An open heart has no limits

Shamanic Diet

In Amazonian tradition the shaman learns directly from the trees and plants through deep contemplation. Shamanic Diets offer a unique opportunity to explore mindful awareness with trees and plants. During the time of the diet the shaman retreats from his daily activities into the jungle or a distant place away from people. The active period of the diet lasts 8 days and is then followed by 30 days of integration. The diet includes ingesting the tea of barks of medicinal trees for 4 days. For the duration of the diet the shaman makes his body a host for the spirits of the teacher pants in order to learn from them. For the duration of the first 8 days only the following foods are eaten: bocochico or sardina fish (local to Amazon region), chicken, eggs, white rice, plantains, yucca and cucumbers and sometimes coconut water. No salt, sugar or oil can be ingested as well as spicy or sour foods. No alcohol, drugs or caffeine may be ingested. The shaman also discontinues any sexual activity for the duration of the diet. During the first 8 days no physical contact with other humans takes place. All this is done in order to allow the tree spirits to get accustomed to being in a human body, to maintain a contemplative state of mind and one's own interaction with the spirits unobstructed. Ingesting the tree barks does not induce altered states similar to ayahuasca, however the shaman interacts with the teacher spirits through dreams and deep meditative states.


hugging tree


On the 9th day the shaman breaks the diet by putting a spoonful of salt on the tongue and swishing it around in the mouth. Once the salt is tasted, the diet is complete.
For 3 days after the initial 8 days of the diet sugars and stimulants are avoided. This includes all fruits and all caffeinated drinks.
For 30 days after the diet the shaman continues to avoid sexual stimulation in any form, any drugs or alcohol.
For 6 months after the diet no pork, no venison and no alligator meat can be ingested.

The 9-day retreats at El Corazon offer you an opportunity to enter the sahmanic diet in order to connect deeper to the plant spirit medicine. The dieters will be staying in the retreat center together with the non-dieters and will be encouraged to refrain from walking in public places. The diters will be served foods that are bland, do not contain any salt, any grease or spices. During the first four days of the diet the dieters will be served the special dieter remedy that contains the barks of medicinal trees. The shaman will sing a special icaros into the remedy for each dieter in order to help establish the connection with the plant spirits.

Entering a shamanic diet is a serious commitment and one should only consider this if there is a strong pull to deepen the connection with the plant spirit medicine and commtment to carry through the dietary and behavioral restraints during the initial 8 days of the diet and the consecutive 30 days.

Shamanism: intro

Amazonian Shamanism

Role of the shaman

Types of shamans


Site news

blog logo

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