The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, it will help you to purge less and, reduce the risk of stroke. If you want to learn the details of how these all work then read on...
Full preparation guide:
What to eat is only part of the Ayahuasca preparation process. Read out full Ayahuasca preparation guide which includes discussion on food, drink, medications, intentions, how long to prepare and even continuing the dieta after your ceremonies are complete.
Ayahuasca makes you purge both through throwing up and making you need to ‘go number two’. In my experience, Ayahuasca is doing this as a way to purge emotional physical stress from your body but, also it is purging toxins.
These toxins are often from the food and drink you are consuming. Sugar, alcohol, spiced foods, too much salt, various additives in our foods, oils (vegetable, olive) etc. By reducing these toxins before you drink Ayahuasca then you reduce the amount of toxins that Ayahuasca will purge from your system. While you will probably still throw up, it might be the difference between throwing up once for a few minutes and ruining the whole ceremony by purging for an hour or two.
In my personal experience, I usually throw up once per ceremony and I need the bathroom afterward but I follow the diet pretty closely (80%) for 2-4 weeks before (and after) the actual ceremonies. So, basically my system is clean by the time I drink Ayahuasca.
Reduce the risk of stroke:
There are two ways that you are at risk of stroke in an Ayahuasca Ceremony. I consider these small risks, at least for myself, but depending on your particular health situation this might not be the case for you so it pays to be knowledgeable. Here is what I have researched so far.
Increased Norepinephrine from your diet can lead to stroke:
Note: I took most of the info in the below paragraphs from The MAPS website and this page in particular.
I need to set the biological scene for a few paragraphs so bare with me.
During an Ayahuasca Ceremony you drink a cup of a, similarly named, Ayahuasca Brew. This exact ingredients of the brew depends on the Shaman who has made it as they each have their own recipes but, in saying that the basic ingredients are water, the Ayahuasca Vine and the Chacruna Plant.
The hallucinogenic part of the Ayahuasca Brew is known as DMT. Normally, DMT is not orally active in humans. However, when you eat plants containing DMT in the presence of an MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor) then the DMT will have an effect on you.
It turns out that the Ayahuasca Brew has both an MAOI (The Ayahuasca Vine itself) and DMT (contained in the Chacruna Plant) and as such it is an effective psychedelic. OK, now the scene is set let’s get to the point.
The catch is that the MAOI, at the same time as making the DMT orally active, is also blocking the absorption of something called Norepinephrine and therefore it is possible for this to build up in your system while on Ayahuasca.
Norepinephrine is produced by foods which contain Tyramine. As such, you will want to reduce foods with Tyramine in them. By following an Ayahuasca diet you are doing exactly that – reducing Tyramine in your system.
The risks of not doing so or in other words the risks of having too much Norepinephrine in your system are,
“… hypertension … nausea, occipital headache, and even intracranial hemorrhage (aka a Stroke)…”ayahuascaeasy.com
Increased Norepinephrine from pharmaceuticals can also lead to stroke:
In the same way that certain foods can lead to increased levels of Norepinephrine, certain pharmaceuticals can lead to increased Norepinephrine. As noted above this can lead to the risk of hypertension and occipital headache and in the worst cases a stroke.
Which pharmaceuticals you ask? I’m not a doctor but, MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) is a great place to start to answer that question.
This list of pharmaceuticals which you will want to avoid AND have out of your system by the time you drink Ayahuasca. Most commonly this would be SSRI’s and other medications used for depression but, also such things as ibuprofen.
The list, compiled by MAPS, is not exhaustive so, I would advise that if you are on medications and it’s not on this list then check with your doctor to see if you should remove it from your diet/system.
If you are in doubt, remove it from your diet as it’s good to be on no medications whatsoever.
How long should you diet for?
This really depends on a few things. Most importantly, I think, is that any pharmaceuticals you are taking need to be completely out of your system. Different medications will take different times (sometimes weeks or months) to completely leave your system so check with your doctor or research what this is for your own case.
If you don’t have any medications to cut out I would recommend a diet of at least 3 days before your ceremony but, if you really have the time and commitment I would recommend between 2-4 weeks.
Note: It is recommended that you should continue the diet after you leave your retreat as well. Again, I would say at least 3 days but preferably between 2-4weeks.
A deeper level of commitment and healing:
On top of all of that doing a diet is meant to provide a deeper connection with the medicine and provide you with more healing for whatever issues you are facing.
In my experience, I feel as if the level of commitment shown by someone who can do a diet for 2-4 weeks (before and after) means that you are also really serious about committing to the healing you require (and resultant changes you are required to make).
I think that level of commitment when combined with the clarity and new learnings from Ayahuasca will mean that you can really make some progress with your particular issues.
Ayahuasca Diet Recipes and Cook Book:
Have I convinced you? I hope so. If so, here is a link to some Ayahuasca Recipes blogs that I have written, a downloadable free PDF with 27 Ayahuasca Recipes, and other diet related Ayahuasca recipes. Disfruta!