Recommended diet to enhance the benefits of an Ayahusca retreat

Diet & Preparation

The Short but Sweet Version

For at least 2 weeks before, during and 2 weeks after your Ayahuasca retreat use these lifestyle & dietary guidelines. The expanded version with explanations follows below.


  • Breathwork, yoga, meditation and basic exercise
  • Sexual abstinence
  • Natural personal products
  • Free-range chicken, eggs (although it is best to maintain a vegetarian diet)
  • Fresh game, including venison, fresh-caught fish (see above)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Oats, brown rice, quinoa
  • Coconut and almond milk
  • Olive or coconut oil used sparingly
  • Herbal teas


  • Caffeine, including Yerba Mate
  • Prescription & recreational drugs, marijuana
  • Excessive TV, technology, etc
  • Processed or fast foods
  • Candies, chocolate, artificial sugars
  • Dried fruits or bruised/overly ripe fruits
  • Pork, red meat, animal fats
  • Hot spices, fresh chilies, hot peppers, RAW onions
  • Dairy products
  • Carbonated drinks, diet sodas, energy drinks
  • Beer, wine, liquor


The Detailed Version

Lifestyle Modifications

The first step in your dance with Ayahuasca is to incorporate some lifestyle modifications. As well you will need to make some dietary modifications. No one said that this plant medicine process would necessarily be easy but, trust us, it will definitely be worth it 🙂

So, in addition to eliminating certain foods from your life in the weeks leading up to – and during and following – your retreat, please implement the following modifications:

Alcohol, marijuana and recreational drugs – stop using these items for at least two weeks before your first ceremony and two weeks after your last ceremony. There are many reasons for this restriction, not the least of which is showing the respect to Ayahuasca to not bring the energy of recreational drug use into your process.

Sexual activity – no sexual activity or stimulation of any kind, including masturbation for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after ceremony. The energy dedicated to sexual activity can leave you in a depleted state, energetically, as you come into the healing work of Ayahuasca. Further, much like food, sex and the various forms of sexual stimulation can often be a replacement for some form of lack in life such as sadness, loneliness, frustration, and boredom. It’s important to break the cycle (or addiction) of using sex to detract from what’s really going on. Therefore, sexual abstinence for at least two weeks prior to and two weeks following ceremony is extremely important as it brings in more discipline and commitment to the process of your Ayahuasca healing. Giving yourself this space to recharge energetically is extremely beneficial in terms of your ability to concentrate on the healing work while you’re here at Source Peru. Please honour the restriction and refrain from all sexual activity, meaning any form of stimulation, with yourself or anyone else for at least two weeks before and two weeks after working with Ayahuasca.

Prescription drugs – you must have stopped all prescription medication prior to attending a retreat with us. Some medications can be harmful or potentially deadly when used with Ayahuasca, therefore when you register for a retreat, you must disclose the details of any medication you’re currently taking. We do reserve the right to refuse your participation in the retreat if we learn that you have not disclosed all medication use to us…even if you’ve already arrived onsite. We take this very seriously and ask that you do the same for your own safety and that of the others in retreat with you.

Synthetic personal products – as much as possible avoid use of chemical-based soaps, perfumes, toiletries, etc. Seek out and use natural options wherever you can. This will assist in the cleaning and preparation of your body to receive and integrate Ayahuasca.

Technology & mass media – abstain from television, radio, mass media, advertising, etc. as much as possible in the weeks leading up to your retreat. Think of this as a diet for your mind 🙂

Breathwork, meditation, yoga – we strongly advise you to practice breathing exercises, yoga, meditation and basic exercise as much as possible before, during and after a retreat. These modalities are very compatible with the medicine work as they provide a mechanism of focus and relaxation that you can draw upon to assist you during ceremony. 

Dietary Modifications

At its basic level, clean, healthy eating is the fundamental guideline for dietary modification in preparation for Ayahuasca. By eating organic, vegetarian based and superfood enhanced meals, you enable the healing energy of the plant to integrate in your body with greater efficiency.

The purpose of modifying your diet is to purify and create as much space and available energy as possible for your body to absorb and integrate the medicine. If your body has less to digest and is functioning at a higher rate, the effects of the medicine will be deeper and stronger. The cleaner your body is when you come into the medicine, the less work Ayahuasca will have to do in the early ceremonies to clear out your system. Further, your mind will be clearer, calmer and ready to receive usable information and communication from the medicine. If you follow the restrictions before you get here, the medicine can much more effectively treat what you came for.

