If you are being called to take ayahuasca, there are a few things you need to know. This powerful plant medicine can work wonders in healing addiction, depression, anxiety, and emotional trauma. Being a strong, sacred healer, ayahuasca can offer a transformative experience to those who partake in her ceremonies.
Once you have made the decision to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony, there are a few things you need to do in advance. This includes behavioral and dietary preparation along with spiritual practices.
What is Ayahuasca?
In shamanic culture, an illness or malady is said to carry spiritual energy that can be cured with plant medicine. Ayahuasca is an ancient form of plant medicine that has long been used by indigenous people in healing ceremonies in Central and South America providing the seeker with a deep, transformative experience.
Coming from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (often referred to as the Ayahuasca vine or “vine of the soul”) and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub (commonly known as chacruna), mother ayahuasca is often brewed as a psychedelic tea used in healing ceremonies.
You may be called to the plant for several reasons. If you have depression, anxiety, or psychological problems, ayahuasca can offer relief. It can be used as a gateway to the Divine, offering the seeker comfort if they are grappling with the fear of death.
How to Prepare for Ayahuasca
Once you have made the decision and booked your ceremony, the next step is preparing your body to take the medicine. It is particularly important to do your research in advance, especially if you are taking prescription medicines or have dietary restrictions as they can interact with the plant. Avoid recreational drugs in the lead-up to your ceremony.
To prepare for mother aya, consider the following dietary and behavioral preparation.
It is recommended you honor the shamanic diet in the weeks leading up to ayahuasca. This helps rid the body of harmful toxins, allowing the medicine to work most effectively.
- Avoid salt, sugar, and spicy foods
- No processed foods
- No colors or preservatives
- No animal products including red meat, cured meats, and cheese
- No addictive substances including alcohol, nicotine, recreational drugs, and caffeine
Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will also help flush out any harmful toxins and prepare the body for the plant.
Putting yourself in the right headspace is imperative to receiving the medicine. To best prepare for your ayahuasca ceremony, abstain from sexual activity with others and yourself.
Shamanism sees sexual intimacy as a form of energetic connection between the people involved. This is why it is important to separate your energy from other partners so you can focus on yourself completely and your healing journey. Depending on the retreat, the recommended length of time is 1-2 weeks before and after your ceremony.
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications can have negative interactions with the plant. Stop taking medicines including allergy pills, NSAIDs, and more up to four weeks before your ceremony. If you are taking antidepressants (SSRIs or MAOIs) you should consult with your doctor before taking ayahuasca. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of reducing your dose or eliminating it altogether for a short period prior to your ceremony.
In addition to behavioral and dietary preparation, it is important you also put yourself in the right headspace to receive the medicine. Meditate daily to clear your mind and try to carve out some time in nature to connect with Mother Earth. You may want to go hiking in the forest or swim in the ocean.
Ayahuasca Diet Before Your Ceremony
Most ayahuasca retreat centers recommend you fast the day of your ceremony and drink only water. It is advised you stop drinking water four hours before as well.
Some shamans will take an approach similar to surgical procedure preparation by suggesting you eat no less than four hours before the start of the ceremony and only soft, light foods.
Volcanic Medicinal Water
Volcanic medicinal water is the final step in preparing the body for ayahuasca. It is a powerful detox consistently of about eight glasses. The water activates your need to use the bathroom and is completed when the consumer excretes clear liquid.
Certain people should not consume volcanic medicinal water. This includes:
- People who suffer from epilepsy
- Pregnant women
- People with an allergy or intolerance to sulfates
- People who have had recent (six months) surgery on their digestive system
- Children under five years of age
Ayahuasca is a powerful spiritual experience that can change and uplift seekers who are called to partake in her ceremonies. When it comes to preparation, the more you honor the plant, the more she will honor you. Consider meditating on an intention for taking the plant and she can help guide you to finding a healthy resolution.