Ayahuasca Diet - What You Can Eat (Banisteriopsis Caapi)
The “Ayahuasca diet” or “dieta” stems from two places. First is the traditional idea of purity. For instance, shamans frequently fast and abstain from excess fat, spicy foods, heavy seasoning, caffeine, salt, citrus, and even sex before an Ayahuasca ceremony. They prepare physically in this way to calm their mind and preserve energy for their journey. The other consideration results from Tyramine interacting with MAOIs - which have caused hypertensive issues in some people. However, some Ayahuasca groups like the União do Vegetal in Brazil don’t believe the risk is significant and don’t follow a specific Ayahuasca diet.

Ayahuasca Diet General Guideline:

As a rule of thumb, all fresh fruit and vegetables are fine to eat. If it‘s aged or factory-processed, avoid it. The recommended dieta, or diet, for Ayahuasca is one that is light and healthy, with minimum or zero products of animal origin - basically a light vegetarian diet for three days before and after the Aya ceremony. On the day of the ceremony eat only raw fruits and vegetables or fast.

Ayahuasca Diet - What You Should Avoid

The most important things to avoid in an Ayahuasca dieta are pork and alcohol. The basic guidelines and recommended lengths to alter your diet are as follows:
  • NO red or heavy meats (pork, beef, sheep, tuna, eel) – One week before and after
  • NO alcohol, beer, wine – One week before and after
  • NO spicy food such as chilies or red pepper – Two days before
  • NO fermented food (pickles, herring, anchovies, old cheese) – One day before and after
  • Moderate consumption of salt and sugar/honey – Three days before and after
To follow a traditional diet and avoid foods that have Tyramine, you will want to avoid aged cheeses, cured meats, soy sauce, fermented foods (like tofu), pickled vegetables, spicy foods, alcohol in general (especially red wine), aspartame, and large amounts of dark chocolate.

Why foods with Tyramine should be avoided in Ayahuasca ceremonies

Tyramine, an amino acid, can be found in many foods. Small amounts of Tyramine in our body is not a problem, but if the MAO enzymes are inhibited (which will happen when using Ayahuasca) it can be absorbed in higher amounts by the body. Even though Ayahuasca doesn’t completely prevent the breakdown of Tyramine (which allows the body to partially regulate it), it is still wise to proceed with caution. Too much Tyramine can cause a release of adrenaline, which can cause headaches, sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure. These effects have been known to be mild and have never caused severe damage. However, it’s a good idea to avoid foods that have Tyramine in them - especially for people with high blood pressure or heart problems.

Drugs and Medications To Avoid With Ayahuasca

Many pharmaceutical drugs are dangerous to use with Ayahuasca. If you are on a medication, make sure to check the compatibility with Ayahuasca. Medications and drugs that conflict with MAOIs, such as other MAOIs, SSRIs, hypertension medicine, and recreational drugs, should be avoided at least two weeks before the ceremony. Consult a doctor for more info on mixing drugs with MAO inhibitors.

The following drugs are NOT safe for use with Ayahuasca:

  • Other MAOIs
  • SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)
  • Antidepressants
  • Alcohol
  • Antipsychotics
  • Appetite suppressants (diet pills)
  • CNS (central nervous system) depressants
  • Amphetamines (including meth and dex, variants)
  • Antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine)
  • Medicine for asthma, bronchitis, or other breathing problems
  • Antihistamines, medicines for colds, sinus problems, hay fever, or allergies (Actifed DM, Benadryl, Benylin, Chlor-Trimeton, Compoz, etc.)
  • Tryptamines

Specific drugs and herbs to be avoided (this list is not comprehensive, buy may answer some specific questions):

  • Actifed
  • Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel)
  • Amoxapine (Asendin)
  • Benadryl
  • Benylin
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Buspirone (BuSpar)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol)
  • Chlor-Trimeton
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Cocaine
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • Cyclizine (Marezine)
  • Desipramine (Pertofrane)
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  • Disopyramide (Norpace)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Ephedra
  • Ephedrine
  • Flavoxate Hydrochloride (Urispas)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Ginseng
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Kava
  • Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl)
  • Oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex)
  • Parnate
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Phenergen
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Procainamide (Pronestyl)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Quinidine (Quinidex)
  • Salbutamol
  • Salmeterol
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Sinicuichi
  • St John's Wort
  • Tegretol
  • Temaril
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Elavil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Yohimbine

Is an Ayahuasca diet necessary for microdosing?

Taking microdoses of B. caapi probably doesn’t require you to maintain a strict Ayahuasca diet, since the levels are so low that there’s a very minimal risk of the hypertensive crisis that the diet aims to prevent. But if you want to follow the dietary guidelines usually recommended for an Ayahuasca dieta, it might help get you into the spirit of it. Even though microdosing shouldn’t warrant a full Ayahuasca diet, some dietary precautions are advised, as there are foods that can be dangerous in combination with MAOIs. Specifically avoid aged cheeses, cured meats, soy sauce, fermented foods (like tofu), pickled vegetables, spicy foods, alcohol in general (especially red wine), aspartame, and large amounts of dark chocolate. Some people are much more sensitive to the beta carbolines in micro dosing pure vine only. If, after micro dosing, you begin to feel anxiety, take a look at the foods you are eating, avoid foods that contain Tyramine such as fermented foods, red wine, etc.