The traditional medicine men who work with us have many years of experience holding ayahuasca – yagé ceremonies and overseeing the responsible use of yagé in its traditional context.
Provided with precaution, working with ayahuasca is safe. Fortunately, since 2013 and having facilitated healing journeys for many guests, we have a track record and no serious issues (physically or psychologically) have ever arisen.
- All yagé provided is simply ayahuasca vine and chakruna – no other admixtures.
- 24-hour transport to Puerto Asís (journey time is 1 hour).
- Protocols for emergencies to minimize harm from any accident.
People with personality disorders or a history of mental disorders (such as borderline personality disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.) are at risk if they use ayahuasca.
In medical terms, ayahuasca has few contraindications, however in certain cases working with ayahuasca can carry health risks. If you have any heart, liver, kidney or other serious medical problems, you should inform us prior to booking and discuss your situation with a doctor who is aware of the issues taking ayahuasca may raise.
If you have a serious cardiovascular disorder, you should not take ayahuasca, as it slightly increases blood pressure. No alterations of liver function and other biochemical parameters have been observed after the administration of ayahuasca in the laboratory. Only a modulation of the immune system has been detected, but this is temporary and does not seem to have clear effects on health.
It is very important to consult with a physician if you are taking any medication regularly, or if you would need to take medication during the workshop at the Temple. The use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs may well be contraindicated for the use of ayahuasca, as well as the use of drugs metabolized by certain cytochromes. Not only psychotropic drugs may be contraindicated – so might any drug capable of interacting with MAO (MAO-Is: Monoamine oxidase inhibitors). The combined use of ayahuasca with drugs that use the same metabolic pathways can be dangerous. It is very important to consult a specialist.
If you have a chronic illness, it may be dangerous to stop taking your medication for some time with the intent to take ayahuasca. Please speak with your prescribing physician prior to changing your pharmacological protocol and inform us if you are taking medication so that we can check for contraindications with ayahuasca.
The alkaloids present in ayahuasca interact with the serotonergic system in different ways: the beta-carbolines (harmine, for example) are inhibitors of the MAO enzyme, which has its role in the degradation of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, the use of ayahuasca in combination with other serotonergic pharmaceuticals (such as antidepressants) can potentially cause adverse reactions such as “serotonin syndrome,” which can have serious consequences for one’s health. We advise people who are receiving treatment with medication (including natural products), or under the effect of any drug that acts on the serotonergic system, to be extremely cautious when considering taking ayahuasca. Please see our medical guidelines for more information and contact us if you are interested in attending a workshop but currently taking medication.
Although not very common, there are cases of people who faint during the experience of taking ayahuasca. It is important to be aware that if a person gets up on a hard floor or with hard objects around, they can get hurt if they fall.