Plant Medicine

Preparation for a Plant Ceremony

I will start by saying, plant medicine is not for everyone, and if you are going to do it, give it your all. There is so much more that goes into ayahuasca or any plant medicine, before you actually sit in ceremony. The dieta, or preparation before hand is a very important part of the journey. I am currently on my third dieta, and they are all somewhat similar. I follow whatever guidelines the retreat center or guide gives me, as closely as possible. Keep in mind all dietas may vary, these are simply the protocols I have personally followed.

The hard no’s list:

A list of things to avoid AT LEAST two weeks before-

  • Alcohol
  • Weed
  • Drugs
  • Medication *varies per person*
  • Sexual activity with yourself or others
  • Highly processed foods
  • Pork
  • Red meat
  • Soy
  • Spicy foods
  • Refined sugars

Avoid at least one week before-

  • Fermented food
  • Smoked food
  • Dairy products
  • Overly ripe fruits
  • Caffeine
  • Ice cold drinks
  • Adrenal spiking activities

Limiting sodium, oils, and fats is also a big must!

I have always been recommended to start dieta at least two weeks in advance. I personally begin about a month before ceremony. I ease into the process, then at the two week mark, I’m all in.

Now, when you read that at first it sounds terrible. I feel you, I freaked before my first prep. I was pretty hungry for the whole two weeks. But now that I’ve learned a bit more and got creative with my food, its really not so bad. Check out some recipes i’ve created that are dieta friendly here. Bring the good vibes, will power, and you can do anything for two weeks.

Whats the purpose of Dieta?

“There are more complex diets practiced by those in training to be traditional healers, but following the basics will enhance the results of the ritual for most seekers and allow the medicine space to work most effectively. Focusing on deprivation is not the purpose of a diet; its purpose is to create an environment in your body that gives the medicine the best chance of permeating and illuminating areas that need healing. Practicing these disciplines shows respect for the medicine, respect for the process, and is believed to lead to more insight and less difficulty in the sessions.” -Words from the guidelines Soltara Healing Center gave us before attending.

We are essentially cleansing our body. Eliminating all the “extras” to provide a clean environment for the medicine to work its magic. This isn’t only the foods we consume, it’s our energy too. Be more aware of where you give your attention. Less screen time, and more time in nautre is a wonderful thing.

This where the no sexual activity comes into play. It is keeping your energy safe and sacred, for yourself in preparation for ceremony. It’s also to keep our adrenals level, to not have a spike of energy in a particular moment. This is also why any activities that may give you an adrenaline rush, are not recommended.

After the ceremony-

In moments of weakness, I caught myself day dreaming of all the foods I wanted to come home and eat after ceremony. Well jokes on me! You have to continue certain aspects of dieta, for around a month after your last ceremony. You are slowly able to reintroduce certain things back into your diet. Slowly is the key, as you have just eaten suuuuuuper clean for many weeks. You don’t want to shock your system, and make yourself sick.

In my particular retreat this included:

  • No red meat or dairy for one week
  • No alcohol or sex for two weeks
  • No pork, weed, or other drugs for one month.

After doing all this work you’ve done, it seems silly to jump back into all your old habits again. I used this time to reflect on the choices I make daily. Really thinking about what I am putting in my body and why. Am I eating this cake because it’s a treat, or a time to celebrate. Or am I eating the cake to numb my feelings, or because I have a problem with consuming copious amounts of sugar?

Same with weed. Prior to dieta I was a daily weed smoker, and have been for 15 years. It was probably the hardest thing for me to cut out. So when it came time, and I was allowed to smoke again, I really had a lot to consider. WHY am I smoking? If I am smoking weed to avoid how I am feeling, or numb out, it’s probably not what I need in this moment. If I am smoking to have a fun date night in with my partner, watch movies, and play games. It’s a different story. It’s all about the intention behind your actions.

I wish you well, and hope this insight helps guide you through your own dieta and plant medicine journey. If you are interested in hearing a bit about my first journey with ayahuasca, click here to read.