An open heart has no limits

Health and Safety


Ayahuasca in itself has been found to have no negative effects on health, however in some cases, work with Ayahuasca can bear some risks related to health conditions and diet. Therefore, advance dietary preparation is required. Your safety, welfare, holistic healing and positive transformation are our highest priorities. We therefore provide these guidelines for your information and personal safety. If you are taking prescription medication (including antibiotics), are subject to high blood pressure, have a heart condition, or are under treatment for any health condition, consult your physician about the use of temporary monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). Below is the list of medications, substances and plants that should not be combined with Ayahuasca:



  • Any medicine containing MAOi (neural enzyme monoamine oxidase inhibitor) or SSRI's, i.e. antidepressants such as Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, etc. can cause a 'serotonin syndrome' involving elevated blood pressure, coma and possibly death when taken in combination with Ayahuasca, as Ayahuasca contains MAOi. It is recommended that such medications be suspended under a physician's guidance at least six weeks prior to taking Ayahuasca. Some medications may clear the system sufficiently in much less time. Please consult your physician about the risks of combining MAOi with your medication. Based on current research, Ayahuasca may provide qick and lasting relief from depression and many individuals do not feel the need to return to using antidepressants after short-term work with Ayahuasca.

  • Sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotics, amphetamines, asarone/calamus, tryptophan (high doses), tyrosine, phenelanine, macromerine, decongestants, including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, medicines for colds or hay fever, antihistamines (allergy medications), appetite suppresants (diet pills), methylphemidate, asthma-inhalers, meperidine, levopoda, dopamine, carbamazipine, antihypertensives (high blood pressure medications), antipsychotics, sympathomimetic amines.

  • St. John's Wort, Kava, Ephedra, Ginseng, Yohimbe and Sinicuchi should also be suspended prior to work with Ayahuasca.

  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages within three days of your retreat.

  • Do not use drugs such as MDMA (ecstacy), cocaine, heroin, XTC, 2CB, mescaline and/or other phenethylamines within two weeks of your retreat.

  • Those with a record of heart condition, chronic high blood pressure, psychiatric instability or psychosis, are advised against taking Ayahuasca.


If you use any of the above substances, take any prescribed medications, or have ever been diagnosed with a mental illness, please let us know at the time of your application. We do everything possible to ensure that your shamanic work at El Corazon is safe and fulfilling. Therefore we request full confidential disclosure of known medical conditions and all medications/drugs/herbs you are currently using as a condition of registration for your retreat at El Corazon. This is a necessary measure to help assure your safety and welfare. You are solely responsible for informing us of these factors and for taking appropriate health precautions. Each individual assumes all risk and liability in their use of plant medicines encountered during their retreats at El Corazon.

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Follow Maria's blog where she shares the stories about her apprenticeship and the life in the Amazon.