For some, these restrictions are not far from their regular dietary regime; for others, these restrictions can be a test of discipline and commitment and will only help to drive your intention and create a greater foundation for your ceremony work and you will advance further and faster than if you skirt the rules.

The diet modifications are also crucial to your psychological and spiritual preparation for the experience. Food can become like a drug – eating when sad, lonely, frustrated, bored – and breaking the cycle can be a challenge. With that in mind, the benefits of following the dietary restrictions are directly linked to your intent coming into ceremony. Your commitment and dedication to following the diet and how you approach working with the plant are key to ensuring your retreat is beneficial, and that the results are for the long term. Perhaps consider these restrictions as seriously as you would take diet/lifestyle restrictions from a doctor before a major surgery. You’ll get out of the experience what you put into preparation!

Foods to Eliminate

We very strongly recommend that you exclude the following foods from your diet for at least two weeks before, during, and two weeks after your retreat. Longer abstinence is better:

  • Processed or fast foods
  • Artificial sugars, candies or chocolate (fresh fruit ok)
  • Dried fruits or bruised/overly ripe fruits
  • Pork (at least 2 weeks before and 30 days or more after)
  • Red meat
  • Animal fats (lard, etc)
  • Hot dried spices (black pepper is ok), fresh chilies or other hot peppers
  • Raw onions (cooked onions are ok)
  • Dairy products
  • Carbonated drinks including artificial sweetener laden diet sodas
  • Energy drinks
  • Beer, wine, hard liquor
  • Non-alcoholic beer
  • Yerba Mate
  • Caffeine – taper for at least the 2 weeks leading up to your retreat. Caffeine-free for 2 weeks before you get here is even better. We don’t serve coffee, so better to wean from this habit before you get here than have to quit cold turkey on arrival!

By honoring the restrictions and excluding these items from your diet, you will help to clear and strengthen your physical and emotional body, and enhance your spiritual intuition. This is part of your work with Ayahuasca – showing your commitment and dedication to the process of healing by starting with your physical temple before you make the journey to Peru.

Now you know what we recommend you don’t eat, you’re probably wondering exactly what you CAN eat. Basically, the rule is fresh is best – chicken/game/fish, eggs, fruits & veggies, and some grains. Here’s the detailed list:

Foods to Focus On

  • Free-range chicken (although it is best to maintain a vegetarian diet)
  • Fresh game, including venison (see above)
  • Fresh-caught fish
  • Free-range eggs
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Potatoes & sweet potatoes
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Coconut and almond milk (unsweetened and fresh-made, wherever possible)
  • Olive or coconut oil used sparingly in cooking
  • Herbal teas

And there you have it, the second step in your dance with Ayahuasca – dietary modification in the weeks leading up to your retreat.

While traveling to your retreat at Source Peru, we advise you to prepare food to take on your flight to Lima and onto Cusco; salads, fresh fruit, cooked and raw veggies, grains, beans, brown rice, low sodium bread and nuts are all good options. It can be difficult enough to find healthful foods to eat while traveling, let alone in consideration of the Ayahuasca diet. The 4D Cafe in Lima airport is a viable option for airport food – opt for a salad, plain sandwiches and boiled or scrambled eggs.

Once you get here, we will provide tasty, nourishing meals in line with these dietary modifications. Further, we honor all forms of individual diet here at Source Peru. During your registration process, please be sure to advise us of any dietary preferences, restrictions or allergies so that we can accommodate your needs. Regardless whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, allergic to tomatoes, a raw foodie, or a breatharian, we will ensure that your meals maintain the delicious gourmet Ayahuasca-friendly standard that we pride ourselves on.

Dietary Interactions with Ayahuasca

The dietary modifications exist because some foods (including those that are listed above) contain Tyramine, which, in theory, may have potentially negative interactions when combined with Ayahuasca. In order to be safe rather than sorry, it’s best to follow the recommended restrictions.

In addition, we recommend that you eliminate the following spices from your diet: curcumin, turmeric, fennel seed, and nutmeg. A build up of these in your system may also have potentially negative interactions with Ayahuasca.

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Thank you all so much for providing such a humble and loving environment to do this work in. I feel renewed, transformed, cleansed and ready to bring it all home. This week has been amazing not only for what I have gone through but also because of the incredible people that have shared in the journey. I will see you all again soon!
AlSeattle, WA

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