Body & Mind

Ayahuasca Preparation

When undertaking a life changing journey, it is critical to prepare both the body and mind. Put your worries at ease by learning about our world class safety standards and ethics. Prepare your body by sticking to the guidelines for diet before ayahuasca. Prepare your mind by creating clear and powerful intentions. Afterward, explore different Shipibo traditions which may accompany your Ayahuasca ceremonies.

The Call to Work with Sacred Plant Medicine

Often when we look back at our lives we can see a thread, a pattern, a series of events and circumstances that have led us to where we find ourselves in the present. This thread may have led you to us and to wanting to explore sacred plant medicine as a healing modality. If so, it is fundamental that you arise at your own independent conclusion as to whether this experience is right for you. It is also essential that before attending our plant medicine retreat that you are authentically and courageously committed to changing your life for the better. Sacred plant medicines are not quick fix solutions. When deciding for yourself if you are truly called to this work you may like to think deeply into the following questions:


Have I clarified my intention, objective or purpose for wanting to explore this work?

What would I be willing to change or let go of in my life to experience profound spiritual transformation and healing? And am I prepared to let it go?

Am I supported in my life by my friends and family (or at least one other person) to grow, change and realize my full potential?

Please take some time to contemplate these questions. Your clarity will ensure that whilst on retreat you remain focused and committed in the weeks and months after your plant medicine journey you remain true to your desire to change the life for the better.

Trust The Journey with Natural Plant Medicines

Participating in a plant medicine retreat requires trust; it requires faith and confidence in ourselves and in the ancient healing traditions of the peoples of the Amazon basin. The transformative workings of sacred plant medicines are profoundly complex, mysterious and particular to each individual. When contemplating if immersion into the world of plant medicine and ritual is right for, it is essential that you consider whether you are willing to embody this process as a spiritual discipline. With any spiritual practice, it is necessary that you enter into it with faith, trust and a courageous willingness to surrender to letting go of parts of your being that are no longer serving you. A spiritual practice of any kind also invites you to exercise compassion, love, and acceptance towards yourself throughout the oftentimes uncomfortable process of transformation. Sacred plant medicine as a spiritual discipline is no different. Sacred plant medicines have the potential to profoundly change the quality of our human experience, long after we have left the fireside. When we can trust in ourselves and the valuable healing to be had, we can begin to embody deep, fundamental change and remarkable healing.

Healing With Sacred Plant Medicines

The sacred plant of the Peruvian Amazon are medicines; they are not drugs. If you have experienced natural medicine before you would have observed that unlike Western medicines that mask the underlying causes of disease, natural medicines cleanse, repair and restore the body to a state of equilibrium over time. They require us to commit to a journey with them; to healing and restoring the body’s deepest dysfunction. Such deep healing requires patience, trust, and courage. The sacred plant medicines that we work with are no different. Upon first taking Ayahuasca, you may not experience the visions that you have read of in books or heard about from others. Ayahuasca’s effects within your body may be subtle and may take time to manifest as visions or an altered state of consciousness. This is normal. Healing cannot be forced. The body will need to cleanse and rid itself of anything that is obstructing its ability to heal before it can receive the wisdom necessary to effect lasting and remarkable change. Cleansing is often a painful and unpleasant experience. Cleansing can take the form of vomiting, diarrhea, crying, screaming, angry outbursts and laughing. The body, when invited to let go of all that is not serving it, will do so in the most efficient way possible. It’s important to trust in the cleansing process as it too has wisdom for us, that is if we’re willing to surrender to and receive it. Plant medicines are not magic potions that alone, effect profound transformation within those that take them. Fundamental change to our body, mind, and heart occur as we learn to be more compassionate and loving towards ourselves and others; when we set clear intentions about what kind of change we are hoping to effect and ultimately when we make an unwavering commitment to changing our lives for the better. Plant medicine alone will not transform you. Healing will occur in time, in proportion to your willingness to let go of all that is preventing you from realizing your true potential. For many, natural plant medicines act as a catalyst to bring about lasting change that is sustained through discipline and overhauling of one’s lifestyle habits. Before attending a plant medicine retreat, it’s important to be clear with yourself about your willingness to do whatever it takes to effect the change you are seeking.

What Are Your Main Intentions?

Intentionally preparing your body and mind for immersion into a life changing sacred medicine healing experience is fundamental to your process of spiritual transformation. Likewise, integration, that is exercising discipline, respect towards yourself and a ready willingness to let go of old habits that are no longer serving you in the weeks and months following retreat is as essential to your transformation as are the sacred medicines themselves.

