Safety Diet

This is the safety diet we ask you to follow in preparation for the ceremonies.

Please read the medications section carefully as some medications are contraindicated and need longer periods of time out of your system before being able to safely go into ceremony.

Your safety is of the utmost importance for us.

Important medical precautions

All the team who will be working at the retreat have many years of experience, in holding ceremonies and in the safe use of the medicine in its traditional context. Please note that in certain cases working with ceremonial medicine can carry health risks. If you have any heart, liver, kidney, or other serious medical problems, you should inform us at the first opportunity and discuss with a doctor who is familiar with the medicine or we have doctors we can speak to for you.

Our priority is your safety and well-being, within ceremonies guiding you to personal healing and growth. We will provide the most secure environment to work with the medicine that we possibly can and will ensure your welfare as best we can at all times. In return, we ask that you behave responsibly and do not endanger yourself or others.

It is necessary that you agree to disclose, in confidence, any known medical conditions and/or use of any medication, at the time of booking. By coming to this retreat, you are declaring that you are in a physical and mental condition appropriate to the activities described in the programs and agree that you participate at your own risk and that we cannot accept liability for any accident or injury.

Certain drugs and medications have been found to not be compatible with this ceremony. It is essential to stop taking the following substances and give your system sufficient time to remove them from the body, before you begin a workshop.  It is important that you or we consult a doctor if you are in any doubt: you certainly should not suddenly stop taking prescribed medications (including antidepressants) without consulting a doctor.

The following medications are unsafe in combination with this medicinal plant:

• Any medication that contains MAO inhibitors. These medications are known to cause dangerous side effects when  taken in conjunction with this medicinal plant. It is critical that you stop taking these drugs six weeks before for your  system to be cleared of these substances.

• Any medication which has an effect on the serotonin system, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors  (SSRIs) (i.e. antidepressants such as Wellbutrin, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, etc). Combining these medications with this medicinal plant can induce serotonin syndrome – far more severely than with foods containing tryptophan, and with  potentially fatal results. We advise you to stop taking SSRI medications six weeks prior to a workshop to allow the  system to clear in time; some of these drugs may cause side effects when you stop taking them, and you should allow  plenty of time for these to subside. You should not abruptly stop taking them without discussing the matter with your  doctor. Please note that the herbal antidepressant St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) also must not be taken  two weeks before coming to ceremony.

• Other medications you must suspend taking are decongestants, cold medications, allergy medications,  antihistamines, sedatives, tranquillizers, amphetamines (including Adderall), some hypertensive medications,  sympathomimetic amines including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, carbamazipine, methylphemidate (Ritalin),  macromerine, phenelanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, asarone/calamus, asthma inhalers and diet pills.

• Although this medicinal plant has not been found to cause psychosis or other psychiatric disturbances, it can be dangerous  to those with a history of psychological problems. Please tell us, about any history of mental health problems.

• If you have a heart condition or chronic high blood pressure please let us know immediately.

Advise on drugs and medications to avoid when working with this medicinal plant

• This is a comprehensive information page of medical, botanical and nutrition interaction guidelines provided by  Ayahuasca Forums.

• In general, it is recommend not to be taking any other strong plant medicines close to retreats. Please advise us of any other plant medicines you are using. Such as Chiric Sanango, Wayracaspi,  Toé etc.. This is because other plants may  interfere with the plants energy and provoke undesirable reactions.

• It is important to suspend any kind of psycho-pharmacy and pharmaceutical depression treatments between four to six weeks before going itno ceremony. More specific advice is available subject to providing details of the particular  medication in question.

• Before booking to attend a workshop, it is important that we have full disclosure of all medications/drugs and the  length of time any participant has been taking them.

• Guests with hepatic conditions must first consult with us and provide more information about their condition. If you have tuberculosis its not safe to join.

For women joining us:

• It is not safe to go into ceremony when you are pregnant or while on your menstrual cycle.

These substance are potentially dangerous with MAOIs:

– MAOIs & SSRI’s (any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)

– Antihypertensives (high blood pressure  medicine); appetite suppressants (diet pills); 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 (medicines which have Bromarest-DM or – DX), Dimetane-DX cough syrup, Dristan Cold & Flu, Phenergan  with Dextromethorphan, Robitussin-DM, Vicks formula 44-D; Tylenol medicines, in generals drugs with DM or Tuss in its name.

