d like to see? What are the patterns, the underlaying conditions for what you are trying to achieve, for what you intending to do? Because sometimes our intentions come out of our reactivity, they may be purely emotional, trying to avoid pain, avoid confrontation, seeking just purity and bliss.
Our mind is a powerful tool for exploring the Reality, with it’s full potential sometimes hidden behind the layers and layers of decades long conditioning. It can play tricks that happen to be enrobed into something apparently pure and beautiful. However, if you are armed with a strong intention and clear motivations, Ayahuasca can gradually help to re-assemble your being in more integrity, more empowered and free.