The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, the more you will be able to create the experiences of your life consciously. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of authentic power

Gary Zukav, The seat of the soul

Before your immersion into the Amazon in an Ayahausca retreat in Peru the world of sacred plant medicine, you will need to earnestly consider and clarify what your main intention(s) are for wanting to do this work. In the absence of a clear intention it is unlikely that you will realise your healing potential whilst on retreat and be motivated in the days, week, months and years following to adopt new lifestyle habits that enable you to continue to grow, heal and thrive. When setting an intention for this work, you may like to contemplate the following questions:

  • What is it I want to realise for myself whilst on retreat? What would be my ideal outcome?
  • What is my main aim or objective? (Think about this in terms of what you want, not what you don’t want)
  • What is my purpose for wanting to do this work? (Be sure that it is an authentic purpose, not simply wanting to check an experience of your bucket list)
  • How does this purpose look and feel to me? (Try to imagine it in your mind, write it down or draw it out)


When our intentions are clear, when we are sure about what we want, we give the universe full permission to deliver it to us. When we focus on what we don’t want, the universe is likely to deliver us more of the same drudgery that led us to want to transform our day to day reality. Clarity of your objective, of your purpose and intention will enable you to experience profound healing beyond your wildest expectations.

Ayahuasca Medical Guidelines, Safety and Our Screening Process

Prior to being accepted onto our Ayahuasca retreat in Peru, you will be required to complete a comprehensive psychological and physical health questionnaire. Sacred plant medicines are not suitable for everybody and it is essential that you are as honest as possible in the screening process so as we can guarantee your safety whilst on retreat. Your information will remain confidential and only be used for reviewing your application and assessing your suitability for this work. Your information is used to ensure that we can offer you the safest possible experience. Our medical screening process has been developed in collaboration with the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS).
Your request to participate in one of our retreats is contingent on your being in good mental and physical health. In completing the medical screening questionnaire, it is expected that you will be honest and inform us of any current or past health conditions that may compromise your safety or the safety of others. In participating in one of our retreats you will be agreeing to do so at your own risk. While we endeavor to provide the safest possible experience for our guests, we will not accept liability, blame or responsibility for any accident or injury incurred during your time with us.

We encourage all our guests to seek professional medical advice before coming to Peru. This includes advice on travel vaccinations that may be required.

“It’s important to note that the purpose of our screening process is to ensure that you’re in good physical and mental health and aware of the risks that come with sacred plant medicine healing.  Plant medicine healing isn’t suitable for everyone, and that’s ok. We want to make sure that the plants are suitable for you, which should not be confused with you not being suitable for the plants.”

Ayahuasca and Other Drugs

Ayahuasca has been found to be incompatible with some drugs and medications. This means that should you have another drug or substance in your system when you take Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants, that it may lead to serious injury or even death. Please take the time to read through our medical guidelines. If you are unsure about anything that we have outlined, please contact us as soon as possible.


“For your own safety and the safety of others it is imperative that you give your body sufficient time to purge street drugs and certain medications from your system. We cannot stress how important this is to guarantee your safety and the safety of others.”

If you are currently taking prescribed medications that you are concerned will conflict with our sacred plant medicines, please consult the substances listed on our medical guidelines brief and speak with your doctor well before your departure for Peru.

If we suspect that you have taken a prohibited drug or consumed alcohol upon or immediately prior to your arrival we reserve the right to prevent you from participating in our programs. This is paramount to ensure the safety and well-being of all guests, including yourself.

Marijuana is a particularly important drug to avoid and thoroughly cleanse your system of in the weeks prior to your journey with us. Marijuana has been known to act as a blockage for Ayahuasca and has been shown to prevent the sacred medicine from healing the body. Given that throughout the Ayahuasca ceremonies you will be in close relation to other participants who are particularly sensitive as they open themselves up to the healing ritual, a person intoxicated by Marijuana can darken the energy field of the medicine circle and prevent others from experiencing what Ayahuasca has intended for them. In the interest of others and yourself, please abstain from using marijuana in the weeks before and after the retreat.

Likewise, Cocaine and Amphetamines, including MDMA (ecstasy) when used together with our sacred medicines can prove fatal. Stimulants such as those listed above contain Monoamine Oxidase inhibitors and when taken lead to an increased heart rate and raised blood pressure. Ingesting these alongside Ayahuasca can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and cerebral hemorrhaging. It is vital that you ensure your system is free from any street drug that may have the potential to cause you and others great harm when taken alongside our sacred medicines in the weeks leading up to retreat.


