Ayahuasca Diet – Preparing for Ceremony

When we hear the call of Ayahuasca and the sacred medicines and actively decide to participate in a Ayahuasca ceremony or retreat, one of the main concerns that we have is the ‘Ayahuasca diet’. There are so many different opinions and recommendations floating around the Internet these days that it can be confusing for a first-time drinker.


Working at the Eagle Condor Alliance, I often speak to participants on the phone or Skype before they come down to join us for a retreat. One of the topics we talk about is pre-retreat diet and the importance of arriving as physically clean and strong as possible.  A good diet leading up to ceremony is key to creating a profound relationship with the medicine during an Ayahuasca ceremony or San Pedro ceremony. Upon arrival, participants who may have taken my recommendations a bit too far, tell horror stories regarding pre-retreat diets consisting of handfuls of nuts, fruit, and white rice.


Before any Ayahuasca ceremony or Ayahuasca retreat you need to be well nourished, and that doesn’t mean eating like a bird. We shouldn’t stress about our diet either; enjoy what you eat as a blessing that nourishes your body and mind, and use logic when choosing what to put in your body.


Avoid all processed foods minimize acidic fruits, red meat, pork, and dark beverages for at least 7 days.  Instead, think whole foods. Super foods such as cacao, almonds, legumes, beets, berries, etc. do wonders for our mental, emotional, and physical bodies. Another tip from the healers we work with is to have freshly caught fish in your diet; the spirit of Ayahuasca flows well with the spirit of water.  If you do want to include fish, try to buy as locally as possible and avoid large fish such as tuna and salmon.  If you are a vegetarian or vegan, continue to eat fresh produce, juices, healthy grains, and legumes.  I choose not to eat red meat or pork and I cut cow’s milk completely out of my diet. Those meats and dairy do not agree with Ayahuasca and can create a feeling of physical discomfort and a persistent need to purge during an Ayahuasca ceremony.


It’s all about balance and moderation. In the days leading up to a ceremony or retreat I will eat lots of fruits, salads, vegetables, vegetable juices, fish soups with root vegetables, rice, avocados, lentils, eggs, granola with coconut milk, smoothies with coconut milk, cacao and maca, and quinoa, all cooked with limited oil and salt. And of course, most importantly, I drink a lot of water!


Foods and drinks that our healers at the Eagle Condor Alliance recommend avoiding for at least least two to three days before drinking Ayahuasca are; red meat, pork, citrus fruits, garlic, onions, bell peppers, chilies, animal milk, cheese, butter, tomatoes, and dark drinks (coffee, Coke, etc.). In addition, it is a requirement to be free of alcohol and recreational drugs for at least 2 weeks before drinking Ayahuasca. Recommendations concerning prescription medications are made on a case-by-case basis.


I hope this article enables individuals who are feeling the call to Ayahuasca and the sacred medicines to reach a better understanding of the pre-ceremony diet so they can enjoy meals leading up to ceremonies and ultimately enjoy this divine medicine that we are so blessed to know.


Mitakuye Oyasin