Ayahuasca retreats: Guidelines and Safety

On this page, you will find guidelines on preparation, participation, and integration of the retreat, as well as information about safety measures at Home of Ayahuasca.

These guidelines are designed to maximize the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca and ensure your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being throughout the entire retreat.

I. Pre-Arrival Preparation

A. Medical Considerations

1. Health Condition and Medications

Before your arrival at the Home of Ayahuasca, it is important to take into account your health condition and any medications you may be taking. Please inform us of any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, sensitivities, and the medications you are currently prescribed. This information allows us to ensure your safety and well-being during the retreat. Medications incompatible with ayahuasca:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Stimulants and amphetamines
  • Sedatives and tranquilizers
  • Anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines)

If you are taking medications from this list or any other medications on a regular basis, consult with us and your healthcare provider to discuss potential risks and determine if it is safe to participate in the ayahuasca retreat. Our team will provide individual guidance and support based on your specific circumstances.

2. Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to inform us, as the consumption of certain plants during these stages is contraindicated. If necessary, we will provide alternative options or recommendations.

3. Psychological and psychiatric conditions
If you have a history of psychological or psychiatric conditions, please inform us so that we can better understand your needs and offer appropriate support during the retreat. Please be open and honest about your mental health history, as it allows us to create a safe and nurturing environment for your healing process.

B. Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations

Preparing your body and mind for an ayahuasca retreat involves following a specific diet and lifestyle. We recommend adhering to the following recommendations:

1. Diet It is important to follow the recommended pre-retreat diet.
At least 10-14 days before the retreat, it is necessary to exclude alcohol, meat from large animals, dairy and fermented products, legumes, citrus fruits, onions, and garlic from your diet. More details about the pre-retreat diet can be found on the Preparation and Rules page.

2. Avoidance of Psychoactive Substances
It is crucial to abstain from recreational drug use, including marijuana, for several weeks leading up to the retreat. These substances can interfere with the effects of ayahuasca and pose risks to your health.

3. Sexual Abstinence
Prior to the retreat and during your stay at Home of Ayahuasca, we strongly recommend practicing sexual abstinence. Sexual energy is a powerful force that can significantly impact your energetic state and the dynamics of the ayahuasca experience. By abstaining from sexual activity, you allow your energy to focus inward, fostering a deeper connection with the plants and enhancing your awareness and capacity for change.

4. Sleep and Rest
Adequate rest and sleep are crucial for your physical and mental preparation. Taking time to relax and cultivate a tranquil state of mind contributes to a greater receptivity to the ayahuasca experience.

C. Personal Intentions and Expectations

Establishing clear intentions and understanding your expectations for the ayahuasca retreat is an important part of preparation. Take time for self-reflection and consider the following:

1. Setting Personal Goals
Identify the intentions and goals you wish to uncover or achieve during the retreat. Whether it's finding new paths, healing emotional wounds, or personal growth, setting goals will allow you to focus your energy and intention during the retreat.

2. Readiness for Change and Openness to the New
Ayahuasca has the ability to reveal areas of your life that may require change and growth. You may become aware of unhealthy patterns, relationships, or behaviors that are detrimental to you. Willingness to acknowledge them and make changes is crucial for long-term transformation.

II. Safety and Rules During the Retreat

A. Safety Measures, Procedures, and Emergency Preparedness

1. Qualified and Experienced Staff
Our retreat center is staffed with qualified and experienced facilitators who have undergone extensive training in working with ayahuasca and plant medicine. They possess the knowledge and skills necessary to guide you through the retreat with care and professionalism.

2. Safe and Serene Retreat Environment

  • The retreat center is located in a secluded area surrounded by nature, providing a serene and safe environment for your retreat.
  • We have carefully designed all facilities to create a safe and comfortable space for the retreat. You will reside in an individual house with a private forest toilet and bathroom, fostering relaxation, self-reflection, and connection with nature. ayahuasca safety

3. Non-interference and Protection from External Influence

  • The wisdom of ayahuasca surpasses any human knowledge and experience. Therefore, your communication with the plant will be one-on-one in your own private house. This eliminates the risk of physical, psychological, and energetic influence from other participants or staff on your experience.
  • Throughout the retreat, your individual house will be your personal space where only you will be present.
  • Staff will never enter your house without your explicit consent.
  • Staff will not interfere with your communication with ayahuasca and other plant medicine, allowing you to have a direct and unimpeded connection with the plant.
  • Home of Ayahuasca does not conduct group practices, massages, or any other actions that could lead to external influence. Your experience with ayahuasca will be pure and free from such external influences.