At Aya Healing Retreats, we have the highest level of safety standards in the industry. We are committed to providing the safest and most authentic sacred plant medicine healing modalities in the Peruvian Amazon. Together with the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS) we have created the most comprehensive screening process available for our participants. Our dedication to creating the safest possible plant medicine journey ensures that each participant is given every opportunity to reach their true healing potential during their time with us. 

Ayahuasca Diet & Cleansing

To receive the full benefits from the sacred plant medicines that you experience with us, you will need to prepare your body in the weeks leading up to our Ayahuaca retreat in Peru. Eliminating certain foods from your diet will help to reduce the amount of purging needed to rid the body of unwanted toxins. A strict Ayahuasca diet in the weeks before and after retreat requires discipline; admittedly it is not easy to forego enjoyable foods. By doing so however you will be demonstrating your commitment and dedication to the healing process and creating the foundation necessary to effect profound healing of the body, mind and spirit. Likewise, you will need to treat your body with care and respect in the weeks following. It is expected that all serious participants follow the recommended food restrictions listed below; they are important to ensure your safety and maximise the healing potential of the plant medicines. If you are worried that this may difficult for you, please speak with us about your concerns when submitting your application.

Please abstain from the following foods and activities two weeks prior to retreat:

  • Pork
  • Sexual activities of any kind, including masturbation
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • All street drugs (cocaine, MDMA, amphetamines, etc.)
  • Spicy foods
  • Ice, ice cream, or ice cold drinks

Please abstain from the following foods in addition to those above one week prior to retreat:

  • Refined sugars
  • Red meat
  • Junk food of any kind
  • Salt and pepper (if you must use salt, use it very sparingly)
  • Oils (if you must use oil, use olive or coconut oil very sparingly)
  • Animal fats (lard, etc.)
  • Carbonated and fermented drinks (including diet sodas, energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer and Kombucha)
  • Dairy products
  • Fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, vinegar, kefir, pickles, yoghurt)
  • Caffeine & other stimulants

We only send useful content or promotions

Ancient wisdom, right to your inbox

Ready to journey with us?

Book a free skype session and ask questions, or start your medical screening questionnaire. Prepare to be profoundly changed.

The Ultimate Ayahuasca Get-Started Kit


…and access to our limited duration promotions for new retreat offerings, online courses, and giveaways.


Each retreat group consists of a maximum of 12-15 participants. Small numbers ensure that we can adequately guarantee everyone’s safety during their time with us. Your curandero or curandera of the Shipibo tradition, two English speaking facilitators and one ceremonial assistant will be present at each plant medicine ritual to fully supervise and support guests through the healing process.

We have taken additional precautions to guarantee the safety of our guests through:

  • Equipping the camp with a superior grade first aid kit
  • Offering 24-hour emergency transport to a local medical clinic
  • Emergency outside assistance from medical staff in Iquitos
  • Rigorous medical screening for all guests
  • Ensuring an after-ceremony sitter is available to care for and watch over participants until 4am in the morning following all ceremonies
  • A Skype session 1 month following retreat with our qualified Somatic Experiencing™ therapist *
  • Facilitation by expertly trained and extensively experienced staff


Your Instant Free Download is almost ready

Thank you for your submission. We’ve sent you an email. Please click the link to receive your free download for our Ultimate Ayahuasca Starter Kit and confirm your subscription to our email list.

Help us heal our collective consciousness

Every like, follow, and share helps us immensely. We’d be very grateful if you helped us grow our influence and change more lives.


Our comprehensive screening questionnaire has been developed in partnership with the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS). Please take your time to answer it as honestly and with as much detail as possible. This information will remain strictly confidential and will only be used to assess your suitability for a place on retreat with AYA Healing Retreats and keep you safe

Please remember that the purpose of this screening questionnaire is to determine whether plant medicine healing is suitable for you…not whether you are suitable for plant medicine healing. Plant medicines are tools, like any other healing modality and like other tools for healing experiencing them entails certain risks. We need to make sure that our plant medicines will not compromise your wellbeing or harm you in any way before we allow you to begin your healing journey with us. In short, we care about your safety and we need to do what we can to ensure that during your time with us you are not at risk of harm. Plant medicines can be dangerous if the plants are not the right fit for the individual. Your answers to this questionnaire will help us to determine whether the plants we intend to use are going to help, rather than harm you

AYA Healing Retreats - The Movie