Ayahuasca Diet: What You Need to Know Before Ceremony

The Ayahuasca Diet is a series of physical and psychological criteria that persons are strongly advised to follow before to participating in this sort of ceremony. In this article, we mentioned about everything you need to know about the Ayahuasca Diet.

What Is the Ayahuasca Diet?

Anyone interested in drinking ayahuasca, the holy Amazonian hallucinogenic beverage, has most likely heard of the dieta (diet). The ayahuasca diet is a set of physical and psychological preparation requirements that individuals are highly urged to follow before taking part in this type of ceremony.

While the extent to which you are urged to follow a certain ayahuasca diet may vary from one retreat facility to the next, there are some broad guidelines that the majority of locations will advise you to follow.

Some items, meals, and activities should be avoided entirely due to medical contraindications and possibly harmful bodily consequences, while others should be avoided at all costs because to how they may interfere with the connection to the plant during ceremony.

Let’s go through exactly what you should avoid before an ayahuasca ceremony and why it’s critical to follow the rules as closely as possible.

Why You Do It?

The list of constraints may appear to be a daunting commitment. You may wonder if following this ayahuasca diet is even essential given the low danger of bodily injury (aside from the contraindications already mentioned).

So, what’s the point?

Many practitioners believe that approaching an ayahuasca experience as physically and emotionally “cleansed” as possible will allow for a clearer and deeper connection with the plant.

It’s like giving the medication a “blank slate” to work with, which might help you be more receptive to its insights.

Ignoring the ayahuasca diet might result in extra layers of resistance in the form of more mental and physical purging, making it more difficult for the medication to traverse.

Furthermore, following to the ayahuasca diet honors the customs of the communities from where the ayahuasca ceremony originates. Indigenous shamans (and anyone taught from outside the society) will often spend a significant amount of time studying the ayahuasca diet.

Respect for the ayahuasca brew and its lineages is demonstrated by adhering to certain limits, which may impact how deeply you connect with the plant spirit.

Why Is Diet and Preparation Important?

“Jan Kounen writes in his book The Psychotropic Mind: The World According to Ayahuasca, Iboga, and Shamanism, “There are physical, organic things that need to be cleansed before you can perceive the essential.” His remarks beautifully summarize why it is critical to physically prepare your body for ayahuasca use.

The majority of our bodies are clogged with various stimulating, sensational meals from our modern diets – foods high in salt, sugar, and caffeine. To be ready to accept the words of Madre Ayahuasca, you must first rid yourself of these poisons.

Alan Shoemaker, an ayahuasca shaman, expands on this concept in his book Ayahuasca Medicine: The Shamanic World of Amazonian Sacred Plant Healing: “Plant based ayahuasca diets are meant to assist a person connect with the spirits of the plants, as well as to develop new healing talents, eyesight, and sight; they demand considerable time in isolation and a rigorous eating regimen…

When you follow the proper ayahuasca diet, the spirit world is more accessible.”

Anyone who has performed yoga will be familiar with the concept of quieting or cleaning the body in order to achieve a spiritual condition. Yoga asanas, or physical poses like downward facing dog or child’s pose, were initially created to prepare your body for meditation.

The physical preparation of the ayahuasca pre-diet, like the influence of asanas on meditation, goes hand in hand with being able to prepare oneself psychologically for the therapeutic experience.

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Toxin removal also provides you an advantage in the ayahuasca experience because, as Vincent Ravalee describes in The Psychotropic Mind, “all the toxins we accumulate during our daily lives are the first things that ayahuasca will target.”

Because there is less “static” to break through when you eliminate those toxins ahead of time, ayahuasca can act more effectively in your body.

By adhering to the ayahuasca diet, you secure your capacity to maximize the experience and achieve greater levels of psychospiritual awareness.

Preparation Both Physical and Mental

The body is a container. Everything we put into our bodies—all of the energy and thoughts we absorb, everything we eat, and all of the physical activities we engage in—leaves an imprint on us.

The components that the body receives from its surroundings effect us physiologically as well as energetically—mentally, psychologically, and spiritually, body and mind. If the body, the physical vessel through which you travel through reality, is also a part of the energetic system that absorbs and transmits energy.

It is a component of the whole—of all of life. It filters and absorbs. It can get clogged, obstructed, or even saturated as a result of what it eats.

The negative energy from these things accumulates over time and has a significant influence on our well-being. This is why it is critical for the body to be as clean as possible in order to allow for the optimum energy exchange with the surroundings.

That said, by doing extra homework to prepare our minds and bodies for the Ayahuasca experience, we create a clearer channel for the Ayahuasca medicine to connect with us and perform its work.

Not everyone can do it flawlessly, but you should try your best to prepare to the best of your ability. You should also avoid sexual activity for a week before the ceremony.

