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When we work with these plants we need for our bodies to be as clean and free of other substances as possible. This is both for health reasons and to allow us to connect deeper with the energies of the plants. Therefore, it is advisable for everyone wishing to work with these medicines to stop taking all forms of medications (over the counter or prescription), drugs (legal and illegal), supplements of all types, and vitamins prior to the ceremonies. For most medications, it is sufficient to stop taking them one week prior. However, for anti-depressants and any other drug that has a warning label about contraindicated use with MAOIs, it may be necessary to stop taking these medications at least one month prior to the ceremonies. Those people who are taking anti-depressants (and other medications) should always discontinue their use under the guidance of the doctor who prescribed them.
For at least one week prior to the ceremony (or longer if you are able) and two days after the ceremony, it is advisable to eliminate the following foods from your diet: salt, sugar, oils and fats, chocolate, caffeine, spices of all types, alcohol, meats, fermented foods, overly ripe fruits, and all dairy products. The diet in the jungle is quite simple and typically consists of plantains, potatoes, rice, a type of toothless fish, and vegetables. In general, you want to keep foods as low fat and bland as possible leading up to the ceremony, and for a few days after. Eating this simple diet shows respect for the process and also will ensure that your body is clean in preparation for use of these medicines.
Foods Recommend for Ceremony Prep (7 days in advance; 2 days after)
Fresh, organic vegetables
Organic sweet potatoes or plantains
Most fresh organic fruits (avoid raspberries and overly ripe fruits)
Coconut oil (or MCT) and Olive oil are ok in very small amounts a few days prior to the ceremony, but do not eat any oils or fats in a day or two before the ceremony. Ideally, you want to eliminate completely all fats and oils if possible.
Raw organic cashews are ok in very small amounts, but not the day before the ceremony. Most other nuts should be avoided.
Still room temperature water (avoid carbonated drinks and hot or cold drinks)
We absorb 80% of more of anything that is put onto the skin. Your rule in life should generally be: if you would not put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin. This is especially true when working with the medicines. To the extent possible for the week prior to the ceremony, avoid all forms of chemicals, including soaps, shampoos, etc. Toothpaste should be fluoride free and SLS free (we recommend brushing with bentonite clay). Use only chemical free deodorants and avoid wearing fragrances and lotions, instead use jojoba oil or another vegetable oil if you need to moisturize your skin.
It is also important to prepare the mind and your energetic body and thus avoid watching television, reading the news, or spending excessive time on social media. Instead, spend time meditating, practicing yoga, being in nature, journaling.
Eat a very light breakfast or fast the entire day (no caffeine of any type)
No food is to be eaten past 12 pm but drink plenty of water.
No water is to be drunk within 1 hour of ceremony starting so please hydrate well before.
Keep your body clean and chemical free (no fragrances, strong lotions, or polishes on your body).
Wear loose, comfortable clothing as you will most likely be sitting/lying on the floor. White clothing is traditional but this is entirely optional, unless told otherwise by the organizer of your ceremony.
Depending on the ceremony, some items are commonly provided or you may have to take your own:
• A camping mat, some other form of cushioning and a pillow to sit and lay on.
• Blankets and warm clothes if you get cold easily. Body temperature tends to fluctuate during the ceremony.
• A small bucket or medium-sized plastic container/bowl
• A journal to make notes about your experience the next day or perhaps a sketchpad to draw what you see.
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