Contraindications With Ayahuasca

Undertaking a shamanic journey with entheogenic plants like Ayahuasca is not something to be taken lightly. In order to draw something enriching from this experience, to enable to enlighten ourselves and give us new direction, it is necessary to prepare one’s body and mind a few days before. Thus, contact with the spiritual world of Ayahuasca and / or the eventual energy work can be done in depth. But it is also and above all to guarantee your physical and mental security. Indeed, there are many contraindications related to the consumption of Ayahuasca, which depend mostly on diet and medication. Some pathologies are also incompatible with the taking of Ayahusca. Finally, sexual practice or drug use must be prohibited at least one week before taking Ayahuasca. Here you will find the list of food, medications, herbs and behavior not to be followed during this period of preparation.

Preparation at Ayahuasca

“He who wants to travel far away takes care of his mount” An old adage certainly, but full of common sense. When getting ready to take a trip with Ayahuasca, one must observe some rules. It is an intense experience that can be dramatic if one has not respected the therapeutic framework in which it must be practiced. We ask you to read the following list in order to prepare yourself for your Ayahuasca ceremony with foresight.

At the same time, this period of preparation is conducive to introspection. What are the reasons that drive you to undertake this journey? What do you expect from this experience? What are in the shadows that you would like to see clearly? What are the personal questions you would like answered? Finally, what are the changes you would like to see in you?

Food Contraindications related to Ayahuasca Consumption

One week before the ceremony please refrain from consuming: 

  • red meat (beef, lamb, veal, …)
  • pork (ham and bacon included)
  • seafood
  • dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese, butter, cream,…)
  • fermented products (tofu, sauerkraut, soy sauce, niokmam, …)
  • smoked products (dried fish, smoked salmon, …)
  • protein extracts (steroids, liquids, …)
  • canned soups
  • dietary supplements (vitamins, hydrogenated foods, …)
  • dried fruit (raisins, prunes)
  • candied fruit
  • dill seeds (in large quantities)
  • Kombucha or other liquids from lacto-fermentation (in large quantities)
  • caffeine, chocolate (in large quantities)
  • aspartame
  • hunger suppressant pills
  • sodium glutamate (present in Chinese soups)
  • As the ceremony approaches please reduce your consumption of oil, salt, pepper, condiments (peppers, mustard, vinaigrettes, pickles, Teriyaki sauce, …), sugar (sodas), pastries , biscuits.

Whenever possible, avoid eating industrially prepared meals. Instead, prefer healthy and natural food until the day of the ceremony.

Behavioral Contraindications related to Ayahuasca Consumption

One week before the ceremony it is imperative to refrain from: 

  • all sexual practices! (masturbation included)
  • We also recommend that you avoid watching pornographic videos or horror movies. The content of these tend to cause interference in the visions and can disrupt the smooth running of the ceremony.

DRUGS: You must refrain from using drugs at least two weeks before the ceremony and two weeks after the ceremony (including alcohol, tobacco may be consumed).

Contraindications related to Ayahusca Consumption

If you are subject or have been subject to the following pathologies, the consumption of Ayahuasca is not possible:

  • cardiovascular illnesses
  • hypertension, tachicardia stroke, hypotension
  • stroke
  • diabetes (serious)
  • asthma (serious)
  • Crohn disease, intestinal ulcers
  • psychological disorders resulting in psychiatric treatment
  • schizophrenic state
  • bipolar disorders
  • psychoses
  • psychoses depression during treatment (use of anti-depressant drugs such as IRSS should be stopped at least six weeks before taking Ayahuasca)
  • Cancer or any other autoimmune disease

If you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, it is strongly discouraged to take Ayahuasca.

Medicinal Plants contra-indicated with Consumption of Ayahuasca

It is advisable to stop using the following medicinal plants at least two weeks before taking Ayahuasca and two weeks after taking Ayahuasca:

  • St. John’s wort (may cause heart failure)
  • Wormwort/Wormwood/Mugwort/Absinth (Artemisias)
  • Kava
  • Kratom
  • Ephedra
  • Ginseng
  • Yohimbe
  • Sinicuichi
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Kanna
  • Boswellia
  • Nutmeg
  • Scotch Broom
  • Licorice Root 

Drugs and Active Principles Contraindicated with Ayahuasca Consumption

Contraindicated drugs include anti-depressants, anti-congestive, bronco-pulmonary, antiallergic, antihistamines, sedatives, tranquillizers, amphetamines (including Adderall), hypertension treatments, sympathomimetic amines including pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, carbamazepine, methylphemidate (Ritalin), macromerine, phenelanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, asarone / calamus, and ventolin. These treatments must be suspended at least two weeks before taking Ayahuasca and two weeks after taking Ayahuasca. For Prozac type anti-depressants and ISSR, treatment should be discontinued 6 weeks before Ayahuasca.

However, it is possible to consider working with plants by combining a gradual reduction of anti-depressants in favor of plants until total cessation of anti-depressants. Taking Ayahuasca in this case is not to be considered before 6 weeks of treatment discontinuation.