– CNS (central nervous system) depressants – Antipsychotics – Barbiturates – Alcohol

Illegal or recreational substances that are very dangerous to combine with MAOIs:  

– Cocaine – Amphetamines (meth-, dex-, amphetamine), MDMA (Ecstasy), MDA, MDEA, PMA – Dextromethorphan  (DXM)

Also likely dangerous to combine with MAOIs:  

– Opiates – Mescaline (any phenethylamine) – Barbiturates

Also not recommended:  

– Kratom – Kava


These specific pharmaceutical drugs that should not be combined with MAOIs (some carry mild risks, others serious)

– Actifed – Adderall – Alaproclate – Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin) – Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel) – Amineptine – Amitriptaline – Amoxapine (Asendin) – Atomoxedine – Befloxetone – Benadryl – Benylin – Benzedrine – Benzphetamine (Didrex) – Bicifadine – Brasofensine – Brofaromine – Bupropion (Wellbutrin) – Buspirone (BuSpar) – Butriptyline – Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol)

– Chlorpheniramine – Chlor-Trimeton – Cimoxetone – Citalopram

– Clomipramine (Anafranil) – Codeine – Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) – Cyclizine (Marezine) – Dapoxotine – Desipramine (Pertofrane, Norpramin) – Desvenlafaxine – Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) –

Dextromethorphan (DXM) – Dibenzepin – Dienolide kavapyrone desmethoxyyangonin – Diethylpropion – Disopyramide (Norpace) – Disulfiram (Antabuse) – Dopamine (Intropin) – Dosulepin – Doxepin (Sinequan) – Duloxetine – Emsam – Ephedrine – Epinephrine (Adrenalin) – Escitalopram – Femoxitine – Fenfluramine

(Pondimin) – Flavoxate Hydrochloride (Urispas) – Fluoxetine (Prozac) – Fluvoxamine – Furazolidone (Furoxone) – Guanethedine – Guanadrel (Hylorel) – Guanethidine (Ismelin) – Hydralazine (Apresoline) – 5-Hydroxytryptophan – Imipramine (Tofranil) – Iprindole – Iproniazid (Marsilid, Iprozid, Ipronid, Rivivol, Propilniazida) – Iproclozide – Isocarboxazid (Marplan) – Isoniazid (Laniazid, Nydrazid) – Isoniazid rifampin (Rifamate, Rimactane) – Isoproterenol (Isuprel) – L-dopa (Sinemet)

– Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa) – Linezolid (Zyvox, Zyvoxid) – Lithium (Eskalith) – Lofepramine – Loratadine (Claritin) – Maprotiline (Ludiomil) – Medifoxamine – Melitracen – Meperidine (Demerol) – Metaproterenol (Alupent, Metaprel) – Metaraminol (Aramine) – Methamphetamine (Desoxyn) – Methyldopa (Aidomet) – Methylphenidate (Ritalin) – Mianserin – Milnacipran – Minaprine – Mirtazapine (Remeron) – Moclobemide – Montelukast (Singulair) – Nefazodone – Nialamide – Nisoxetine – Nomifensine – Norepinephrine (Levophed) – Nortriptyline (Aventyl) – Oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan) – Oxymetazoline (Afrin) – Orphenadrine (Norflex) – Pargyline (Eutonyl) – Parnate – Paroxetine (Paxil) – Pemoline (Cylert) – Percocet – Pethedine (Demerol) – Phendimetrazine (Plegiline) – Phenergen – Phenmetrazine – Phentermine – Phenylephrine (Dimetane, Dristan decongestant, Neo-Synephrine) – Phenylpropanolamine (in many cold medicines) – Phenelzine (Nardil) – Procarbazine (Matulane) – Procainamide (Pronestyl) – Protriptyline (Vivactil) – Pseudoephedrine – Oxymetazoline (Afrin) – Quinidine (Quinidex) – Rasagiline (Azilect) – Reboxetine – Reserpine (Serpasil) – Risperidone – Salbutemol – Salmeterol – Selegiline (Eldepryl) – Sertraline (Zoloft) – Sibutramine – Sumatriptan (Imitrex) – Terfenadine (Seldane-D) – Tegretol – Temaril – Tesofensine – Theophylline (Theo-Dur) – Tianeptine – Toloxatone – Tramidol – Tranylcypromine (Parnate) – Trazodone – Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Elavil) – Trimipramine (Surmontil) – Triptans – Vanoxerine – Venlafaxine (Effexor) – Viloxezine – Yohimbine – Zimelidine – Ziprasidone (Geodon)

These herbs

St. Johns Wort, Kava, Kratom, Ephedra, Ginseng, Yohimbe, Sinicuichi, Rhodiola, Rosea, Kanna, Boswellia, Nutmeg, Scotch Broom, Licorice Root, Ginseng, Yohimbe, Sinicuichi.

