Preparing for an ayahuasca vine microdosing experience is a lot like preparing for an actual ayahuasca ceremony – if you really want to do it right and obtain the most benefit. There are a few key differences that we will explore as you start moving in the direction of working with Banisteriopsis caapi vine for spiritual and personal growth as well as physical health and attunement.
Some of the key differences between a traditional ayahuasca ceremony and a microdosing journey are lower risks of drug contraindications, less discomfort from contraindicated food and alcohol interactions, and less impact from sex. Basically, working with the ayahuasca vine is more forgiving and hence the preparation doesn’t necessarily have to be taken as seriously. The structure of the microdosing process is also different, as you’re preparing to use it over a number of days, as opposed to preparing for one or two big nights.
People work solely with the B. caapi vine for a variety of different reasons. Some people who have had powerful life-changing or healing experiences with drinking ayahuasca in ceremony choose to microdose with the vine in order to maintain their connection to the healing plant medicine. Others may use it as preparation for a ceremony, and to get to know the plant on a deeper level.
I personally work with the vine as a vehicle for increasing my intuition and connection to my higher self, for helping me to process and move through grief, and as an overall mood enhancer. Some studies have shown that the ayahuasca vine may be effective in helping to heal depression. Whatever your reason for microdosing with this plant teacher, preparation for working with this plant medicine will be of great value to you.
When it comes to sacred plant medicines as potent and transformative as ayahuasca, preparation is a huge part of not only creating a safer experience for yourself, but for respecting the plant.
Think of it this way: when greeting your neighbor, maybe you’d shake their hand and say “nice to meet ya” (or elbow bump them in pandemic times) – would you do the same with someone you highly respected or admired? Maybe you would simply elbow bump Jesus, or the Dalai Lama, but my guess is that there would probably be a different level of reverence in how you would greet them. Ayahuasca vine is like greeting a master but in plant form. If you want to receive its teachings and its wisdom, approach it with humility and respect. Preparation is part of that.
Read about how to make your own ayahuasca vine extract.
Physical Preparation for Microdosing Ayahuasca Vine
When preparing to work with ayahuasca in ceremony, it is required that you engage in a cleansing diet or “dieta” in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. The primary reason to follow a dieta is to cleanse your body and create a higher level of sensitivity in your system so that the ayahuasca can have the most impact and effect. Some foods are also dangerous to combine with the brew. For a full list and explanation of the dieta and contra-indicated foods and substances, read our full guide here.
Since you’re preparing for a microdosing experience, and not for a full-blown ceremony, is it still necessary to practice dieta? While you may not feel a need to follow the dieta as seriously as you would if you were preparing for ceremony, cleaning up your diet and following the basic guidelines of a dieta will greatly enhance your experience.
At the very least, it’s highly recommended to reduce or eliminate alcohol, red meat, coffee, and processed junk food. Focus on simple, more bland vegetarian foods and perhaps some white fish. Replace coffee with green tea, and enjoy some lighter foods. Take this opportunity of microdosing to follow a more alkalizing diet to get the most out of this experience.
Are you taking any pharmaceuticals or other drugs or plant substances that would be a contraindication to ayahuasca? It’s believed by many that when working with a sacred plant medicine, it’s best to focus on that plant medicine and not combine it with too many other substances or medicines. Vegetalistas believe that combining other plants or substances can cause what’s called cutipado, meaning that it interferes with the plant’s energy.
Since you’re microdosing with the vine as opposed to preparing for a full dose, you may have some more leeway in terms of using other plant medicines. Still, it’s worthwhile to experiment with really just focusing on the vine by itself, to get to know the plant on a deeper level.
Here is everything we recommend for physical preparation:
- Consider abstaining from excess sexual activity, and especially pornography for a period of time leading up to, and during your microdosing experience – this can help to focus your mental energy
- Create a physical alter space to keep your B. caapi tincture, or dried tea, along with some sacred items that you can pray, meditate or set intentions with
- Clean up your diet, get on a regular sleep routine, and exercise lightly every day
- Consider going on a dieta, or at the very least eliminating alcohol, red meat and processed foods from your diet
- Consult with your doctor about whether working with this herbal application would contraindicate any pharmaceuticals you may be taking
How deeply you want to physically prepare for this work is really up to you. Many people find that after working with the vine continuously, they feel guided to enjoy healthier foods and physical activities. The more preparation you do, the more benefit you can receive.
Mental/Emotional Preparation for Microdosing with Ayahuasca Vine
What is your intention in working with the ayahuasca vine? Or are you just taking it with a “let’s see what happens” attitude? In my experience, this plant responds really strongly to your intention. The more intention and energy you put into it, the more it will give back to you.
If you’re just eating your normal diet, and not creating any ceremony around it, you may not really receive much from the experience. So really dig deep and ask yourself, what guidance am I seeking in my life? What am I seeking support with? What am I looking to heal, shift, transform or awaken to? Getting clear on your intention is a huge part of the mental and emotional preparation for working with the vine.
If you are looking to the vine to help support you with some bigger mental and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, then I would strongly consider seeking a therapist, or getting on a regular routine with your existing therapist in preparation for working with this plant. Call on your support team of guides, coaches, therapists, healers and teachers to optimally enhance and elevate your experience.
Your preparation may vary depending on your level of experience in working with shamanic plants and ayahuasca in particular. If you’ve never worked with psychedelic plants, or sat in an ayahuasca ceremony, then you may want to consider at least researching what the experience is like. Take some time to explore the rich cultural and shamanic traditions behind the ceremonial brew.
Here is a brief list of additional recommendations for emotional/mental preparation:
- Buy yourself a journal to begin a microdosing journaling practice
- Understand that the vine may bring up some denser emotions, so be prepared for some potential emotional cleansing and release
- Begin a morning and evening sitting meditation practice, as the vine can also assist in psychic clearing and higher insight
- Create a clear intention around why you are beginning a microdosing journey and consider creating some ceremony around it
- If you’ve never worked ceremonially with ayahuasca, spend some time learning about what it’s like to take a full dose, so you have an idea of what kinds of things to look for on a subtler level
Basically, the more mental work you put in, the more likely you are to see benefits from an ayahuasca microdosing experience!
Preparing your Schedule and Lifestyle for an Ayahuasca Microdosing Journey
Before diving into a microdosing experience with ayahuasca vine, you may need to ask yourself if you actually have the time and space to devote to this experience. Can you set aside 15-20 minutes every day for setting intention and journaling about your experiences? Are you willing to sacrifice greasy fried foods and alcohol for a few weeks (or however long you choose to microdose for)? Are you in a grounded enough place in your life to actually be present with what may come up?
Sometimes we need to make scheduling and lifestyle sacrifices in order to do the deeper work we need to do on ourselves. Preparing for a microdosing experience may not be as intensive as preparing for a ceremony, but it still requires a certain amount of time, energy and attention. If you’re in a transition, don’t have a consistent routine, or feel like you’re just not in a space to do inner work right now, then you may want to wait for a more opportune time to start microdosing.
If that sounds daunting to you, you can totally create a shorter container to experience microdosing. For example, you may want to try microdosing with the vine for three days in a row. A day or two of preparation is probably all you need, then a few days of more focused attention. This shorter protocol might be more conducive to your schedule. For more ideas on how to structure your experience, check out our more in-depth guide here.
Where to Get Ayahuasca Microdoses
Several retailers offer ayahuasca vine extracts specially crafted for microdosing. EntheoNation have reviewed some of the best ayahuasca extracts available, all sourced from sustainable farming methods.