FAQ

I WOULD LIKE TO PARTAKE IN AN AYAHUASCA CEREMONY. WHERE SHOULD I GO?

On the Ceremonies page you can read more about finding the right ayahuasca ceremony. We recommend you to go to a place that you´ve already heard good stories about, preferably from someone you trust.

Also useful may be the website Aya Advisor. On our website we provide a list of groups and people that organise ceremonies. Please be aware that we don´t have personal experience with these groups and that we do not recommend any place in particular!

Can you recommend ayahuasca ceremonies in your country? Please let us know. We do our best to keep the list up to date.

WOULD AYAHUASCA BE APPROPRIATE FOR ME (AS A MEDICINE)?

The ayahuasca experience is invariably an extraordinary one. It has positively influenced the lives of many people. It has cured various forms of depression and addiction. Ayahuasca has shown people the immense beauty of ourselves and the cosmos through overwhelming, enchanting and deeply emotional visions.

Indians believe the ayahuasca experience is naturally guided by ‘spirits’ or even ‘the plant spirit’. For the drinker this means that effects are unpredictable. Many users report no visions or emotions, just sickness and/or bodily cleansing. This however does not mean that the ayahuasca was not effective in one way or another… It is not unusual that the healing effects of ayahuasca become apparent to the user later on. Keep this in mind before you partake in a ceremony or make your own brew.

Those who seek healing of either mild or severe ailments are themselves responsible for finding the treatment that seems most appropriate to them. In some cases there might be a high risk when dismissing regular medicines or treatment. Patients should always consider this when choosing alternative remedies. When in doubt, talk to a medical expert you trust as well as with ayahuasca healers. We are not in the position to advise anyone on medical treatments.

Important: If you use SSRI’s (antidepressants like Zoloft) you cannot use ayahuasca, for the combination of SSRI’s and MAOi’s is dangerous. Cutting down the dosage or interrupting the ingestion of SSRI’s can also be dangerous. For this reason we discourage people from cutting down or interrupting their use of SSRI’s for the sake of participating in a ceremony. Ayahuasca is not the only entheogen Mother Nature has given us. Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms (“shrooms”) contain a type of DMT (O-phosphoryl-4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) which gives an experience that is practically identical to that of ayahuasca, and which also has a long history of usage for spiritual purposes. Shrooms are generally not taken in a ceremonial context. Since they are easy to prepare one can more easily take them at home.

WHICH PLANT COMBINATION IS BEST FOR ME?

Every shaman uses his or her own recipe, so plant combinations always vary to some extent. This is due to local tradition and availability; it does not depend on the user or type of treatment. In any case if you make ayahuasca yourself the choice is up to you. None of them will taste particularly good or be less effective so you’d better consider the method of preparation. For example, some combinations will give you a more powdery substance, which is less easy to ingest. See what works best for you.

IS AYAHUASCA LEGAL?

Go to our legal information page.

CAN YOU RECOMMEND ME SOME LITERATURE?

Yes! We have a page with selected articles and one with books.

HOW CAN I REACH SANTO DAIME/UDV?

See these pages for directions to the various international branches of both religions.
Santo Daime Netherlands
Santo Daime Belgium/Europe
UDV

WHERE CAN I BUY THE INGREDIENTS TO PREPARE MY OWN AYAHUASCA?

The following online shops are considered reliable, quick and ethical.
In Europe: Azarius
In the US or Canada: Botanical Spirit
In the US or Canada: Arena Ethnobotanicals

HOW CAN I EXTRACT DMT FROM PLANT SOURCES?

Although scientific research has shown that it is naturally found in the brain and other parts of the body, DMT is an illegal substance in most countries. See chemistry for an example tek. Also, searching the Web will provide you with a lot of information on this subject.
Try the links mentioned in this forum
Erowid DMT TEK
The DMT-Nexus is an excellent source for anything DMT-related. Also see their Wiki.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT MAO-INHIBITORS?

Normally DMT – as found in plants such as Mimosa hostilis, Psychotria viridis and Phalaris Arundinacea – is not effective when ingested orally. This is because it is broken down (inhibited) by Monoamine oxydase (MAO). MAO is an important enzyme that breaks down certain chemical compounds such as drugs and poisons.

MAOI’s or MAO-inhibitors interfere with the action of the MAO enzyme and stop the breakdown of chemical compounds such as DMT, making it effective when ingested orally. The term ayahuasca is often used for any plant combination consisting of a DMT containing plant and an MAOI. MAOI’s must be used with great caution because otherwise they can turn otherwise harmless foods into poisonous substances. The results can be dangerous: headaches, nausea, high blood pressure, even unconsciousness and death. Therefore, in shamanic traditions a special diet or fasting is observed in the days or hours before ayahuasca is ingested. It is advisable to follow this tradition.

So, MAOI’s are:

  • Syrian rue / Peganum harmala)
  • Ayahuasca / Banisteriopsis caapi
  • Passionflower (weak)
  • Yohimbe (weak)
  • certain anti-depressants.

Below is a list of substances that you should NOT take 12 hours before and 12 hours after taking a strong MAO-inhibitor.

Very dangerous:

  • antidepressants containing Selective Serotonine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) such as the herb Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) and pills such as paroxetine (Seroxat), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Cipramil), fluvoxamine (Fevarin) and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • sleeping-pills
  • anaesthetics
  • migraine medicines
  • allergy medicines
  • over the counter cough medicines
  • cocaine
  • amphetamines (speed)
  • MDMA (XTC)
  • mescaline cacti (peyote and san pedro)
  • alcohol
  • ephedra/ephedrine
  • pseudoephedrine
  • macromerine
  • phentermine

May cause headaches or sickness:

  • cultured dairy products (buttermilk, yogurt, and sour cream)
  • all aged/mature cheese (exception: cottage cheese, cream cheese)
  • dry and fermented sausage (bologna, salami, pepperoni, corned beef, and liver)
  • all meat, fish and eggs which are not fresh
  • pickled herring and salted dried fish
  • meat extracts
  • yeast extracts/brewer’s yeast (Marmite)
  • sauerkraut
  • fruits (bananas, avocados, canned figs, raisins, red plums, pine-apple, raspberries)
  • nuts (peanuts)
  • broad beans and pods (lima, fava beans, lentils, snow peas, and soy beans)
  • soy sauce
  • LSA (morning glory and baby hawaiian woodrose seeds)
  • MDA related herbs (nutmeg, sweet flag)
  • chocolate
  • caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, guarana, energy drinks)
  • ginseng
  • St. Johns wort
  • nasal sprays (Vicks Sinex, Prevalin or Otrivin)
  • other MAO-inhibitors.

WHERE DO THE FASCINATING PLANTS OF WHICH AYAHUASCA IS MADE GROW, AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

The plants that we know as DMT-sources are listed here (including photos). They can be found worldwide, but the particular ayahuasca ingredients only grow in the Amazon of Central and South America.