4. Psychological Support
Dealing with Challenging Experiences Dealing with Challenging Experiences:

  • Our facilitators know how to support participants during difficult or challenging situations that may arise during the ayahuasca retreat.
  • We provide an open and non-judgmental environment where you can freely express and process your emotions, thoughts, and experiences without condemnation or imposition of others' ideas. Integration of Complex Emotions:
  • We understand that the ayahuasca retreat can evoke strong emotions and bring deeply rooted issues to the surface.
  • Retreat facilitators are trained to guide and support you in integrating and navigating these emotions, offering tools and methods that facilitate healing and self-understanding.

5. Safety Measures

  • Health Assessment and Information Disclosure: Before registering for the retreat, we require you to complete a comprehensive questionnaire form. It is crucial to provide accurate and detailed information about your medical history, existing conditions, and any medications you are taking. This information helps ensure your safety and enables our staff to provide necessary support and guidance throughout the retreat.
  • We maintain strict safety protocols to ensure the well-being of all participants.
  • Our facilities are regularly inspected and maintained according to safety standards.
  • We provide clear recommendations for the proper use of equipment and facilities to minimize any risks or accidents.

6. Emergency Actions Preparedness for Emergency Situations:

  • We have well-established procedures for responding to emergencies to address any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies during your retreat.
  • Our staff is trained to react quickly and efficiently to ensure your safety and well-being.
  • In the event of an emergency, our staff will provide clear instructions and recommendations to ensure your safety. Medical Assistance in Emergency Situations:
  • The retreat center is equipped with a well-stocked and easily accessible first aid kit containing essential medical supplies and equipment.
  • Staff members are trained in basic first aid procedures to provide initial care and support in the event of injuries or medical incidents.
  • Our team includes a professional medic.
  • In case of an emergency, our team will be ready to assist and coordinate any necessary medical assistance.

B. Ayahuasca Dosage and Preparation

1. Individualized Dosage, Composition of Ayahuasca, and Retreat Structure
Your needs and goals are unique, and we tailor the dosage, composition of ayahuasca, and retreat structure according to your individual characteristics. The retreat facilitators will assess your physical and emotional state to determine the appropriate dosage, composition of ayahuasca, and intake regimen for you. The retreat structure is designed to provide a maximally effective and safe experience.

2. Preparation and Integration Methods with Ayahuasca
Preparation for the ayahuasca experience is crucial for maximizing its potential benefits. We provide recommendations for mental, emotional, and spiritual preparation for ayahuasca intake. Our facilitators will offer methods and practices to help you establish a connection with the plants and support the integration of insights gained during the retreat. ayahuasca dosage
3. Use of Additional Plant Medicines
Additional plants may be included in the retreat to enhance the healing effects of ayahuasca. These plants are carefully selected and introduced based on your individual needs and intentions. The retreat facilitator will assist you in understanding the specific benefits and recommendations associated with these additional plants. For more information about the plants we work with, please refer to the Master Plants page on our website.

C. Behavioral Guidelines

To ensure your safety, well-being, and a maximally beneficial experience, we have established the following rules:
1. Respect for the Space
The retreat center and its surrounding jungle create a pristine environment for healing and self-discovery. We kindly ask you to treat the space, plants, and staff with utmost respect. This includes complying with any specific rules and regulations set by the retreat center.

2. Adherence to Safety Instructions

It is important to follow all safety instructions provided by the retreat staff. These instructions may include recommendations for navigating the jungle, interacting with the plants, and ensuring your own physical and emotional well-being. 

3. Open and Honest Communication
We encourage open and honest communication throughout your retreat. Share your intentions, concerns, and any relevant information about your health or well-being with our team. This allows us to tailor the retreat to your needs and ensure safety and comfort. 

4. Confidentiality and Privacy
We strictly adhere to confidentiality regarding any personal information you share with our team. We also ask you to respect the privacy of other retreat participants and refrain from sharing their personal experiences without their consent. Taking photos, videos, or audio recordings of other participants or staff members is strictly prohibited at the retreat center.

5. Respecting Personal Boundaries
During the Ayahuasca retreat, participants undergo intensive processes of physical and psychological transformation. Sometimes even a brief conversation can disrupt these processes. Allow each person to have their own unique experience without interference or judgment. Respect physical and emotional boundaries and seek consent before engaging in any form of interaction.

