Regardless of whether you are looking to be healed or looking to study, a diet plays an important part of the process. Curanderos do plant dietas to build relationships with plant spirits and to maintain their vibrational levels at their highest to ensure the optimal connection to the spirits. The purpose of the ayahuasca diet is to demonstrate one’s determination through sacrifice, increase sensitivity, and to raise vibrational levels, which is done by limiting stimulants and pleasurable foods and activities. Obviously, the less stimulation a person feels the more sensitive he/she feels. Stimulation can be in many different forms, like in the food we eat, therefore a diet usually involves no salt, no sugar, no oil, and no spicy food. Stimulation can also be in the form of sound, so diets are typically done out in the jungle, away from the noise of the city, of car horns or loud radios or televisions. Stimulation can also be in physical form, which is why a diet always restricts sexual behavior and even sexual arousal. Emotional stimulation falls into this category as well, but it also goes as far as reducing anger and negative feelings towards others or yourself.
For a patient, it is absolutely necessary to follow a diet during treatment. Raising sensitivity enhances the effect of the medicinal preparations that provide the cure to the ailments afflicting the patient. A greater sensitivity also allows the patient to better understand their own problems, by seeing them more clearly, and feeling them in a much more insightful way. For this reason, a diet must be kept during treatment. Typically, the diet includes plant remedies as well as the stimulant free lifestyle. In essence, everything we do is a diet: what we take in through our eyes, through our mouth, through our ears, through our nose, through our pores, in our minds, in our hearts, and in our spirits. Being mindful of everything we take in can be the key to maintaining our health.
During the ayahuasca healing retreats and the ayahuasca initiation courses, participants follow strict diets the entire time. In the case of students, the diets are so severe as to include fasting for two days or more after ingesting a teacher plant. The Ayahuasca Foundation stays true to the tradition of ayahuasca healing as well as learning, so an ayahuasca diet is heavily stressed in our programs.