  • Actifed
  • Adderall
  • Alaproclate
  • Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin)
  • Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel)
  • Amineptine
  • Amitriptaline
  • Amoxapine (Asendin)
  • Atomoxedine


  • Befloxetone
  • Benadryl
  • Benylin
  • Benzedrine
  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Bicifadine
  • Brasofensine
  • Brofaromine
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Buspirone (BuSpar)
  • Butriptyline


  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol)
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Chlor Trimeton
  • Cimoxetone
  • Citalopram
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Codeine
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • Cyclizine (Marezine)


  • Dapoxotine
  • Desipramine (Pertofrane, Norpramin)
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  • Dibenzepin
  • Dienolide kavapyrone desmethoxyyangonin
  • Diethylpropion
  • Disopyramide (Norpace)
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Dopamine (Intropin)
  • Dosulepin
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Duloxetine


  • Emsam
  • Ephedrine
  • Epinephrine (Adrenalin)
  • Escitalopram


  • Femoxitine
  • Fenfluramine (Pondimin)
  • Flavoxate Hydrochloride (Urispas)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Furazolidone (Furoxone)


  • Guanethedine
  • Guanadrel (Hylorel)
  • Guanethidine (Ismelin)


  • Hydralazine (Apresoline)
  • 5 Hydroxytryptophan


  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Iprindole
  • Iproniazid (Marsilid, Iprozid, Ipronid, Rivivol, Propilniazida)
  • Iproclozide
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Isoniazid (Laniazid, Nydrazid)
  • Isoniazid rifampin (Rifamate, Rimactane)
  • Isoproterenol (Isuprel)


  • L dopa (Sinemet)
  • Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)
  • Linezolid (Zyvox, Zyvoxid)
  • Lithium (Eskalith)
  • Lofepramine
  • Loratadine (Claritin)


  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
  • Macromérine
  • Medifoxamine
  • Melitracen
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Metaproterenol (Alupent, Metaprel)
  • Metaraminol (Aramine)
  • Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)
  • Methyldopa (Aidomet)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Mianserin
  • Milnacipran
  • Minaprine
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • Moclobemide
  • Montelukast (Singulair)


  • Nefazodone
  • Nialamide
  • Nisoxetine
  • Nomifensine
  • Norepinephrine (Levophed)
  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl)


  • Oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan)
  • Oxymetazoline (Afrin)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex)


  • Pargyline (Eutonyl)
  • Parnate
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Pemoline (Cylert)
  • Percocet
  • Pethedine (Demero)
  • Phendimetrazine (Plegiline)
  • Phenergen
  • Phenmetrazine
  • Phentermine
  • Phénelanine
  • Phenylephrine (Dimetane, Dristan decongestant, Neo Synephrine)
  • Phenylpropanolamine (in many cold medicines)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Procarbazine (Matulane)
  • Procainamide (Pronestyl)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Pseudoephedrine


  • Quinidine (Quinidex)


  • Rasagiline (Azilect)
  • Reboxetine
  • Reserpine (Serpasil)
  • Risperidone


  • Salbutemol
  • Salmeterol
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Sibutramine
  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)


  • Terfenadine (Seldane D)
  • Tegretol
  • Temaril
  • Tesofensine
  • Theophylline (Theo Dur)
  • Tianeptine
  • Toloxatone
  • Tramidol
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Trazodone
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Elavil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Triptans


  • Vanoxerine
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Viloxezine


  • Yohimbine


  • Zimelidine
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)
Amazonian Medicine
Traditional Amazonian Medicine
Ayahuasca History
Ayahuasca Retreats
Two Weeks Immersion Retreats in Peru – Spirit of the Amazon
  • Hello!
    I’ve just read about contraindication of ayahuasca using and i need to know how hard can an experience like this be bad for my heart.
    I am 24 year old and I was born bicuspid. I have a good physical condition and doctors stopped me only by performance sports, any other bodily exercises accepted. I am prepared to take some risks if they are not verry dangerous for my life, because i need some answers about my person.
    Maybe you need to know that i am a medium gym addictive, 4 times a week, and in the last 3 years my heart condition not evolved at all, i think this tipe of efort it’s not to much, so maybe now you can compare. If it’s helpful I can send my medical documents for a more precise opinion
    I will be happy to read your honest answer.
    Thank you for your time!

    • AdminAdmin

      Author Reply

      thanks for your interest in Amazonian medicine. Ayahuasca consumption is dangerous with serious hypertension/hypotension, strong heart arrhythmia, any surgery on heart such as bypass surgery. Most of the time people with these affections need to take also daily medication like beta-blockers which are contra-indicated. Your case look different. You’re 24 years old, your body is strong you’re practicing sport, your heart must be in good state. If you’re not medicated with something contra-indicated or if your are not having hypertension I don’t see why you couldn’t take Ayahuasca. Nevertheless I don’t recommend you to do emetics sessions with toxic plants such as tobacco. Emetics are often gaven before drinking ayahuasca to prepare the body. Few people die already by taking tobacco juice because of the nicotine, they had an heart attack.

  • RandyRandy

    Author Reply

    Hi. Thanks for the informative article. I am 31 years old and my most recent checkups have deemed my heart and brain to be physically healthy. My body as well is healthy. But I suffer from C-PTSD and anxiety.

    I hope to do my first Aya ceremony in about 4 weeks and I was wondering if you know if the medications I’m taking would have any effect or interactions with Aya?

    I take either Hydroxizine (antihistamine and sedative) or Propanolol (beta-blocker) for anxiety on an SOS basis. I haven’t taken the meds for at least a week now and I don’t plan to take any until the ceremony.

    I also took Desloratidine (antihistamine) about 45 days ago.

    Will there be any risk involved if I don’t take these meds for the next 4 weeks?

    • AdminAdmin

      Author Reply

      Hi, the substances you’ve been taking are not to be used with ayahuasca (especially Propanolol which works with tryptamine and can affect blood pressure during ayahuasca session), but since you’ve been stopping taking it for a certain period of time (4 weeks minimum) it shouldn’t be a problem. The most dangerous drugs interactions are antidepressants based on benzodiazepine which create a serotonin syndrome. All drugs increasing serotonin levels or serotonin receptors must be stopped at least 6 weeks before ayahuasca.