There is a laundry list of recommendations for what not to eat and what not to do prior to an ayahuasca ceremony – but is the same true when it comes to microdosing ayahuasca? The ayahuasca dieta is generally recommended for both spiritual and physical reasons. While you may not need to take the dieta as seriously when you’re following an ayahuasca microdosing protocol, it’s important to know the reasons behind dieta and why you may want to still practice at least some aspects of it during your microdosing regimen.
As you may have guessed, “dieta” is the Spanish word for “diet.” It simply refers to the dietary guidelines to follow when preparing for an ayahuasca ceremony. Here, we’ll explore the pharmaceutical contraindications and spiritual purpose behind the dieta rules.
What is the Ayahuasca Dieta?
The main recommendations coming from almost all ayahuasca traditions are flavorless food (no salt, sugar or spices, especially hot peppers, onions, and garlic), no sexual stimulation, no alcohol, and no pork, red meats, or cured meats. The dieta usually lasts 10-14 days before an ayahuasca ceremony.
The shamanic reason behind wanting flavorless food before an ayahuasca ceremony is that spices and sugars obstruct the energetic flow of the plant medicine. Therefore, a de-spiced body is a clean body that will allow the ayahuasca to work in you more effectively.
Alcohol and processed meats can also clog up your body with processed chemicals and harmful toxins, which are thought to impinge upon a shaman’s ability to move ayahuasca’s energy through your body.
Avoiding energetic blockage is also why sexual abstinence is recommended; sex can confuse your energetic body with other people’s energies and influences. It’s also thought that sexual activity depletes your own energetic supply, making it harder to do deeper and more meaningful work.
Is It Necessary to Follow a Dieta When Microdosing With Ayahuasca?
When it comes to microdosing, the dieta protocol is a little more flexible, and not as seriously recommended as it would be when preparing for a full-blown ayahuasca ceremony. While it may be beneficial to heed dieta recommendations for spiritual and energetic purposes, the physical side effects from not following a strict diet will be much less severe, if there are any side effects at all.
There is a huge difference in the proportions of alkaloids in a ceremonial dose of ayahuasca compared to a microdose. For reference, in an average 200ml dose of ayahuasca brew there is approximately 50mg of harmine, whereas in a microdose you are only receiving about 0.06mg of harmine per drop, or 0.3mg in five drops.
Even when working with a ceremonial dose of ayahuasca, contraindications can be dangerous but are not deadly, and the dieta is followed in greater or lesser degrees depending on the style of the curandera.
So what are the main reasons for following dieta in a microdosing protocol?
- Spiritual cleansing: Many of the ayahuasca dieta recommendations are for the purpose of clearing out your system so that you are more energetically sensitive and able to receive the healing benefits of the brew. Eating a lighter, healthier diet will allow you to be more receptive to the healing potentials of working with the B. caapi vine.
- Physical contraindications: If you want to be extra cautious about the potential physical side effects from combining B. caapi with certain foods, following the dieta will ensure that you are safe from even a tinge of risk of hypertension or serotonin syndrome, for example.
Here, we’ll take you through both of these parallel factors and explain how they are relevant to microdosing.
The Spiritual Cleansing Benefits of the Dieta for Microdosing Ayahuasca Vine
Just as with preparation for an ayahuasca ceremony, there are spiritual reasons for going on a dieta beyond just the risk of physical contraindications. The nature of the diet, especially removing things like alcohol, pork, and foods that are especially salty or sweet can help to make you feel more receptive to spiritual insight. Blander foods of a more alkalizing nature will help to produce a calm mind and more balanced emotional temperament.
These factors might be useful for you to receive more benefit from your microdosing experience, but they are not compulsory to the same degree as when preparing for a ceremony. The main purpose of a dieta is for purification on the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional planes. If you are looking for cleansing or release on a spiritual level, following the dieta will support your intention.
Should You Refrain From Sex While Microdosing With Ayahuasca?
Sexual abstinence is a part of the dieta for full ayahuasca ceremonies because of the ways that sexual activity can impact your energetic balance, and obstruct the work of a shaman in allowing the powerful ayahuasca brew to work through your body.
