Step 1 Intake Form
Step 2 Book Now

Ayahuasca
Retreats

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant mixture with an ancient history of use as a medicine and shamanic means of communication, dating back at least 2,500 years. It has long been a central part of the spiritual and cultural traditions of South America and the Amazon. 

A powerful teacher, Ayahuasca is a medicine capable of bringing about great physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. She is reverently referred to as “Mother Ayahuasca” by those whose lives she has touched. As such, Ayahuasca is not intended for recreational use. She should be treated seriously and consumed in a ceremonial environment under the guidance of an experienced drinker.


The word Ayahuasca is derived from two Quechua words: aya meaning “spirit,” “soul,” or “ancestor,” and huasca meaning “vine” or “rope.” Thus, Ayahuasca is revered as “the vine of the soul.”


**Before participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony, it’s important that you read the information below fully.**

What are some potential medical effects of Ayahuasca?

Some of the potential medical effects of ayahuasca include:

It is important to note that ayahuasca can have serious physical and psychological risks, and should only be taken under the guidance of a trained and experienced shaman or facilitator in a safe and controlled environment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

** It is important to note that ayahuasca is not a magic cure-all, and the transformations that people experience are not guaranteed. It is also essential to approach ayahuasca with respect, caution, and a willingness to surrender to any experience. Ayahuasca should only be taken in a safe and controlled environment, under the guidance of an experienced shaman, healer, or facilitator.

How is the Ayahuasca brew made?

To make the Ayahuasca tea brew, the Banisteriopsis caapi vine is cut into 8- to 12-inch pieces, then pounded with a hard wooden mallet to separate the fibers. The pounded mixture of vine and leaves are then added to a pot, covered with water, and boiled and reduced for several hours. When the liquid in the pot has boiled down to just a few inches, it is drained off and transferred to another vessel where it is further reduced to the desired concentration. The final product is usually a very dark brown color, with a slightly sticky consistency similar to molasses. Preparing Ayahuasca is much more than just chemistry, and the intention and state of mind of the person making the tea has a significant impact on the experience of those who drink it. This is why it is very important that an experienced Ayahuasquero prepares the Ayahuasca brew so that they are able to channel their inner energy and intentions into the tea by keeping healing, positive intentions in mind and pushing away all negativity. They may also sing Prayers / Icaros (songs sung during healing ceremonies) while making the Ayahuasca tea, asking the spirit for knowledge and lessons. 

Will Ayahuasca cure me of my worries or illness?

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

While a very large number of issues have been successfully addressed with Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants, ranging from physical ailments like diabetes to psychological issues such as addiction, Ayahuasca does not promise to be a cure-all for every individual. It is a medicine, and as with all treatments, individuals will respond differently with varying results. We believe that coming to ayahuasca with thoughtful intentions, an open heart and mind, and without expectations, you will receive what you need.

** It is important to note that ayahuasca is not a magic cure-all, and the transformations that people experience are not guaranteed. It is also essential to approach ayahuasca with respect, caution, and a willingness to surrender to any experience. Ayahuasca should only be taken in a safe and controlled environment, under the guidance of an experienced shaman, healer, or facilitator.

What are some benefits of Ayahuasca?

Many people believe that ayahuasca can have healing benefits, both physically and mentally. The psychoactive compounds in ayahuasca are thought to have a variety of effects on the brain and body.

Mentally, ayahuasca is believed to help individuals confront and work through deep-seated emotional issues, trauma, and patterns of behavior that may be causing them distress. The experience can include emotional and spiritual insights that may lead to personal growth and healing. Psychotherapeutic benefits may include increased self-awareness, improved mood, reduced anxiety and depression symptoms, and enhanced emotional regulation.

Physically, ayahuasca may have a variety of effects on the body, including reducing inflammation, increasing neuroplasticity, and promoting the growth of new brain cells. Some studies have suggested that ayahuasca may be helpful for treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and addiction, although more research is needed to fully understand the potential therapeutic benefits of ayahuasca.

How do I prepare for a ceremony?