6. Personal Responsibility and Self-Care

While our team provides recommendations and support, ultimately, you are responsible for your retreat. Take ownership of your experience. Take care of yourself, listen to your needs, and take action to achieve your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

III. Guidelines to Integrating Ayahuasca Experience into Everyday Life

By actively integrating the Ayahuasca experience into your daily life and prioritizing your well-being, you lay the foundation for profound transformation and sustainable personal growth.
A. Integration Support and Guidance
  • The Ayahuasca experience continues to unfold in the months following the retreat.
  • We provide integration support during and after the retreat to help you process and integrate the insights gained during your journey.
  • Please, take advantage of resources such as the integration guide, recommended practices, and follow-up consultations to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the long-term benefits of your retreat.
  • If you have any doubts or difficulties after the retreat, you can always reach out to us and ask questions.
B. Personal Integration Practices
  • Integrating the lessons and knowledge gained during the retreat is crucial for deep and lasting change.
  • Retreat facilitators will recommend practices and methods of integration tailored to your unique needs and intentions.
  • Please, read and keep the Ayahuasca Integration Reminder after the retreat. ayahuasca integration
C. Nurturing Your Well-being

1. Self-care:
• Prioritize self-care methods to maintain your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
• Engage in activities that promote relaxation and inner harmony, such as meditation, light exercises, spending time in nature, or creative self-expression.

2. Cultivate Mindfulness and Awareness:
• Practice mindfulness in everyday activities to deepen your awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns.
• Developing mindfulness can enhance your ability to integrate the insights gained from the Ayahuasca experience into your daily life.

3. Continuous Personal Growth:
• Seek opportunities for growth in all aspects and details of your life.
• Actively implement positive changes in your life.

IV. Legal Considerations

A. Compliance with Local Laws and Regulations

1. Compliance with Peruvian Laws:

  • The Ayahuasca House, located in Peru, operates in full compliance with local laws and regulations regarding individual retreats with ayahuasca and other Amazonian plants.
  • We adhere to the legal requirements set by Peruvian authorities to ensure a responsible and lawful approach to working with healing plants.

2. Proper Permits and Licenses:

  • Our retreat center has all the necessary permits and licenses required to conduct individual retreats with ayahuasca and other Amazonian plants.
  • We prioritize the safety and well-being of our participants by following legal standards and maintaining transparency in our operations. If you have any questions or concerns regarding retreat preparation, safety, ethical, legal, or other retreat-related issues, our team is ready to address them.

V. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A. Common Inquiries about Guidelines and Safety

1. Is ayahuasca safe for everyone?

  • Ayahuasca is a potent plant medicine that can have a profound impact on individuals. While it is generally safe when used responsibly and under proper guidance, it may not be suitable for everyone.
  • We conduct an assessment of your physical and mental health before participating in an ayahuasca retreat. This helps us identify any contraindications or potential risks.

2. How do you ensure participant safety during the retreat?

  • Ensuring participant safety is a top priority at Home of Ayahuasca. We have qualified and experienced instructors who provide individual guidance and support throughout your retreat.
  • Our retreat center adheres to strict safety measures, including regular technical inspections and maintenance of facilities and grounds, careful monitoring of participants' physical and emotional states, adherence to safety protocols, and conducting briefings.
  • We have developed emergency procedures and evacuation plans for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

3. What precautions should I take before participating in an ayahuasca retreat?

  • We recommend following our preparation guidelines before the retreat, which include dietary recommendations, discontinuation of certain medications or substances, and refraining from sexual activity. More details can be found on the Preparation and Rules page.
  • It is crucial to provide accurate and detailed information about your medical history, existing conditions, and any medications you are taking.
B. Additional Information and Clarifications

1. Can I bring my own medications or supplements?

  • It is important to inform us about any medications or supplements you are currently taking during the medical conditions assessment process.
  • Our staff will assess whether certain medications or supplements may interfere with the effects of ayahuasca or pose any potential risks. In most cases, pharmaceutical drugs need to be discontinued during the retreat.

2. Are there any restrictions on personal belongings during the retreat?

  • We recommend minimizing the number of valuables you bring with you. Due to high humidity in the jungle, many items can be damaged.
  • Do not bring products that are not part of the retreat diet, narcotics, or alcohol.
  • The use of medications and dietary supplements is only permissible with prior agreement with us before arrival.

3. How do you handle emergencies or adverse reactions during the retreat?

  • Our coordinators are trained to quickly identify emergencies and respond to them.
  • We have established emergency communication channels, access to medical professionals, and evacuation plans in case of critical situations.

Your well-being and safety are of utmost importance, and we are prepared to provide proper care and support if needed. If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding our rules and safety procedures, please feel free to contact us.

More information about Home of Ayahuasca:

Ethics: Our Approach to Conducting Retreats

About us: Home of Ayahuasca ecosystem