Microdosing with ayahuasca vine is different from the ayahuasca brew – it contains no DMT, which is thought to heavily amplify existing sexual energy. So there may not be as much of a need to practice abstinence throughout your whole microdosing regimen.
However, microdosing ayahuasca might be a good opportunity to reflect on your relationship to sex and sexuality. Attempting to maintain a baseline of sexual activity (including masturbation) may be helpful for discovering the influence of the ayahuasca vine in your everyday life.
Physical Contraindications and Drug Interactions for Microdosing Ayahuasca Vine
When preparing for a traditional ayahuasca ceremony, it’s extremely important to pay attention to potentially dangerous drug interactions and medical contraindications. In some rare cases, failing to adhere to these recommendations can be lethal. Once again, since we are preparing for a microdosing experience, the risk is lower, but there is still a risk.
There are two main sources of risk when taking ayahuasca: hypertension, and serotonin syndrome.
Hypertension is an increase in blood pressure. The monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the ayahuasca vine are capable of increasing blood pressure, so before you do an ayahuasca ceremony you are advised to not take any medications that will increase your blood pressure. This includes MAOI medications, which are commonly prescribed as antidepressants.
When it comes to microdosing with ayahuasca vine, we don’t know for sure how much these tiny quantities of MAOIs are going to affect your blood pressure, so it may not be necessary (or even safe) to stop your medications cold turkey. However, it’s important to be mindful of this risk, and take regular breaks from your microdosing protocol to allow your body to re-adjust.
Serotonin syndrome is a theoretical risk of ayahuasca ceremonies, due to the high levels of serotonin that the brew produces in the body. However this is much less of a risk with microdosing ayahuasca vine, as the beta-carbolines will not induce a huge rush of serotonin, and the amounts are so tiny there is no chance of serotonin levels reaching harmful levels.
However, we don’t yet know what the effects of frequent microdosing are on your serotonin system. It’s possible that taking ayahuasca vine for long periods, without adequate breaks, could gradually build up your serotonin to unhealthy levels.
If you are on any kind of medications, it’s a good idea to track your blood pressure, and be aware of symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or tremors. Stop microdosing if you experience these.
Here are the medications and substances we would advise you to absolutely avoid, even during a microdosing protocol with the pure vine:
- 5-MeO-DMT & Bufo alvarius. 5-MeO-DMT has potential contraindications with the harmala alkaloids in ayahuasca. At least two deaths that have been recorded in the medical literature where harmaline and 5-MeO-DMT have been found in autopsies. You should avoid 5-MeO-DMT while microdosing with ayahuasca vine.
- Lithium and Tramadol can cause seizures when mixed with serotonergic psychedelics. Although the ayahuasca vine is not primarily serotonergic, it does slightly increase serotonin levels, so we’d advise against combining it with lithium or tramadol.
Beyond these main contraindications, we also suggest that you avoid taking any other drugs during your microdosing routine, to allow you to discover benefits. For example, if you’re drinking lots of coffee or taking amphetamines during your microdosing period, it will be hard to know what effect the microdosing is having!
Avoiding Tyramine-Containing Foods
The beta-carbolines in the ayahuasca vine block the monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzyme, which normally is an important part of your metabolism. MAO is essential to process the amino acid tyramine, and if excess tyramine starts circulating in your body there is a risk of dangerously high blood pressure. This is why, when preparing for an ayahuasca ceremony, it’s important to refrain from eating foods high in tyramine – otherwise, your body will struggle to process it.
When consuming small amounts of the vine, such as what is practiced during a microdosing protocol, the dangers of this contraindication are not as severe. However, since you are likely taking the drops every day, it is still of value to generally avoid these foods as much as possible – especially if you suffer from high blood pressure. Foods that contain tyramine include:
- Red meat
- Aged cheeses
- Fermented foods like soy sauce, fermented tofu, and sauerkraut
- Nutritional supplements like protein powders
- Chocolate (in large amounts)
- Peanuts (in large amounts)
If you are especially sensitive to diet, or if you have high blood pressure, make sure to track your response to microdosing and take a break if you experience any symptoms like high blood pressure, headaches, or digestive discomfort.
Where Do I Get Ayahuasca Vine for Microdosing?
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