Ayahuasca is a South American psychoactive brew made generally of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf. The active ingredient is Dimethyltryptamine (DMT or N,N-DMT), a psychedelic compound found in many plants and known to occur naturally in the body. The consumption of this sacred plant medicine can aid emotional and physical healing, spiritual advancement, connection to source, and finding purpose.
The physical effects of drinking this medicine may include discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, higher heart rate, and dilation of the pupils. To be as comfortable as possible, one is encouraged to follow the recommended dieta, the recommendations of the shaman, and surrender to the experience.
The dieta, or diet, consists of a treatment using different kinds of plants; for example, mucura, piñón, renaco, anacaspi, and ayahuma, among others. There are hundreds of medicinal plants in the Amazon jungle. Many of these plants are powerful healers and have been used traditionally to cure many illnesses for thousands of years. In our retreats, the plants are selected depending on the illness a person manifests. Before the diet starts, it is necessary for the patient to tell the healers about his or her emotional state and health issues, and also of important events in his or her life.
This process is a deep treatment; everyone feels the effect of the plants differently, according to how sensitive their bodies are. When you start the diet, as Carlos puts it, the body is closed, like a flower that will slowly open. The first step is to cleanse the stomach; this assures that the medicine will enter a clean body. During a ceremony, the healer chooses the kind of medicine the patient will ingest. The diet has restrictions, because the plants can be jealous. The rules include abstaining from salt, sugar, alcohol, chili peppers, red meat, fats, sex, recreational drugs, and prescription drugs.
The post-diet period is also special. During this period of from 20 to 25 days, the person must avoid pork, chili peppers, alcohol, and drugs. Why? Because the plants are still active in the body, completing their healing cycle. It is important to note that all of these plants carry a risk; they can be dangerous, and they shouldn’t be ingested without the supervision and expertise of an experienced healer. The diet implies an enormous responsibility for the healer. Nevertheless, we have observed very good results when the rules are followed.
We use hundreds of plants in Huaira Caspi, the majority of which are found locally. Each plant has multiple uses.
We offer here a short overview, though the real learning happens in the forest only!
It is used as a purgative, effectively cleansing the body of parasites and helping the digestive tract.
Is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family. It grows to 2.5-4 m. Medicinal uses: psoriasis, alcoholism, scar tissue, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Is a shrub that is native to the Upper Amazon rain forest. While it is not from the garlic family, its leaves, vine, bark, and roots resemble, smell, and taste of garlic. Medicinal uses: arthritis, rheumatism, cramps, dislocations, and osteoporosis.
Is a flowering shrub known by the Spanish-Quechua name Chiric Sanango. Medicinal Uses: rheumatism, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and to strengthen bones and ligaments.
(also called Ocimum campechianum)
Grows to a height of approximately 20 inches with oval leaves that are slightly toothed. Medicinal uses: migraine, depression, gastritis, and insomnia.
Is a small riparian tree species of the Amazon rain forest. Medicinal uses: powerful detox for circulatory system, lungs, and internal organs.
Is a small to mid-size tree with large, strong-smelling, trumpet-shaped flowers hanging downward. Most parts of the plant contain atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine. Datura is another similar plant in this family. Ingesting these plants can be very dangerous and can cause serious mental and physical reactions or death.
These plants are best avoided entirely.
To support the healing experience, a prepatory dieta is required to ensure the most benefit. As a way to cleanse the body and reduce or avoid any physical discomfort, certain changes in diet, activity, focus and intention are also needed.
During retreats, meals will include carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumber, quinoa, rice, lentils, peas, yuca, potatoes, bananas, eggs and fish, as well as mates anís and camomile.
It is also important that certain rules be followed to ensure that one has a clean and clear heart, body and mind for the ingestion of medicinal plants.
• No salt.
• No sugar.
• No alcohol, no repellents.
• Do not get wet with the rain.
• Do not use toothpaste that is not organic.
• Do not use chemical soaps.
• Speak with virtue.
• Greet others without hugs or kisses on the cheeks.
To reap the most benefit from your time at Huaira Caspi, a post dieta of the following is highly encouraged.
• No alcohol for 30 days.
• Do not eat pork for 30 days.
• Do not eat hot peppers or spicy food for 8 days.
• No coffee for 8 days.
• No ice for 8 days.
• No ceviche for 8 days.
It is possible to eat all fruits and vegetables, except the aforementioned ingredients in the post dieta. Once the post dieta is complete, one can return to their normal daily life.