Each of us has an energy reservoir within us, and it is this energy that protects, nurtures, and leads the plant medicines as they operate.

Sex, including any interchange of body fluids, is a strong exchange that can drain your energy store and hence impair the efficiency of plant medicines in educating you.

Mind Preparation

The ayahuasca diet comprises both what is offered to the body and what is fed to the mind. Preparing psychologically and spiritually before the experience might be beneficial in addition to detoxifying the body.

Avoiding stressful events (and individuals) in the run-up to the retreat is recommended. Take a few days off from work before the ceremony if feasible, spending time away from electronics to meditate, be outside, and make some objectives.

If this is not possible, attempt to restrict your exposure to social media and television.

Finally, it is best to avoid sexual activity, including masturbation, before the ceremony. Sex may cause significant energetic alterations in the body, depleting energy and impairing attention throughout the ritual.

What Should I Do to Mentally and Spiritually Prepare For The Ceremony?

While the body is a physical vehicle for our experiences, it is our minds that mostly define what we may tap into during a ceremony. Whatever we name it—mind, awareness, or psyche—it determines our options in life, and it will do the same during an Ayahuasca ritual.

Any notion or belief that we hang on to creates mental patterns and behaviors that result in actions (or inactions). The mind is the ultimate filter of our experience, and its health promotes a healthy spirit.

Ayahuasca is a guiding force that is independent of any specific tradition or system of religion. It helps us to broaden our horizons and expose our minds and senses to the unknown and unseen.

Through an Ayahuasca experience, we may break free from the constraints imposed by society and focus in on the heart of what is true. However, the potential of an Aya experience is limited by the perspective one takes to the ceremony.

Ayahuasca is a “guide” who shows us the possibilities, but we are ultimately responsible for making those possibilities a reality. This is why, when approached with a humble heart, clear goals, and an open mind, an Ayahuasca ceremony is most helpful.

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If you want to receive the depth and transformational potential of Ayahuasca, you must have a clear aim for experiencing it. It is necessary to carefully analyze your intentions before to the wedding. Spend some time sitting quietly and asking yourself the following questions:

–What do you want to alter about your life?

–Are there any issues weighing on your mind or soul that you’d like to address?

–What do you wish to clarify about yourself, your relationships, or the course of your life?

To deepen your experience, you need also understand your motivation: What is the true reason for the changes you wish to see? What are the patterns or underlying factors that you believe are impeding your progress?

Our mind is a tremendous instrument for examining reality, with its full potential sometimes veiled by decades of indoctrination, life hardship, and emotional building.

However, if you have a strong goal and clear objectives, Ayahuasca can progressively assist you in reassembling your being as one of full integrity, personal empowerment, and spiritual liberation.

Foods to Avoid Prior to Consuming Ayahuasca

The Ayahuasca Diet

There will be a lot you will want to leave out if your present diet comprises of sugary drinks and fast food. If you eat mostly plant-based, whole foods, the ayahuasca diet will be less of a departure from your usual eating habits.

Essentially, the goal is to consume as much clean, nutrient-dense, non-processed food and beverages as possible. For at least three days, but ideally up to two weeks, before the ceremony, avoid red meat, pork, spicy meals, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and excess sugar and salt.

Tyramine is also present in aged cheeses, yeast, fermented foods (such as sauerkraut, kombucha, soy sauce, or tofu), yogurt, certain nutritional supplements, and excessive quantities of chocolate and peanuts.

It’s also a good idea to avoid strong tastes like garlic and onion, extra oil, and overripe fruits in the days leading up to the wedding.

It is critical to avoid tyramine-containing beverages and meals since the ayahuasca vine includes a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs inhibit the breakdown of tyramine, an amino acid.

This combination of meals and drink may be difficult for the body to assimilate, thus raising the likelihood of a terrible headache, elevated blood pressure, or nausea.

Ayahuasca Pre-Diet Guidelines


While various shamans and retreat sites have varying restrictions, most recommend starting to eliminate particular foods and narcotics from your ayahuasca diet 2-4 weeks before a ceremony (longer for certain prescription drugs like SSRIs).

The ideas below are gathered from The Way Inn and the Temple of the Way of Light, two shamanic ayahuasca retreats in central and northern Peru that provide all participants with nutritional requirements.

Tyramine-Containing Foods

Ayahuasca (particularly, Caapi vine, one of two main constituents in ayahuasca drink) is an MAO-inhibitor, which means it temporarily suppresses monoamine oxidase activity (MAO).

