Ayahuasca has been used for centuries by the indigenous population living in the Amazonian Rainforest. From about 1930 on, the tea has been consecrated during religious ceremonies by many thousands of people. They have been drinking hundreds of thousands of doses of ayahuasca.

Based on these facts and recent scientific research it is permitted to state that ayahuasca can be drunk safely by normally healthy people and in the right circumstances. In individual cases, especially of certain physical or mental illnesses or in combination with some groups of medicines, one can be advised not to take ayahuasca (see: contraindications).

Eating and drinking patterns can also have an influence on the effect of ayahuasca (see: food).

1. Contraindications

When you are drinking ayahuasca, and you are under medical treatment, (including the dentist!) please inform your doctor that you use MAO-inhibitors!

Mental disorders

In the case of severe mental disorders as schizophrenia and psychoses the use of ayahuasca is strongly not advisable.


Illnesses that carry an extra risk are: Instable Diabetes Mellitus, severe disorders of the kidneys, epilepsy, severe neurological malfunctions, illnesses of the circulation (angina pectoris, CVA's, feochromocytoma, disorders of the liver and blood dyscrasia).

Prescription medicines

If you are taking prescription medication (including antibiotics), are subject to high blood pressure, have a heart condition, or are under treatment for any health condition, please consult your doctor before drinking ayahuasca.


Ayahuasca contains MAOI’s (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) generally in the form of harmine and harmaline therefore medical consultation is essential if you are taking Prozac or other antidepressants affecting serotonin levels, i.e. serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI).

SSRI’s block the re-uptake of serotonin in the brain and because MAOI’s inhibit breakdown of serotonin, the combination of MAOI’s and SSRI’s can lead to too high levels of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs are much more common than MAOI’s which are found in some anti-depressants. Consult your doctor about the use of temporary monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).

These medications generally have to be stopped for at least two weeks before drinking ayahuasca. Please contact your doctor.

Non-prescription medicines

Non-prescription medications such as antihistamines, dietary aids, amphetamines and derivatives, and some natural herbal medicines, i.e. those

containing ephedrine, high levels of caffeine, or other stimulants, may also cause adverse reactions. We recommend that you discontinue all such medications, drugs, and herbs for at least one week prior to and following work with ayahuasca.

Recreational drugs

Avoid all recreational drugs, in particular MDMA/XTC, 2CB, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines at least one week before and after drinking ayahuasca. Also, do not drink alcohol on the day before and of the ceremony.

Herbal remedies

Use of herbal remedies for depression such as St John’s Wort (which also influence the serotonin levels) need to be discontinued two weeks before drinking ayahuasca.

2. Food recommendations & preparations

Eating and drinking patterns can also have an influence on the effect of ayahuasca. All food containing tyramine carry the risk of rising of the blood pressure. Please refrain from taking these foods and drinks at least 24 hours before and after the ritual.


Tyramine is found in: alcohol as well as alcohol free beer. Yeast extracts, protein dietary supplements, L-tyrosine, Marmite and Tartex, old cheese, cheese spread, Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, Emmenthaler, Gorgonzola, Gruyere, etc. Chicken liver, salami, cervelat, sausage and some other (smoked) meat, poultry & fish and meat extracts. Soy been products, broad beans, chocolate, sauerkraut, ripe avocado, yeast, caffeine, raspberry jam, certain nuts, dried fruit and ripe bananas.

The cleansing effect and strength of the visionary experience can be greatly enriched by one’s commitment to the following preparations.

Food diet

You are strongly advised to refrain from all food from a minimum of four hours before the ritual.

An integral element of the preparation is to undertake a diet intended to reduce excessive sugar, salt, oils, red meat, pork, fat, and spicy food in the body in preparation to be in communion with the spirit of ayahuasca. Reduction of these should commence as soon as one commits to the experience.

Pork in particular is considered to be impure and is studiously avoided by ayahuasca practitioners. Complete abstinence from pork and lard for at least two weeks prior to the ceremony is recommended. It is also recommended that this abstinence continue for at least two weeks after the ceremony.

After the ritual, it is good to drink mineral water and juices in small quantities.

Sexual diet
A traditional requirement of ayahuasca cleansing and healing is abstinence from sexual orgasm for three days prior to the ceremony, and to continue three days after the ceremony.


Safety & recommendations

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