Medicinal plant dietas
Traditionally, plant dietas are undertaken by those wishing to become shamanic healers but they can also be used as a powerful detox, promoting deep healing on all levels, physical, emotional and especially ‘energetic’.
As a general rule we usually use the well known medicinal plant ‘Ajo Sacha’ (roughly translated as ‘Jungle garlic vine’ because of it’s strong garlic smell) as a beginner dieta as it is very effective at clearing energy blocks and opening the ‘dietero’ (the participant) to deeper healing in conjunction with the ayahuasca ceremonies.
For dietas with the ‘softer’ plants such as the aforementioned Ajo Sacha and also ‘Albaca’ (a type of wild jungle basil that is very good for helping to quiet the mind and it’s inherent fears and insecurities) we don’t require that the participant adheres to too severe dietary restrictions and they do not have to be in almost complete isolation (normally a requirement for traditional master plant dietas).
For this type of dieta the food that we allow is almost identical to the traditional ayahuasca diet, consisting of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, some rice, noodles, plantain, porridge oats and a little egg but with no salt, sugar, spices, oils, caffeine or processed foods of any kind.
The participant is also restricted from using toothpaste, deodorant, insect repellant, shampoo or any other toiletry products unless they are made with completely natural ingredients and are not too strong smelling.
No physical contact is permitted whatsoever (even between spouses or partners) and no sexual arousal of any kind, including masturbation. Some physical contact with the supervising curanderos is permitted as they sometimes perform ‘hands-on healing’ should the participant be in need of it. You will not be required to stay in complete isolation but as much time by yourself to reflect and connect with the said medicinal plant is very beneficial.
If a guest would like to diet with more ‘serious’ plants (such as Sanango, Tobacco or any of the master trees) the diet would have to be much more restricted (no fruit of any kind for example) and they would need to spend as much time as possible in total isolation. Ideally they would also complete at least two ‘softer dietas’ beforehand to prepare them for the much stronger energies of the ‘master plant’ dietas. We only recommend this type of dieta for those really serious about following a path in Amazonian shamanism. (please let us know well in advance if you are interested in this type of dieta)
There are some post dieta restrictions, i.e. no pork, alcohol, spicy food, sex, recreational drugs, etc. but for the ‘softer’ dietas there is only this requirement for at least 7 days after finishing the dieta.
There is a small additional charge for the dietas (approx 18 u.s. dollars per day for the softer ones, slightly more for the more serious ones) which includes a special tea prepared with the chosen plant taken daily, medicinal ‘plant/flower baths’ for cleaning and protection and also constant supervision of the progress of the dieta by our very own Shipibo curanderos who have over 70 years of combined experience working with the indigenous master plants.
The minimum length of time for a ‘softer’ dieta is 5 days.
For work with the more serious plants there is a minimum of 10 days required and longer and stricter post-dieta restrictions. The ‘dietero’ would also need to stay in a private ‘tambo’ (small individual hut) so as to spend as much time as possible in solitude)
At the beginning of the dieta, the Shipibo curandero will ‘open’ the dieta for you, then gradually day by day help you to integrate more fully with the master plant whilst also ‘singing’ into existence an ‘arcana’, a type of protective, energetic shield around you to ensure that no unwanted ‘energies’ or ‘spirits’ are able to interfere with your work with the plant.
On the last day, to ‘close’ the dieta, a small amount of salt, sometimes mixed with a little lemon juice is given to seal up the person’s energy field and another special ‘arcana’ is created around the participant to keep them completely safe from unwanted/unpleasant energies when they return back to the real world.
In essence, when you partake in a plant dieta, you are deliberately restricting your food intake and contact with the outside world in order to become much more open and sensitive to the plant’s energy, essentially, ‘inviting’ the spirit of the plant to join with your own resulting in a ‘plant spirit ally’ that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Real shamanic healers in the Amazon region are required to ‘diet’ with literally dozens of different plants and trees, sometimes for years. It is how there hone their healing abilities as their own particular ‘plant spirit allies’ are called upon in order to cure each patients ailments during the ceremonies.
The dietas are very subtle which is why as much peace and quite as possible is recommended in order to really ‘listen’ to the plant’s messages but the the health and spiritual benefits of a medicinal plant dietas can be profound.