Because this enzyme is required to digest the amino acid tyramine, avoiding meals high in this amino acid is critical; otherwise, your body may reach hazardous amounts, causing headaches or hypertension. Tyramine-containing foods include:

  • Pork
  • Red meat
  • Aged cheeses
  • Fermented foods like soy sauce, fermented tofu, and sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Alcohol
  • Nutritional supplements like protein powders
  • Aspartame
  • Chocolate (in large amounts)
  • Peanuts (in large amounts)

Other Things to Avoid

You should avoid the following foods, in addition to those rich in tyramine:

  • Salt (i.e. canned and processed foods)
  • Refined sugar (i.e. sweets and junk food)
  • Spicy food
  • Dairy
  • Oils
  • Caffeine

Prescription Medications

Many clinics strongly advise you to discontinue the following prescription medicines in the weeks preceding up to the ceremony:

  • Antidepressants like SSRIs
  • MAO-inhibitors
  • Sleep medications
  • Barbiturates
  • Alpha- and beta-blockers

Drugs to Avoid

Cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, and MDMA are among them. Other psychedelics, such as LSD and psilocybin, should also be avoided.


Most facilities highly advise you to abstain from sexual activity, including masturbation, for two weeks before and after the ceremony.

The Way Inn regulations warn that “sex (including any interchange of body fluids) is a powerful energetic exchange that might deplete [your] reservoir of available energy and hence impair the ability of the plants to educate and lead you.”

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The relevance of eliminating all of these things from your ayahuasca diet varies, but most people feel that avoiding pork, street drugs, and sexual activity for two weeks before and after a ceremony is vital for your safety.

So, What Are Your Options on Ayahuasca Diet?

Ayahuasca Ceremony Diet

Unfortunately, with the ayahuasca diet, the blander, the better. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (including rice, quinoa, and oats), and legumes before the ceremony (like beans, lentils, and peas).

Cooking oil (olive or coconut is recommended), salt, spices, and sugar should all be used sparingly. Keep items light and plant-based on the day of the ceremony, and drink just water or herbal tea.

While you don’t want to walk into the ceremony absolutely empty-handed (you’ll probably need that energy later in the night), avoid eating a lot of hefty animal items.

Fruits, vegetables, and readily digested carbs are all excellent alternatives. It’s also a good idea to avoid eating for at least four hours before drinking the brew.

You CAN and SHOULD consume an abundance of:

  • Vegetables, either raw or cooked
  • Beans, legumes, and peas
  • Cereals such as rice, buckwheat, oats, barley, and others
  • Fruits and liquids that are fresh
  • Use olive oil or ghee instead of other cooking oils, and avoid eating fried foods entirely.
  • Some fresh organic eggs, but not on the ceremony day.

What Should I Eat on The Day of The Ayahuasca Ritual?

Ayahuasca Tree

The optimal ayahuasca diet for the ceremony day starts with a simple vegetarian breakfast, followed by a light vegetarian lunch. A vegan ayahuasca diet or even fasting may be suggested in rare instances.

Avoid hot meals such as chili, as well as anything containing caffeine (coffee, tea, soda).

Eggs, dairy, and heavy sweets should also be avoided.

Consume water or herbal tea.

We recommend that you refrain from eating after 3:00 p.m., or at least five hours before the session.

You are permitted to consume, but just water or herbal tea.

If there is no nausea or dizziness, several fruits can be consumed at the end of the ritual.

It is suggested that you remove a few things from your ayahuasca diet at least a week before the Aya ceremony if you have an unstable, difficult digestion.

This includes avoiding any dairy products, such as cheeses and cream-based products (yogurt and kefir are exceptions).

White bread, items heavy in gluten or butter, and sweet carbs such as cakes and cookies should be avoided.

If you’re not sure what to eat or how to handle your digestion before the Aya ceremony, the general advise is to eat raw fruits and/or vegetables and drink juices and water.

This provides the body a very light sensation and might aid in reducing the heaviness of the purging throughout the ceremony.

Ayahuasca Diet Following the Ayahuasca Ceremony

While it may be tempting to binge on everything you’ve been avoiding after the retreat, it’s critical to stick to the pre-ceremony restrictions throughout your initial integration time.

This post-ceremony commitment allows you to keep your mind clear so you may investigate the insights received from the ayahuasca experience. If you stick to the ayahuasca diet throughout this time, your future self will thank you.


  • Sophie Hayward

    Sophie Hayward is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Florida and a Master's degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With over 5 years of experience in the nutrition field, Sophie is an expert in weight management, chronic disease prevention, and overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, she shares her knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including nutrition plans, healthy recipes, and overall health and wellness tips. Sophie believes that a balanced approach to nutrition is essential for overall health and well-being, and she strives to inspire her readers to make sustainable lifestyle changes that promote optimal health. Through her articles, Sophie aims to empower her readers to achieve their nutrition goals, overcome challenges, and enhance their overall quality of life.

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