Updated: Apr 11, 2022
All aspects of the preparatory diet before Ayahuasca
The Ayahuasca ceremony is a multi-component ritual in which success depends not only on the quality and quantity of the active ingredient but also on every aspect, from preliminary preparation to the setting in the retreat center. Therefore, the ceremony is preceded by a mandatory cleansing, both physical and spiritual.
An Ayahuasca ceremony is a sacred cleansing on every aspect of your being. To make the most of it and prepare your body, mind, and spirit for the transformations about to unfold, include these 5 areas in your cleansing:
A comprehensive approach
✓Food grade. On the eve of the ceremony, you will abandon the excesses in your diet in favor of light foods.
✓Alcoholic and narcotics. These ways to temporarily escape reality can prevent you from seeing what matters most.
✓Medical. Antidepressants, nootropics and a number of prescription drugs are contraindicated during the cleansing period.
✓Sexual. It's not only about the abstinence of intimacy with a partner, but also about masturbation.
✓Behavioral. Try to lead a more measured lifestyle, avoiding conflict situations and experiences in principle.
Let's focus on the path to knowing yourself and the world around you through diet.
2 aspects of diet and 3 main reasons to follow it
Limiting your diet can be viewed in 2 dimensions: physical and spiritual. Consider the diet as:
✓ preparation for the use of ayahuasca;
✓ a deeper practice directly related to the instructions of shamans and plant teachers.
There is a whole list of reasons for following a diet, but here are the top 3:
✓ prove to yourself that you are ready to seriously work on yourself;
✓ eliminate the risk of harming your health;
✓ get the most out of the ceremony and have a truly rewarding experience.
Ideally, the preparatory period for cleansing should be 2 weeks or even a month. At a minimum, a strict diet for at least 3 days before your journey is required.
Each shaman has his own recipe and his own traditions, and therefore, dietary requirements. In general, there is nothing complicated. The more you purify yourself, the better. However, you do not have to go to extremes.
Let's see why all this is needed. In order to avoid the 'cheese (tyramine) syndrome,' which can provoke a hypertensive crisis and, in rare cases, even death, products containing tyramine and its precursor tyrazine are unacceptable.
Tyramine is responsible for a whole list of vital processes, including regulating blood pressure. Ayahuasca also contains MAOIs - inhibitors of monoamine oxidase, which are responsible for the processing of tyramine. Accordingly, this substance is superfluous for the body during the ceremony.
Of course, tyramine-containing foods do not always lead to such dangerous consequences as a hypertensive crisis. But even less critical symptoms are unlikely to contribute to a successful ceremony. After all, we are talking about high blood pressure, headaches, heart palpitations, increased sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
Restrictions can be divided into 3 groups: some of the products are categorically contraindicated, some are simply undesirable, and some need to be minimized.
It is forbidden to use:
✓ alcohol and drugs;
✓ any medications (preferably at least 2 weeks in advance);
✓ red meat (primarily pork and beef).
Try to avoid eating these foods:
✓ dairy products, especially aged cheeses;
✓ pickles and preserved foods
✓ smoked and dried food;
✓ salt, sugar;
✓ flavors and other artificial additives;
✓ fried foods, especially deep-fried;
✓ overripe vegetables and fruits.
Foods that need to be minimized:
✓ raw onions and garlic;
✓ 72 hours before the ceremony, it is advisable to stop eating fruits with a high concentration of digestive enzymes (pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon).
In addition, it is recommended to stop all dietary supplements and other food additives during cleansing.
Your optimal diet
The menu should be extremely simple, not burdening the digestive system and the body as a whole. Give preference to fresh produce or freshly cooked, if they require heat treatment, such as fish and meat. Your menu may include:
✓ organic vegetables and fruits;
✓ rice, lentils, amaranth, quinoa and other grains;
✓ sunflower seeds;
✓ olive, coconut and other natural oils;
✓ fresh herbs;
✓ sea salt.
IMPORTANT: Once again about medicines
Take this preparation point very seriously. Yes, chances are that everything will work out. There is also a risk of spoiling the ceremony, as well as causing damage to your health. In the worst case, it can provoke death.
First of all, there are dangers posed by drugs that can accelerate the production of serotonin in the brain. These are antidepressants of the MAOI and SSRI groups. Unable to maintain the proper pause between such a medicine and ayahuasca, it can induce the deadly serotonin syndrome.
Of course, there are situations when, for objective reasons, you cannot take a break from taking a drug in a timely manner. In this case, you should at least notify the organizers.
Diet after the ceremony
The effects of ayahuasca are not limited to a few hours. It continues its work in your body even after the ceremony. This is confirmed by both experienced shamans and the authors of scientific research, who gave this phenomenon the name "after-glowing effect." To prolong it, you need a proper diet.
Ayahuasca is a journey that alters you on many levels. You will not return to your old life because you will become a new person. Likewise, a return to your previous diet is inadvisable. Change your menu gradually to include more whole and natural foods.
Usually, the requirements are the same as on the eve of the ceremony. However, a mentor should be consulted on this matter. After all, each plant teacher provides additional restrictions. Each shaman has his own recipes.
Typically, the post-diet lasts 2 to 4 weeks. During this time, you will be able to fully comprehend the experience gained during the ceremony and apply it in practice. If you suddenly return to your previous diet, you cannot count on the maximum effectiveness of the ayahuasca journey.