Ayahuasca Medical Advice
Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the form of harmine and harmaline. We suggest, therefore, that you consult your medical advisor if you are taking medications which may affect your serotonin levels (known as serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors or SSRIs) as the combination of MAOIs and SSRIs can lead to higher levels of serotonin in the body. SSRI medications generally require 6 weeks to clear the bodily system and should be reduced gradually.
If you are taking antibiotics or anti-depressants or receiving other medical treatment it is also good practice to see your doctor and ask his or her advice about the effects of your medication in combination with ayahuasca.
Non-prescription medicines such as antihistamines, dietary aids, amphetamines and their derivatives and some herbal remedies (e.g. those containing ephedrine, high levels of caffeine or other stimulants) should be discontinued for at least a week prior to and following work with ayahuasca. Please check with your herbalist or homeopath as even otherwise innocuous remedies like St John's Wort/hypericum may not be suitable in combination with ayahuasca.
Avoid all chemically-based recreational drugs, in particular MDMA (ecstasy), cocaine, speed and heroin. The use of non-chemical recreational drugs such as marijuana should also be discontinued for a period of at least two weeks prior to and following the programme.
Ayahuasca and the diet that goes with it are not always ideal in combination with certain medical conditions (e.g. some stomach, heart, colon or mental health problems, etc) so, again, please check with your doctor and take his or her advice about participation.