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Ancient Shipibo Plant Medicine


On retreat, our remarkable curandero, Don Miguel will teach us about the significance, benefits, and tradition behind plant and vapour baths which may be used throughout the sacred plant medicine ceremonies. This knowledge will be vital in helping us to access our greatest potential and realise deep healing and transformation. Next, feel free to read about our grounding exercises such as breathwork journeys or icaros.

Plant and Vapour Baths

In the Peruvian shamanic tradition, plant and vapour baths are used before or after an Ayahuasca ceremony to rid the body of any unhelpful spirits or energetic blockages that would otherwise impair us from healing and receiving the full benefit from the sacred plant medicines.

Plant and vapour baths have been used by the indigenous cultures of the Amazon for thousands of years to:

  • Rid the body of toxins
  • Ward off harmful diseases
  • Relieve insomnia
  • Ease the nervous system and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychosis
Woman Receiving Flower Bath with Water
A plant bath given by Maestra Juana

How are the Plant and Vapour Baths Used?

Depending on the problems and difficulties we are facing, the curandero will use different plants that are known to have profound healing potentialities for our specific condition:

  • Mocura: Used for bestowing good luck, confidence and stopping us from being overwhelmed by the negative judgements of others.
  • Piñon Colorado: Traditionally used in vapour baths, this plant is believed to rid the body of bad magic and harm. It is not uncommon for a phlegm to be visible on our skin as negative energies leave the body.
  • Baño de Florecimiento: These plants are believed to gives us the courage, strength and power needed to create authentic expressions of our soul’s purpose.

The plant and vapour baths are an integral element in the healing ritual’s we will undergo whilst on retreat. We encourage you to participate in them with reverence and respect for their sacred intention and capacity for purification.

Plant or Flower Baths

A plant bath involves immersing oneself in a bath tub filled with water and the plant ingredients that the curandero believes will be most beneficial to our healing process. Water is then poured over our heads and intentions are made for how we hope the purification process will positively transform us. These baths will normally take place on the side of the river, so as all the negative energy that is lifted from our bodies can be washed out and transmuted by the sea.

Plant Bath
Vapour Bath under tarp

Vapour Baths

vapour bath, in contrast to a plant bath, occurs while we are sitting in a chair, naked in a small tent. Water is boiled with the specific plant combination that the curandero deems will promote purification and healing. The water is placed beneath our feet and allowed to rise, creating a unique sauna like experience whilst in the small tent.


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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

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