10 Essential Tips for a Transformative Ayahuasca Experience

I’ve never been one to do something without an objective. This includes the vacations I take. I want to come back with a unique experience, one that gives me a new perspective on the world.

That is why I chose to have an ayahuasca experience instead of going to the beach.

With great preparation, this ancient Amazonian ritual changed my life for the better.

The work put into this spiritual mechanism began weeks before taking the psychedelic medicine extracted from the vine of the Banisteriopsis Caapi plant and the leaf of a Psychotria Viridis.

It is essential to follow these guidelines prior to taking ayahuasca tea in order to utilize it as a personal-growth catalyst. Without proper planning, the medicine can be intensely overwhelming.

Here’s how to have the best experience possible at an ayahuasca retreat.

1. Remove Expectations

Anyone taking an ayahuasca drink for the first time will surely read about its effects and mishaps. While this helps to understand common experiences, thinking too much about other people’s experiences will lead to unrealistic expectations.

It was best for me to let my expectations go and let the experience flow freely. 

If I anticipated something that I read online, I would have been looking for it and missed out on what the experience was trying to show me.

2. Set Your Ayahuasca Experience Intention

Intention is different than expectation; one is personal, whereas the other is based on other’s opinions.

I had to decide why I wanted to drink ayahuasca that would blast me into another dimension.

Did I just want to have a good time? If so, I might have a good time, get nice visuals, and walk away with nothing but a pretty show in my memory.

With an ayahuasca preparation, a true intention of personal growth can make the experience more special than a good time. I used the medicine as a tool rather than a party drug.

3. Find a Guide and Location

Finding a retreat where ayahuasca can be used as a ritualistic or religious sacrament is important for legal reasons and guidance.

The United States classifies DMT, the active drug in the medicine, as illegal unless it is practiced strictly as a ceremonial right in certain indigenous religious tribes.

I found that going out of the country is more reliable and safer. Both Brazil and Peru offer many retreats, and it is completely legal.

4. Avoid Certain Foods and Drugs

I began to cleanse myself of processed food and animal products that contain tyramine. This also includes foods that are high in amino acids, sugar, caffeine, oils, and salt. 

By removing any recreational drugs like alcohol and pharmaceutical medicines, which have a range of side effects, prepares the brain with a clean slate.

Many people vomit or have diarrhea when drinking ayahuasca if not cleansed completely. 

5. Hydrate Yourself

Drinking just enough water before and during my ayahuasca experience helped me stay healthy and strong throughout my journey.

I did not want to drink too much right before since it can cause nausea, so this process should begin at least 48 hours prior to drinking ayahuasca.  

6. Abstain from Sex

A lot of energy is lost during sexual activity. Keeping that energy inside me gave me more power to channel and utilize while tripping.

This allowed me to have a stronger experience as I kept my life force preserved and my chakras (energy points throughout the body) fully charged. 

7. Mindfulness Preparation

I find that creating a state of mindfulness coincides with telling yourself when you are ready to have an ayahuasca experience.  

Practices like yoga and meditation guided my mind in the direction of acceptance. Believing that I can handle a self-initiated, life-changing transformation guided me to truly make the most out of my encounter with ayahuasca.

8. Getting Used to Tobacco

Sacred tobacco embodies a traditional shaman-led ayahuasca ceremony. This herb, considered as a healing herb to Amazonian tribes, is used to cleanse the body and space around it.

The smoke relaxed me, but I first had to prepare myself for the smell and even tried some organic rolling tobacco before my ceremony.

You can find out more about Amazonian medicine and holistic healing using tobacco with this traditional practice of rapé.

9. Bring a Sacred Personal Item

Whenever I go on a journey, whether of the body or mind, I like to bring a few special belongings. 

In this case, an item held dear to your heart that initiates fond memories can help be your guide. 

Some people brought gems or crystals to use as energy transformers while others brought pictures or even stuffed animals to feel secure. 

10. Get the Gear

Comfort means everything when traveling spiritually, so bring your supplies to make a home away from home.

Wear and bring extra loose fitting clothes meant for warm weather, but also bring a jacket, sweatshirt, and sweat pants (clothes can often be comforting).

I also brought a water bottle, yoga mat, flashlight, bag to secure and keep track of my belongings, pillow for sleeping and meditating, a soft blanket, and sleeping bag (you will most likely be camping under the starts).

A Personal Experience

Trying something new scares many people, so deciding to have an ayahuasca experience shouldn’t be taken lightly.

It can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but only when done with the right goal in mind. And your goal should be a unique one, not something you read on the internet.

Begin your journey by looking at ways you can improve your diet, which will contribute to your overall well being of mind and body.