Ayahuasca Diet: How to Prepare For the Trip of Your Life


In order the get the most out of your Ayahuasca experience, it’s best to prepare the body months in advance. Ayahuasca diet and these general dietary tips can enable you to have a remarkable adventure with as few nuisances as possible. Seeing as many people had their experience severely hindered by improper diet and the lack of preparations, this dietary guideline is definitely worth adhering.

Why Is It Important to Prepare for Ayahuasca?

When dealing with a biochemically active plant like Ayahuasca, you can expect a strong body reaction to it. During the preparation period, it’s important to consider how the things you eat and drink either “agree” or “disagree” with the plant and its effects.

To get the full effect, it’s best to start this journey with a “clean” body. For centuries, native shamans have been telling stories about cleansing spirits and the healing power of the Mother Nature through this incredible plant. These spirits cleanse your body of impurities and only then, when you are considered pure, they allow you into the realm of bliss and healing. What this means in terms of modern understanding is that your body has a strong reaction to the herb and natural cleansing mechanisms are triggered.

Ayahuasca is taken in the form of a tea mixture, and when it starts working, any food you have in your stomach is coming out. There is simply no way around it. In fact, any food you had days prior, any drink you have had recently, and the so-called impurities in your body; everything is coming out. This is due to the naturally occurring substance, dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

DMT is a highly hallucinogenic substance and it’s responsible for both the cleansing and spiritual effects you experience. Proper preparation in terms of diet is necessary, especially when you are taking this journey with an experienced shaman using all-natural ingredients. Failing to adhere to the guidelines will cause unpleasant reactions to the plant in terms of severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, thus ruining the experience. It may even force you to stop the ritual all together before feeling the really positive effects.

Ingredients and Foods to Avoid

Many shamans and Ayahuasca practitioners have slightly different, and in many cases, way stricter, dietary guidelines. So, this one should be taken as the necessary (the bare minimum you should adhere) preparation plan. Everything you do beyond these steps will only enhance your experience.

Active Substances

At least two weeks prior to the journey, restrain yourself from any serious drugs (especially other hallucinogenics), recreational drugs like marijuana, and alcohol. Take notice that prescription drugs are also strongly prohibited. MAO-inhibitors, SSRIs, beta-blockers, barbiturates, sleeping aids, etc. This is important to increase the sensitivity of the receptors in your body, thus increasing the effectiveness of the very concentrated mixture taken during the ceremony.

Sexual Activity

It is also recommended to avoid sexual activity for at least two weeks before the retreat. This includes masturbation as well. Shamans explain sex as depleting your energy reservoir. The modern science explains it as restraining from getting the levels oxytocin and endorphins higher than normal. Celibacy should also increase the sensitivity of the receptors in your brain.

Dietary Guidelines

72 hours prior to the ceremony;

Avoid foods rich in calories, fats, oils, and dairy products. Here is the list of all the things to avoid:

• Fried food
• Oil-rich meals
• Fermented food
• Canned products, fish and meat included, non-fresh fruits and vegetables
• Dairy products, anything containing yeast
• Red meat altogether (pork, beef)
• Refined sugar of any kind
• Spicy food
• Overripe fruits

You can spot the main idea here. By not taking these, you actually clean your body of any active ingredients that react with your gut flora and mess with the natural body balance. Tyramine is they key ingredient to avoid because Ayahuasca temporarily stops your gut from processing this amino acid. In fact, any type of moldiness or complex molecules (refined sugar and yeast) is undesirable. There are also these ingredients that you probably never thought off, but they also react with your gut bacteria:

• Coffee (beans actually contain mold; caffeine in general is reactive)
• Protein extracts (powdered and liquid, such high concentrations are not found in nature)
• Table salt in excess amounts
• Food supplements containing yeast, beer included (even non-alcoholic kind)

What Can You Eat Before Ayahuasca?

Pre-Ayahuasca period is mostly the time of fasting and consuming only ingredients that are gut-neutral:

• Animal proteins (eggs: poached, scrambled, hard-boiled)
• Chicken, organic-fed or free-range
• Fresh fish, wild-caught (bass, trout, tilapia, sole)
• Grains (brown rice, wheat, beans, amaranth)
• Seeds and nuts, raw (almonds, walnuts, cashews, chia)
• Veggies seasoned with fresh herbs (potatoes, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, cucumber, seasoned with basil, oregano, thyme)
• Fruits, fresh and not overly ripe (bananas, peaches, melons, apricots, grapes, berries, apples)

Each Ayahuasca plant is, considered by shamans, a sacred home of natural spirits. That’s why the list of things you can eat contains only natural ingredients, raw nuts, only the foods you could either hunt or gather. Shamans also believe that the more you sacrifice (fasting and restraining from the indulgence of any kind), the greater the reward you receive during the ritual and the more profound experience you gain.

ayahuasca meal plan

Post-Ayahuasca Diet and Care

Seeing as Ayahuasca shakes up your entire body, starting from your gut, the same ingredients and foods avoided before the retreat, you should avoid after as well.

Avoid these for at least a month:
• Alcohol, recreational drugs, hallucinogenic drugs
• Chili and black pepper
• Pork (Ayahuasca inhibits processing of tyramine)

Avoid these for at least two weeks:
• Red meat in general
• Dairy
• Fermented foods
• Raw nuts, citrus fruits, coffee

Avoid these for at least 10 days:
• Processed sugar
• Fried and oil-rich foods

The majority of people who experienced the true effects of Ayahuasca reported all the sacrifices and dieting were well worth the effort. Hopefully, this Ayahuasca diet and guidelines will enable you to have an amazing and life-changing experience. Note that these are minimal guidelines and extending them both prior and after the ceremony can only enhance the overall effect.


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