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.