How Does Diet Affect The Effects Of An Ayahuasca Ceremony?

Ayahuasca helps veterans overcome PTSD when it is used in a proper ceremony.
Preparation of Ayahuasca for use in an Ayahuasca Ceremony, province of Pastaza, Ecuador. (Photo: Wikimedia/Terpsichore)

Is an ayahuasca ceremony able to help people who have autism or PTSD?

Many people with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA) have self-reported that undergoing an ayahuasca ceremony has helped them better deal with the symptoms of their neurological condition.

Ryan LaCompte talks about how undergoing an ayahuasca ceremony helped him overcome his PTSD and could help other veterans who also suffer from PTSD. (Video: Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy/Ryan LaCompte)

Soldiers who have PTSD have also reported benefits from undergoing an ayahuasca ceremony, and a group called Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy is trying to fund a study to demonstrate how ayahuasca and other drugs in the same class as ayahuasca can also help veterans overcome wartime PTSD. A study to see if ayahuasca could work as an antidepressant is looking for volunteers.

A video illustration detailing the effects ayahuasca has on the human brain and why these effects can help heal people who have hidden traumas.(Video: YouTube/Galactic Scholar Consciousness)

Using ayahuasca in the proper set and setting is required to get the maximum benefit from an ayahuasca ceremony; using ayahuasca on your own is dangerous unless you know exactly what you are doing and will not have all the benefits that a proper ceremony would provide. Using ayahuasca ceremonially is important if one is trying to use ayahuasca for a deep psychological healing and not as a safer alternative to using a chelating agent to cleanse the body of toxins. A knowledgeable shaman who trained for years on how to work in a ceremonial setting with ayahuasca is better equipped to deal with the negative spiritual energies that might emerge as a result of drinking ayahuasca than anybody who is just following a recipe that was found online to home-brew some ayahuasca.

What is better using home-brewed ayahuasca or attending an ayahuasca ceremony?

Ayahuasca is rather easy to make and many people brew it on their own rather than going to a shaman. While it is easy to brew, it is hard to brew it just right so going to a competent shaman may yield better results than a home-brew would yield unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Joe, who asked for his name to be changed to protect his privacy, describes his experience with trying to brew ayahuasca on his own to try to help him cope with his autism, and his desire to work with a shaman rather than attempting to make another home-brewed version of ayahuasca. (Audio: Michael Israel; Picture: Wikimedia/Terpsichore)

Joe wants to go to a shaman to take ayahuasca sometime in the future because he is unsure about how to properly source the ingredients for ayahuasca and brew them together. There are way too many recipes for ayahuasca tea online and Joe would rather have a competent shaman prepare the ayahuasca for his next ceremony. Joe is saving his money and reviewing the various retreat centers so he can go to the rainforest and do a proper ceremony with the support of a shaman.

Following a proper diet is important in an ayahuasca ceremony. Adverse drug interactions post a major risk during an ayahuasca ceremony.

Since ayahuasca is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) following the proper diet and refraining from using drugs that have dangerous interactions with any MAOI is required to use ayahuasca safely. An oil free diet such as the Esselstyn Diet could be used to help people get deeper insights from the ayahuasca ceremony. People with high blood pressure need to get their blood pressure is under control because having a high blood pressure when drinking ayahuasca carries the risks of causing a hypertensive emergency.


Information about safely using a MAOI. This is handy information for people thinking of going to an ayahuasca ceremony. People who are not experts in how a MAOI interacts with other medications should avoid anything that has a dangerous interaction a MAOI. (Source: Neuroscience Education Institute)

Ensuring not to use drugs which would react badly with a MAOI is a lot more important than diet for people wishing to safely journey with ayahuasca because adverse drug reactions have caused deaths during ayahuasca ceremonies. It is also important to go to a review site to research an ayahuasca healing center before attending a ceremony. Some shamans either add ingredients that are dangerous such as datura to the brew which has resulted in death. Some shamans have also engaged in the abuse of people during the healing ceremony. The ingestion of tobacco during an ayahuasca ceremony is one of the most dangerous parts of the ceremony and should be avoided; using brew consisting of only a plant containing a MAOI and a plant containing DMT with no extra active ingredients that enhance the effects of the brew is the safest way to consume ayahuasca during a ceremony. Since ayahuasca is a MAOI combining ayahuasca with any other MAOI is dangerous and should be avoided.

The DMT Nexus is a good site to go to get information about dimethyltryptamine. Since ayahuasca is dimethyltryptamine (DMT) mixed with a MAOI, The DMT Nexus should have information about how to safely use ayahuasca and rankings of some of the major retreat centers that offer ayahuasca ceremonies.

About MIchael Israel 22 Articles
My job as a journalist is to make sure the government is kept in check, so it starts to help and not to dominate its citizens.