Is Ayahuasca safe and are there any risks associated with its use?

Ayahuasca is a powerful plant medicine that can bring many benefits to your life when taken responsibly.
Still before embarking on an Ayahuasca retreat, it is crucial to consider a number of important factors to ensure a safe and fulfilling experience.

APL Shamanic Journeys retreats blog

What is Ayahuasca and how it works:

Ayahuasca is a traditional Amazonian plant medicine that is now increasingly popular as a tool for spiritual growth and personal transformation. To experience all the possible and often life-changing benefits of using Ayahuasca, it is vital to ensure the right preparation process, have support from experienced facilitators and therapists, and be guided by an experienced healer who underwent traditional training in the Amazon.
If you're considering trying Ayahuasca, it's important to understand the potential risks involved and to take the required steps to ensure a safe and fulfilling experience.

Ayahuasca is a brew made from the Ayahuasca vine and other plant ingredients, and its effects can last for several hours. When consumed, Ayahuasca can produce intense experiences that can include vivid visions, profound insights, and deep emotional releases. The way Ayahuasca works is not fully understood, but it is believed to affect the brain by releasing neurotransmitters and altering consciousness. It is important to approach Ayahuasca use with caution, as there are potential risks involved, and it is recommended to work with experienced and reputable shamans

Ayahuasca with no Ayahuasca in it:

Ayahuasca is a powerful plant medicine that has been used for centuries in traditional Amazonian shamanic practices for healing and spiritual growth. However, it's essential to be aware that some unscrupulous ceremony providers may replace the Ayahuasca vine with Harmala plant in the brew, which can be dangerous due to its toxicity. Unlike Ayahuasca, Harmala contains a different ratio of chemical compounds known as MAOIs, which can lead to various physical health problems.

Therefore, it's crucial to seek out an experienced and honest shaman and a reputable and legal Ayahuasca center that can guarantee the safe preparation of the Ayahuasca brew. The medicinal properties of the Ayahuasca vine are potent, and it has been used to treat a range of physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments. However, with the wrong plant or incorrect preparation, it can cause harm rather than healing.

To ensure your safety and receive the maximum benefits of this sacred medicine, it's essential to choose a provider that respects the traditional methods and has a deep understanding of the plant's properties. By doing so, you can experience the transformative and healing effects of Ayahuasca while avoiding any potential risks associated with the use of Harmala or other unverified plant substitutes.

Ayahuasca vine
Ayahuasca vine

Importance of a therapists
for Ayahuasca journey:

yahuasca is a powerful tool for healing and personal growth, but it's important to remember that it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Without proper support from a trained therapist and integration specialist who is trauma-informed, the Ayahuasca experience can be confusing and even dangerous. It's important to have guidance and support before, during, and after the ceremony to help navigate the potentially challenging experiences that may arise.

Taking Ayahuasca in the wrong setting or without respecting the traditional rules of the ceremony can also lead to intense emotions and memories, which can trigger psychological distress or even psychosis. This is why it's important to be prepared for the possibility of challenging experiences and to have the right support available to help guide you through the process.

At APL Shamanic Journeys, we work closely with a team of therapists and integration specialists who are highly trained and experienced in working with Ayahuasca. Our team is here to provide guidance, support, and tools to help you navigate the journey and integrate the experience into your life. We believe that this kind of support is crucial for a safe and transformative Ayahuasca experience, and we're committed to making sure our participants have access to the best possible care.

Ayahuasca therapy
APL’s integration specialist on-site supporting participants

Dieting before the Ayahuasca
ceremony is crucial:

n addition to the safety precautions, it is essential to follow a proper diet before participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony. The traditional Ayahuasca diet is crucial to the healing process, as it helps to prepare the body, mind, and spirit for the experience.
The Ayahuasca diet involves consuming clean, fresh, and whole foods that are free of chemicals and additives, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and grains. These foods support the body in releasing toxins and purifying the digestive system, which can help to create the necessary emptiness required for the Ayahuasca medicine to take effect.

The diet is also essential for promoting mental clarity, emotional stability, and spiritual openness, which are all vital for the Ayahuasca ceremony's success. It is recommended that individuals avoid heavy and spicy foods, processed and refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol, as they can interfere with the Ayahuasca medicine's effects.

