Let’s say you plan to become a Shaman in Peru or just want to participate in the ceremony.
Either way, you’ve probably asked yourself about the Ayahuasca Diet.
The short answer is that it is a diet you must follow to undergo mental, physical, and spiritual cleansing.
Let’s discuss this diet in this article, as there is more to this than meets the eye.
A traditional part of an ayahuasca experience is the ayahuasca diet or dieta.
Before, during, and after an ayahuasca ceremony, many shamans, native communities, and retreat providers recommend following a set of dietary and lifestyle restrictions.
But the ayahuasca diet can be different from one ayahuasca retreat to the next, and some retreats don’t tell you to follow it at all.
It is essential to learn more about the ayahuasca diet and why retreat providers stress it so much.
Even though there may be good reasons to follow some of the diets, not everyone agrees that all of its parts are necessary.
Pre-ceremonial Food Restrictions
If most of what you eat right now is sugary drinks and fast food, you will want to cut out a lot.
If you eat mostly whole, plant-based foods, then the diet won’t be much of a change from what you’re used to.
The main idea is to eat and drink as much clean, nutrient-dense, non-processed food and drink as you can.
Before the ceremony, avoid red meat, pork, spicy meals, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and too much sugar and salt for three to two weeks.
It is also important to avoid foods or drinks containing tyramine. You can find tyramine in:
- Red meats
- Aged Cheese
- Fermented Foods like Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Soy sauce, And Tofu
- Nutritional supplements
- Chocolate and Peanuts (in excessive amounts)
People are also often told to avoid intense flavors like garlic and onion, too much oil, and fruits that are too ripe in the days before the ceremony.
Because the ayahuasca vine has a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, you should avoid drinks and foods that are high in tyramine (MAOI).
MAOIs stop the amino acid tyramine from being broken down.
This mix of food and beverages could be hard for the body to process, increasing the chances of getting a bad headache, high blood pressure, or feeling sick.
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Avoiding Other Foods
Besides tyramine-rich foods, you should also avoid:
- Salt (canned and processed foods, etc.)
- Spicy foods
- Processed sugar (sweets and junk food, etc.)
Many centers strongly suggest that you stop taking the following prescription drugs during the weeks before the ceremony.
Drugs such as:
- Antidepressants like SSRIs
- Medications for sleep
- Alpha- and beta-blockers
You will also need to be careful and kind to your body in the following weeks.
All serious participants are expected to follow the rules about what they can and can’t eat.
When you get home from the retreat, eating everything you’ve been avoiding can be tempting.
Still, it’s essential to stick to the rules for the pre-ceremony period during the first few days.
This commitment after the ceremony gives you a chance to keep your mind clear so you can keep thinking about what you learned from the ayahuasca.
If you stick with the diet during this time, your future self will thank you.
Remember that the ayahuasca diet is seen as a way to show how determined you are.
The physical act of not eating and drinking is just the beginning.
Being unhappy or complaining about your diet, sex fantasies, or favorite foods is another way to show how determined or weak-willed you are.
Important restrictions include:
- Not getting angry.
- Having doubts or losing faith in the process.
- Having bad thoughts about the diet.
The diet doesn’t just happen at dinner. It happens all day and night, even when people are sleeping.
Why Have People Followed The Ayahuasca Diet In The Past
The people who live in the Amazon basin think that plants have spirits and teach them things.
They don’t just believe that potent psychedelics like ayahuasca have their own spirit.
They also think that many other plants, both those that make you high and those that don’t, have their own spirit.
Another plant like this is tobacco.
According to their worldview, you can talk to these spirits, which they think can help people learn, teach, and get better.
People from these cultures believe that a curandero (healer or shaman) or a student of curanderismo (healing or shamanism) can get along well with these spirits if they follow the diet.
In exchange for the sacrifices made during the dieta, plant spirits will teach, guide, protect, strengthen, or give the person special skills.
Some people, however, don’t want to become shamans but still want to take part in ayahuasca ceremonies. There are still traditional reasons to follow the diet despite this.
People believe your body can become more sensitive to working with plant spirits if you follow the diet and preparation.
By sticking to the dieta, you show the ayahuasca spirit that you are serious about the experience.
This comes from having self-control and sacrifice.
Many people find this affects how deep and clear their ayahuasca trips are.
Many people who follow the diet believe it “cleanses” you physically and mentally.
This helps you be more open to what the ayahuasca experience teaches you.
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The diet and experience are good cleansings for your body.
Still, you must ensure that your body can withstand the experience.
If you choose to participate, follow the pre-ceremony preparation for your safety and a better experience.