Ayahuasca Retreat Safety

Gaia Tree retreats are known for creating a unique safe, caring environment to ensure guests get the most out of their healing retreat here in the jungle. Our shamans are all loving healers with the highest integrity demonstrated over decades of healing with plant medicines. The facilitators and staff trained and experienced in supporting and understanding the deep powerful process of transformation.

We’re continuously refining our risk management and safety protocol, here’s a taste of what we do: 

Pre-Retreat Safety & Preparation

  • As part of the retreat application process, we conduct a medical and psychological screening process. Anyone wishing to join a retreat goes through a risk evaluation process prior to the retreat.
  • Once the registration has been accepted, we provide a detailed pack with retreat information and preparation material to help individuals prepare for their retreat. This is a comprehensive pack, covering topics such as ayahuasca diet preparation, mental and emotional preparation, visa requirements all the way to practical issues of what to take with you. Of course, we’re always available via email or Skype to answer any other specific queries.
  • On the first day of your retreat, we provide a retreat orientation talk to help you feel at home. Some of the things we cover include the center facilities, the shaman and their way of healing, ceremony details and etiquette, retreat organisation and much more. Our experienced facilitators and staff are always their to help you as much as possible.
Ayahuasca Ceremony Safety
  • All our shaman have decades of experience and are highly responsible, grounded, loving healers trained in their ancestral shamanic path. They are highly revered members of their communities with the highest integrity.
  • We hold small intimate ceremonies (maximum 12 participants), where the shaman work with each individual 1 to 1 to ensure that everyone receives the personal care and attention they need.
  • Our experienced ceremony facilitators and helpers are multilingual and available to help you in ceremony. From guiding guests to the toilet to helping to ground an experience that may feel too much – their role is to support participants however necessary. That said,they are not overbearing – they intend for you to have your own experience in connecting with the ayahuasca.
  • We guarantee the integrity and the quality of the medicine on our retreats, we absolutely will not use dangerous additive plants such as Toe as some shaman and centers have been known to do in order to increase visual effect of the medicine.
  • The shaman will also tune in to how your spirit connects with the medicine to adjust accordingly.
  • Our experienced facilitators are always on hand to ensure your physical and emotional well being.
Additional Retreat Safety Measures
  • Pre and Post ceremony meditation and integration practices. As healers and therapists working primarily with meditation and yogic practices from the East, we provide the most effective ceremony preparation and integration practices to help you get the most out of your retreat.
  • Multiple full time security for your travel to and from the center and whilst on site.
  • All food and drink is prepared with filtered drinking water.
  • Fully equipped first-aid kit at the lodge.
  • Detailed ayahuasca integration information and support. We provide practices during the retreat which you can take away with you, so your experience will stay with you for longer and integrate deeper into your being.
  • Guests are welcome to contact us for support anytime after their retreat, weeks, months or years after leaving the retreat center.

Health & Medical Precautions When Drinking Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca in and of itself is a very safe medicine. However, when taken in conjunction with certain other medications, drugs or health conditions it can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
It is imperative that you are entirely honest during your application for the retreat -out of respect for yourself, fellow guests and everyone else at the center. The well being of everyone participating and working at the retreat is important to us.

As a precaution, you should not drink ayahuasca if the following applies to you:

  • You are taking any kind of antidepressants (for example SSRIs, SNRI, MAOI – a and b, TCAs Tricyclic, TeCAs and others) and some pain medications which influence serotonin. Before experiencing ayahuasca, you should stop taking MAOIs and SSRIs at least eight weeks before drinking ayahuasca (it could be less time depending on the drug and the dosage so you should consult with your doctor first).
  • You are taking antipsychotic medication
  • See a full list of drugs to avoid at ayahuasca.com
  • You have a chronic heart condition or severe blood pressure.
  • You have a history of mental illness, schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder and/or suicidal tendencies.
  • You are currently on – or have recently finished an antibiotic treatment.
  • You suffer from diabetes (Some diabetics can drink ayahuasca safely, but you should discuss this with your center or shaman).
  • You have had surgery within the last six months.
  • You are pregnant – this issue is hotly debated and some people believe that it is totally okay to drink ayahuasca while pregnant. Others think it’s not such a good idea. This is something you should discuss with your shaman and also use your own intuition.

You should also be very cautious if you suffer from epilepsy. There is some anecdotal evidence that ayahuasca has been used to treat epilepsy successfully. However, if you have epilepsy, it is important someone monitors you at all times during the ceremony. The danger is that if you have a seizure while in ceremony and vomit at the same time, you could potentially choke on your vomit and die. Therefore, you should not take part in ceremonies with many people where it will be impossible for you to be monitored closely at all times.

Retreat Security

We take security very seriously at Gaia Tree Center and we have measures in place to ensure safety and security on our retreat grounds 24 hours a day.

There are several guards on site 24 hours a day during retreats to ensure your safety.

For THE comprehensive guide the to the Ayahuasca journey – download our FREE eBook below