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Preparation Guidelines

Dietary Guidelines

Our ceremonies are based on Ancient Rituals, therefore an attitude of respect, reverence and sacrifice is required. Part of this sacrifice is cleansing and purifying your body to transform it into the temple that the Sacred Medicines need in order to do their work in an effective way.

Don Gino Chaka-Runa says it this way: "If you invite your Mother into your house, you don't invite her in a big mess. You show respect by cleaning up before inviting her into your temple.”

 

It is necessary to show respect and commitment towards the Plant Medicine Ritual by following dietary guidelines to cleanse and detoxify your body, making a deeper and smoother process possible. This will also allow the Medicine to work faster on your emotional, mental and energetic fields, since minor physical cleansing will take place.

 

The less toxins you have, the better your experience will be. Following a vegetarian or vegan diet is ideal for preparation. Fasting is also a great way to clear out toxins. We highly recommend light, healthy, whole foods including fresh vegetables and fruits. 

 

Before drinking Plant Medicine, you should eliminate the following from your diet:

 

2 Weeks prior:

  • All red meat, including pork

  • Processed foods

  • Foods high in salt and sugar

  • Oils and animal fat

  • Spicy foods

  • Peanuts, soy, and fava beans

  • Alcohol

 

1 Week prior:

  • All meat

  • Salt

  • Spices

  • Refined sugars

  • Dairy food

  • Seafood

  • Soybeans 

  • Junk food

  • Caffeine 

  • Pickled, fermented, and smoked foods

  • Overly ripe foods

  • Ice cold beverages

 

3 Days to 24 hours prior and after:

All food containing Tyramine, because they can have an influence on the effect of the medicine and interact with the MAOIs in the Plant Medicine brew, possibly causing hypertensive crisis with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased heart rate, dilated pupils and, very infrequently, brain hemorrhage and death. Tyramine is found in: 

  • Alcohol as well as alcohol-free beer 

  • Yeast extracts

  • Protein dietary supplements

  • L-tyrosine

  • Marmite and Tartex

  • Cheese

  • Chicken liver

  • Salami

  • Servelat

  • Sausage and other smoked meat

  • Poultry & fish and meat extracts

  • Soybean products

  • Broad beans

  • Chocolate

  • Sauerkraut

  • Ripe and dried fruits

  • Yeast

  • Caffeine

  • Raspberry jam

  • Nuts

 

 

Medical Guidelines

In medical terms, the use of Plant Medicine has few contraindications, but we highly advise that you consult your doctor if deciding to drink it. Especially if you use any medication continually, or if there are any medications that you have to take during your Retreat or Dieta. 

Any drugs that may interact with MAO as MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) should be avoided for at least 4 weeks prior to your ceremonies, as these medications can be dangerous when combined with the Plant Medicine.

In case of a chronic illness you should consult a specialist about stopping the intake of your medication. It is recommended to always carry your medication in case of emergency.

Antidepressants (SSRI’s) and other psychotropic drugs that boost serotonin are contraindicated when using Plant Medicine. This also goes for drugs that are metabolized by certain types of cytochromes. They should be stopped 2 to 4 weeks before your retreat, under supervision of your doctor.

 

The use of Cannabis should be avoided for at least 2 weeks up to 1 month in case of regular use before drinking the Plant Medicine brew, as it will generate a strong blockage, frustrating your experience during ceremony. 

We advise discontinuing most medications 1 month before your retreat, including over the counter drugs. In case of not being possible due to health risks, it is imminent to consult with your doctor regarding any interactions with MAO inhibitors, and specify every detail in our Application Form. 

On the other hand, the following drugs and pharmaceuticals can be life threatening when combined with Plant Medicine, and should be discontinued at least 4 weeks before your Plant Medicine experience. Please consult your doctor if you are in any doubt; you should not stop taking prescribed medications (including antidepressants) without consulting first.

  • Other MAOIs

  • SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)

  • Antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine)

  • Appetite suppressants (diet pills)

  • Antihistamines

  • Medicine for bronchitis, cold, flu, sinus problems, hay fever, or allergies (Actifed DM, Benadryl, Benylin, Chlor-Trimeton, Compoz, Bromarest-DM or -DX, Dimetane-DX cough syrup, Dristan Cold & Flu, Phenergan with dextromethorphan, Robitussin-DM, Vicks Formula 44-D, several Tylenol cold, cough, and flu preparations)

  • Nose drops, decongestants, amphetamines (including Adderall), ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (fat burning pills), allergy medicines and opiates

  • Central nervous system depressants (Xanax, Ativan, etc)

  • Vasodilators

  • Antipsychotics

  • Hypertensive medications

  • Sedatives and tranquilizers

  • Barbiturates

  • Methylphemidate (Ritalin), CarbamazipineMacromerine, Phenelanine, Tyrosine, Tryptophan, Asarone/calamus

  • Herbal supplements St. John’s Wort & 5-HTP

  • Homeopathic medicines

  • Kratom 

  • Kava 

  • Cocaine

  • Amphetamines (meth-, dex-, amphetamine)

  • Ecstasy, MDMA, MDA, MDEA, PMA

  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)

  • Opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine, and especially opium)

  • Mescaline (any phenethylamine) 

At Chaka-Runa your safety is paramount at all times. We are committed to our community and believe everyone should understand all the potential risks involved when taking Plant Medicine. Through our experience, knowledge and recommendations, these risks are mitigated, ensuring you the best possible outcome throughout your journey with us. 

In case of concerns, doubts or questions regarding any health conditions during your application, please don’t hesitate in contacting our team. 

 

Psychological Guidelines

The Plant Medicine experience will bring hidden feelings and emotions to the surface. We recommend that participants who are undergoing severe emotional trauma or depression to consult with their therapist about joining a Retreat or Dieta. In this case, please reach out to us before booking so we can analyze your personal condition. 

 

When preparing emotionally, it is important to connect with yourself and be aware of your personal state and environment, the people you are surrounded with and the situations you are exposed to before your Plant Medicine journey. 

 

Therefore, we recommend you to refrain from any sexual activity and avoid all heavy and low emotions, stressful settings, discussions with people and violent media for at least 2 weeks prior to your experience. Instead, get in contact with nature, try to relax, be at ease with yourself and your loved ones. It is also recommended to spend time alone, read a book, take a walk in the park, listen to soothing music and enjoy your own company, finding your center and self confidence. 

 

Before your Plant Medicine experience, it is good to identify where you currently stand in your life. Try to realize which situations trigger you, which problems you feel you need to solve and what behaviors or habits make you feel uncomfortable. Being aware of this will help create an optimal mindset for the Plant Medicine to have easier access to those personal issues, working as a catalyst to get the best possible results. 

We recommend writing down why you would like to participate in our Plant Medicine ceremonies. It is also advisable to try identifying what is the personal outcome you would like to achieve through your experience with us.  

It is ideal to start your journey without expectations, just surrender and accept how the experience unfolds and what it brings to you, which may not always be what you were hoping for. The Plant Medicine rarely gives you what you want, it usually gives you exactly what you need to go through your healing and growth process. Specific expectations will only create unnecessary walls between you and the Medicine. In order to go through a smooth process you need to have self confidence and trust the Medicine, The Shaman and the Ritual.  

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact us. If you wish to get a better idea of our work, you can read our reviews and testimonials or visit our Chaka-Runa community on Facebook, where you can interact with people that have participated in our Retreats and Dietas.