The ayahuasca ceremony explained
A normal ayahuasca ceremony is led by an experienced shaman, who made the ayahuasca tea and he/she is guiding the participants during their inner-journey. The shaman sings songs called icaros. These are traditional songs used to provide spiritual healing and protection and to guide the journey.
Traditionally, the participants remained completely sober and only the shaman drank ayahusca. This was because the shaman was considered to be filled with spiritual power and knowledge and was considered the only one capable of interpreting the visions and messages of the plant spirits. .
Sometimes under presure of western people the participants were also allowed to take a small amount of ayahuasca to help them connect with the plant spirits. However, this was only allowed after they had undergone thorough preparation, such as following a strict diet and abstaining from sexual activity.
Today there are many variations on these traditions and there are ayahuasca ceremonies in which both the shaman and the participants take ayahuasca. These modern practices are not true to the ancient traditions and it is important to prepare properly for such ceremonies.
The ayahuasca diet that is need
Because of the presence of MAOIs, a special diet is required to avoid interactions with food. Tyramine is a substance commonly found in foods such as cheese, red wine, beer and smoked meats. When tyramine is taken with MAOIs, such as in ayahuasca, it can lead to increased blood pressure and potentially life-threatening reactions. To avoid this risk, it is recommended to follow a low-tyramine diet in the days prior to drinking ayahuasca. This diet limits the intake of tyramine-rich foods and preparations that naturally contain tyramine, such as fermented foods. Following this diet can reduce the risk of a potentially dangerous interaction between ayahuasca and tyramine, increasing the chance of a safe and beneficial experience with ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca ceremonies in the Netherlands
Because DMT itself is illegal in the Netherlands, the use of ayahuasca with DMT in it is also illegal. In the Netherlands, the Supreme Court confirmed this ban again in 2018. Before the ban, some religious groups, such as Santo Daime, had an exception to this ban due to their sacramental use of ayahuasca during their ceremonies. Since 2018, it has been illegal to possess, sell or hold ceremonies with ayahusca (containing DMT).
Legal and safer alternatives
The MAO inhibitors present in ayahusca cause an increased risk of health complaints. Psilocybin, on the other hand, works orally and MAOi are not necessary. If you add MAO inhibitors, you can save on the amount of psilocybin-containing mushrooms or truffles. When adding many MAO inhibitors, the trip also lasts a few hours longer. The addition of banisteriopsis caapi is therefore not necessary. All in all, the psilocybin ceremony is safer and if psilocybin-containing truffles are used, it is also legal.
If a mild MAO inhibitor is used, psiloflora may be the solution. Psiloflora is the combination of magic truffles and passion flower (passiflora incarnata). With this combination of passion flower and truffles there are fewer side effects, vomiting rarely occurs, it provides a calmer trip and there are fewer negative interactions with food, medicines and supplements. More information can be found via the buttons below.