These stimulants

Using stimulants with MAOIs is particularly dangerous and can be potentially fatal. Using cocaine, amphetamines or MDMA (Ecstasy) with MAOIs may cause a severe increase in blood pressure, increasing the chances for stroke and cerebral hemorrhage and making it possible to overdose on a relatively small amount of cocaine. (A fatality has been recorded involving combining Peganum harmala and cocaine. Fatalities resulting from combining amphetamines with pharmaceutical MAOIs are recorded in the medical literature.)

Using other serotonin agonists or precursors with an MAOI can lead to serotonin syndrome. The main symptom of serotonin symptom may be a severe and long-lasting headache (the same symptom as MAOI tryptamine interaction) and/or fever (as high as 40 °C / 104 °F or more) Other symptoms of serotonin syndrome may include rapid heartbeat, shivering, sweating, dilated pupils, intermittent tremor or twitching, overactive or overresponsive reflexes, hyperactive bowel sounds, high blood pressure. Severe serotonin syndrome may lead to shock, agitated delirium, muscular rigidity and high muscular tension. renal failure, seizures, and can be life-threatening.

Using Tricyclic antidepressants within two weeks of taking MAOIs may cause serious side effects including sudden fever, extremely high blood pressure, convulsions, and death.

Using Fluoxetine (Prozac) within five weeks of taking MAOIs may cause high fever, rigidity, high blood pressure, mental changes, confusion and hypomania.

Using Benzedrine, Benzphetamine, Desipramine, Desoxyn, Dexedrine, Dopamine, Ephedrine (contained in Marax, Quadrinal, and other asthma drugs), Epinephrine, Guanadrel, Guanethidine, Hydralazine, Isoproterenol, L- dopa, Metaraminol, Methyldopa, Mirtazamine, Norepinephrine Oxymetazoline, Phendimetrazine, Phentermine, Phenylephrine, Phenylpropanolamine, Pseudoephedrine, Ritalin, or Venlafaxine with MAOIs may cause a hypertensive crisis (severe spike in blood pressure).

Using Adderall with MAOIs can result in high body temperature, seizure, and in some cases coma. Using Bupropion (Wellbutrin) within two weeks of taking MAOIs may cause serious side effects such as seizures. Using Buspirone (Buspar) with MAOIs may cause high blood pressure and increased sedative effects. Using Carbamazepine (Tegretol) with MAOIs may result in fever and may increase seizures, especially in epileptics. Using Clomipramine with MAOIs may cause high fever (hyperpyrexic crisis) and seizures. Using CNS depressants with MAOIs may increase the depressant effects.

Using Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane) with MAOIs may result in hypertensive crisis. Using Dextromethorphan with MAOIs may cause excitement, high blood pressure, and fever, or brief episodes of psychosis.

Using Fenfluramine with MAOIs may result in fever (hyperpyrexic crisis).

Using Kava with MAOIs may result in hypotensive crisis (severe blood pressure drop).

Using Lithium with MAOIs may cause fever and serotonin syndrome.

Using Meperidine (Demerol) with pharmaceutical MAOIs has resulted in deaths from a single dose. Using Metaproterenol or other beta-adrenergic bronchodilators with MAOIs may cause blood pressure elevation and rapid heartbeat.

Using Mirtazapine (Remeron) with MAOIs may result in hypertensive crisis. Using Nefazodone (Serzone) may result in high fever. Using Temaril with MAOIs may increase chance of side effects. Using Terfenadine with MAOIs may cause an increase in MAOI blood levels. Using Theophylline with MAOIs may cause rapid heartbeat and anxiety. Using Trazodone (Desyrel) with MAOIs may result in high fever.

