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Medical Guidelines

ayahuasca retreat integration

PLEASE CAREFULLY REVIEW THESE MEDICAL AND HEALTH GUIDELINES IN ADVANCE OF BOOKING A RETREAT

By booking a retreat, you are declaring that you are in an appropriate physical, mental, and emotional condition to travel and participate in retreat activities, ceremonies, and workshops. We do not have medical professionals on our staff or at our retreats. While we provide an in-depth online course to prepare you, we urge you to seek professional medical advice on preparation, including vaccinations needed for travel to your retreat location. The following advice and guidelines are provided to make sure you are informed, to protect your personal health and safety, to ensure the integrity of our retreats, and to safeguard the welfare of the group. You must agree to disclose any known medical conditions or medications at the time of booking.

There are certain medical and health conditions and medications that are contraindicated with ayahuasca. You must stop taking any pharmaceuticals, supplements, vitamins, herbs, or other substances, and give your body sufficient time to clear them from your system, before attending a retreat. 

Please do not abruptly stop taking prescribed medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Many medications for anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions have intense withdrawal symptoms and can be dangerous to stop suddenly. Work with your doctor to reduce and taper your dosage so that you can safely receive the medicines when you are clear to do so. 

AYAHUASCA CONTRAINDICATIONS

🛑  Medications containing Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) – these are known to cause dangerous side effects when taken with ayahuasca. If you are planning to sit with ayahuasca, it is vital that you stop taking all MAOIs (under medical supervision) and allow your body time to clear itself. 4-6 weeks completely free from these medications is highly recommended prior to attending a retreat for maximum safety and efficacy of the plant medicines.

🛑  Medications that affect the serotonin system, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). This includes antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Paxil, Celexa, and their generic versions. Combining SSRIs with ayahuasca is reported to cause severe serotonin syndrome and potentially be fatal.  A minimum of 4-6 weeks completely free from SSRIs is optimal to allow the system to clear in time for your retreat. Again, do not abruptly stop taking any medication without medical supervision and guidance.

🛑  It is also required to discontinue the following medications and drugs for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your retreat. 4-6 weeks is optimal. 

    • Allergy Medications
    • Amphetamines (including Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Concerta, crystal meth, MDMA (Molly, Ecstasy) MDA, MDEA, PMA, stimulants of any kind)
    • Antihistamines
    • Antipsychotics
    • Barbiturates
    • Cocaine
    • Benzodiazepines and Central Nervous System Depressants (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan)
    • Cold, Flu, Cough or Sinus Medicines
    • Decongestants
    • Diet Pills
    • DXM, DM, or Tussin/Dextromethorphan
    • Ephedrine and/or Pseudoephedrine
    • Kava
    • Kratom
    • Marijuana
    • Opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine, opium, Oxycontin, Fentanyl, hydrocodone, and related)
    • Sedative-hypnotics, sedatives, and sleep aids (Ambien, Lunesta, and related medications for insomnia)
    • St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP
HERE’S THE DEAL: It is highly desirable to discontinue use of all drugs, medications, herbs, supplements, alcohol, and cannabis for at least 2-4 weeks prior to your retreat if at all possible.  We invite you to meet the medicines with a clean system that is healthy and ready to experience a strong connection to the plants. Our guidelines are “Safety First” oriented, and we conduct a screening process with each potential guest to ensure you are a good candidate to experience an Ayahuasca and San Pedro retreat with us. We do not allow alcohol, cannabis, or drugs at our retreats.
 

CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS

We are able to accommodate some chronic, ongoing, and long term health conditions at our retreats on a case by case basis, including:

  • Diabetes 
  • Some Heart Conditions
  • High Blood Pressure or Low Blood Pressure
  • Hormonal/Endocrine Conditions or Treatments (Including hormones taken for gender transitions)

If you have one of these conditions, please continue taking your medications and inform us of your specific situation when applying for the retreat. If your health depends upon you taking the medication, please DO NOT discontinue it. Consult with your doctor to see if taking a break from these medications is a possibility for you, and let us know in your application so we can assess your specific needs and readiness for a retreat.

 

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH

 
There are some conditions that could be very dangerous or even life threatening when combined with plant medicines. People with diagnosed schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or psychosis are unfortunately not good candidates for our retreats. The reason is that the medicine experience could induce altered states that might trigger psychotic episodes or delusions in people with these conditions, and that can put their lives at risk. This is not a risk we are willing to take with your health and wellness.

In order to sit with these medicines, you need to have a healthy heart, stamina, and the physical, mental, and emotional ability to handle the experience. It can be disorienting, unpleasant, scary, intense, and could make you feel very ill at times. This is part of the process and will pass, however it is vital to understand in advance. Checking in with a doctor is a really good idea, even if you don’t share the reason why you are getting the check up. Making sure you’re in good shape to traverse the inner galaxy is a smart thing to do. Take care of your temple, prepare yourself, and do your research, and you can ensure that you have a safe healing journey. 

Contact Us

If you have questions about a specific medication or health condition, please email us.