Moreover, the Ayahuasca diet is not only about what you eat; it is also about how you eat. Mindful eating practices, such as eating in silence and with intention, can help to cultivate a deeper sense of awareness and presence, which can enhance the ceremony's overall experience.

In addition to the dietary restrictions, there are also behavioral guidelines that must be followed before and during the ceremony. This includes refraining from sexual activity and following a "sexual diet" in the days leading up to the ceremony. This is because sexual energy can interfere with the energy of the ceremony and may disrupt the healing process.
It's also important to refrain from disturbing communication and information before the ceremony. This can include avoiding social media, news, and other forms of information that may cause stress or negative emotions. By creating a peaceful and quiet environment, you can prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the ceremony and allow Ayahuasca to work its healing magic.

By following a diet that supports the Ayahuasca experience, you can minimize the risk of potential interactions between Ayahuasca and certain foods and substances, optimize your physical and mental well-being, and maximize the benefits of the ceremony. The Ayahuasca diet is a vital part of the Ayahuasca ceremony, and it is essential to follow it to ensure a safe and transformative experience.

Ayahuasca dieting
Dieting menu at APL retreats

Importance of a well-trained
Ayahuasca healer:

Navigating the world of Ayahuasca ceremonies can be challenging, especially when many inexperienced westerners offer ceremonies without proper knowledge and training. These poorly guided ceremonies can lead to unsafe and unsupportive experiences, worsening mental and physical health, and even causing sickness instead of healing. To minimize the risk of these negative outcomes, it is crucial to participate in ceremonies hosted by reputable facilitators, licensed therapists, and well-trained healers from the Amazon who have undergone a lifetime of training and deep immersion with teacher plants living in isolation in the rainforest.

In Peru, traditional shamanism has been passed down through generations of healers who have undergone rigorous training and preparation. The process of becoming a curandero, or shamanic healer, is not a casual one, but rather involves years of apprenticeship and intensive study with experienced maestros or teachers.

Typically, a student begins their training by undergoing a period of isolation in the jungle or mountains, where they fast and work with various plant medicines to connect with the spirits of the natural world. This period of isolation is often followed by years of rigorous study and practice under the guidance of a maestro, during which time the student learns to work with different plant medicines and other shamanic tools, such as icaros (healing songs) and tobacco smoke.

In addition to this intense preparation, curanderos are expected to maintain a strict diet and lifestyle, including abstaining from sex, alcohol, and other drugs, in order to maintain the purity of their connection with the spirits and to better serve their clients.

These shamanic guides possess a profound knowledge of the plants and the Ayahuasca ceremony and use this knowledge to navigate participants through the experience in a safe and supportive manner, making the experience a transformative and healing one. By choosing to participate in ceremonies with well-trained healers, you can rest assured that your journey will be held in a container of safety, respect, and knowledge.
Best ayahuasca shaman
Pepe Franchini Vasquez “The Last Shaman” at APL’s retreats

What we do to ensure your safety:

At APL Shamanic Journeys, we understand the importance of safety and well-being when it comes to Ayahuasca. That's why we take a comprehensive approach to ensure the safety of our participants. Before joining the retreat, participants must undergo a pre-retreat screening process to ensure their medical suitability for the experience.

During the retreat, our experienced Peruvian shamans, who have undergone years of traditional training to become a curandero, lead the ceremonies. Our team also includes facilitators who have been working with Ayahuasca for 12 years and are trained in providing a safe and supportive environment for participants. Additionally, we have therapists and integration specialists who are trauma-informed and available to provide guidance and support before, during, and after the ceremony.

We take the preparation process seriously, and our team provides guidance on following a proper diet before the ceremony, which creates an essential emptiness in your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies for Ayahuasca to perform healing. By following the diet that supports the Ayahuasca experience, you can minimize risks of possible interactions between Ayahuasca and certain foods and substances and optimize your physical and mental well-being, maximizing the benefits of the ceremony.

Ayahuasca can be a powerful tool for personal growth and healing, but it's important to approach it with caution. By working with experienced and knowledgeable shamans and support staff, seeking support from a therapist, following a proper diet, and being prepared for the possibility of challenging experiences, you can minimize the risks and maximize the positive outcome of your Ayahuasca experience.


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