You can prepare for the ceremony by working to cleanse your body and mind. Before using Ayahuasca, it is recommended that you implement a dieta (“diet”) that is designed to best facilitate the medicine. This includes dietary and behavioral regimens that allow you to move most safely and effectively into working relationships with medicinal healing plants like Ayahuasca. The dietas are a plant-based practice that helps strengthen one’s attunement to the currents of spirit that underlie the material world. Today, the list of acceptable foods for the Aya dieta includes rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and chicken. Foods like sugar, salt, chilies, certain meats (especially pork), acidic fruits, fermented foods, alcohol, and stimulants should be avoided, as well as excessive exposure to sun, rain, fire, and unpleasant smells. The recommended dieta also suggests that one avoid social interactions with ill or negatively-focused individuals, as well as sexual activity, in an effort to cleanse the mind and body as much as possible before the ceremony. Besides being a practice of self-discipline, this also helps to loosen the hold of the human world from our minds, thereby opening us to guidance and power from the natural and spirit worlds.

*This only provides a general overview of Ayahuasca ceremonies. Read our Ceremony Guidelines to learn more.

How does the Ayahuasca medicine work?

Ayahuasca should not be viewed or treated as a drug. It is a sacred plant medicine capable of inducing altered states of consciousness that usually last between four to eight hours after ingestion. Results vary among individuals and can range from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary. For some, it can offer profound realizations and physical and psychological healing; for others, it can open up one’s heart to the beauty of the world and that which connects all living and non-living things on earth. And then for others, the experience may be in part entirely unique. Ayahuasca heals in a variety of ways. One primary way is by collecting energies that do not belong and then purging them from the individual, which may include vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, yawning, crying, and/or sweating. However, it is important to understand that this is the medicine doing its work, and surrendering to it will result in the best healing. Thus, this work should not be entered into lightly and without firm, true intention and respect for what Mother Ayahuasca provides. One should feel a strong calling to the medicine, not be looking for amusement or fulfilling mere curiosity. Even more, the healing process requires courage, commitment, and trust in the medicine and in what Ayahuasca intends for you. You must be willing to surrender to faith that the medicine is doing what you need, for it to work best, even if there are parts that are unpleasant.

What can I expect during a ceremony?

Ayahuasca ceremonies are often conducted in a supportive and compassionate environment, with guidance from a shaman or facilitator, providing a sense of safety and comfort during the experience. Some people report feeling a sense of connection to nature, the universe, and other people, which can lead to feelings of compassion, empathy, and gratitude. Some people believe that ayahuasca can have psychotherapeutic benefits, such as helping individuals to confront and work through deep-seated emotional issues, trauma, and patterns of behavior that may be causing them distress. Ayahuasca is known for its transformative potential, and many people report experiencing profound changes in their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors after participating in ayahuasca ceremonies. These transformations may include increased self-awareness, greater spiritual connection, improved emotional regulation, and a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in life. Ayahuasca can also bring to the surface repressed emotions, memories, and traumas, which can be challenging to confront but may ultimately lead to healing and personal growth. Many people feel that they have gained valuable insights and wisdom from their experiences.

It is very important to understand that Ayahuasca can be challenging, particularly in that it works to purge one of any negative and self-destructive energies within that may have built up through life—and this can be difficult. Aya tends to bring feelings, experiences, and burdens inside a person to the surface. For example, if one has trouble with anger, they may experience rage. Likewise, sadness may manifest as despair, and happiness may result in feelings of bliss. We tend to experience what is needing to be healed, so it is also not uncommon to revisit past traumas or to feel the pain of loved ones. Ayahuasca is a motherly plant medicine and will guide you always. Though you may not feel ready for what comes up, trust that you are. This medicine teaches us to surrender to life to fully live. “The only way out is through.”

** It is important to note that ayahuasca is not a magic cure-all, and the transformations that people experience are not guaranteed. It is also essential to approach ayahuasca with respect, caution, and a willingness to surrender to any experience. Ayahuasca should only be taken in a safe and controlled environment, under the guidance of an experienced shaman, healer, or facilitator.