Using Tryptophan or L-tryptophan with MAOIs may cause disorientation, confusion, amnesia, delirium agitation, memory impairment, hypomanic signs, shivering.

Using Venlafaxine (Effexor) with MAOIs may result in hypertensive crisis.

Using Ziprasidone (Geodon) with MAOIs may cause serotonin syndrome.

Using alcohol with MAOIs may cause side effects like angina (chest pain) or headaches. The headache may mask or be mistaken for hypertensive crisis

caused by MAOI interaction. MAOIs can also increase the sedative effect of alcohol.

Using opiates with MAOIs carries a risk of respiratory depression.

Using diuretics with MAOIs may cause a greater drop in blood pressure than normal and increase in MAOI blood levels. Using anesthetics with MAOIs may potentiate the anesthetic effect.

Using sleeping pills, tranquillizers (major or minor), or barbiturates with MAOIs may increase the sedative effect. Special note to diabetics: MAOIs may change the amount of insulin or oral antidiabetic medication that you need.

These meds

Pharmaceuticals to be avoided include some OTC pharmaceuticals such as antihistamines, decongestants, and cough medicines, but more dangerous are many antidepressants (including OTCs like St Johns Wort). If you are taking prescription medication (including antibiotics), are subject to high blood pressure, have a heart condition, or are under treatment for any health condition, consult your physician about the use of temporary monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). Medical consultation is especially important if you are taking Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Zoloft or other antidepressants affecting serotonin levels, i.e. serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI). These medications may require a period of up to six weeks to completely clear the system and must be reduced gradually.

DO NOT go off any medication abruptly, without supervision of a licensed health practitioner. ****Keep in mind that MAOI and therefore the vine itself is not illegal; therefore you should be able to talk to a health professional about the contra-indications of the MAOI-containing Caapi without fear…just don’t mention the “A word”.****

Some meds may clear the system in a shorter period of time. But they still require more lengthy abstention than food. For example, be clear of anti- depressants for five weeks (35 days) with SSRIs other than fluoxetine (Prozac), 8 weeks (56 days) with the latter. Caapi itself is an effective anti-depressant.

The plant medicines lower your blood pressure in order to do their repair and reconstructive work; so please notify your host or inviter ONE MONTH PRIOR TO CEREMONY if you are on blood-pressure medications.

There was a report several years ago of a death relating to a steroid drug interaction, so please notify your inviter if you have been using steroids within a month of the retreat. This was not related to any of our group’s activities. We screen our participants for these contra-indications.

CONTRA INDICATED MEDS LIST: * other MAOIs * SSRI’s (any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) * amphetamines (meth-, dex-, amphetamine) * antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine) * appetite suppressants (diet pills) * 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.)

* CNS (central nervous system) depressants * antipsychotics * alcohol & marijuana


Although antibiotics as considered safe as far as drug interactions, note that there is a new antibiotic being prescribed that is actually an MAOI:

Linezolid is a reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor-based antibiotic that was developed as an antidepressant but marketed as an antibiotic after it was found effective against methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and other infections. Like other monoamine oxidase inhibitors, linezolid can interact with presser or serotonergic agents to cause serotonin syndrome or, more rarely, hypertensive crises. All available antidepressants interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

About Salt & Sodium

Although not contra-indicated on a pharmacological level, salt and sodium are traditionally avoided completely for 10  days prior and one week after retreats.

Salt can block the visual component of this medicine work. In this tribe we have seen it affects the absorption of the medicine, physically and psychologically, is not as deep when we have consumed salty or sodium-laden foods.

So What Can I Eat?

We recommend eating foods that are as fresh as possible and not overripe, preserved, smoked, cured, salted or spoiled in any way.

We recommend stir- fried, steamed, or raw vegetables. Millet, brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains, especially sprouted grains, are beneficial. If you digest raw foods well, emphasize salads, raw fruits and raw juices. If you digest well chicken, fish, and other white meats, small amounts of these foods can be supportive. Occasionally a meal of deer, bison or animal proteins of these sorts in a ceremonial context before retreat is OK but not in excess.

Small amounts of dairy is OK if your body works well with this. Its important to be mindful of aging process of any food.

Be mindful of intake of Tyramine in certain Kombucha drinks, or in overripe avocados or bananas.