What foods and drugs need to be avoided?

What foods need to be avoided?

Basically foods that are aged, preserved, dried, fermented, pickled, cured (meats), rancid, old, outdated, overripe, or even slightly spoiled.

The following foods are recommended to be avoided with MAOIs:

  • Meat that is not fresh, especially unfresh liver (fresh meat and fresh liver are safe)
  • Smoked, fermented, pickled (herring) and otherwise aged or dried fish, lox; any fish that is not fresh
  • Sausage, bologna, pepperoni, salami, corned beef
  • Aged cheeses (cottage cheese and cream cheese are safe)
  • Protein extracts
  • Liquid and powdered protein dietary supplements
  • Brewer’s yeast, yeast vitamin supplements, or yeast extracts
  • Fermented tofu, fermented bean curd, fermented soybean paste, soy sauce
  • Canned soups, or soups made with protein extracts or bouillon
  • Miso soup (contains fermented bean curd)
  • Shrimp paste
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fruits that are bruised or even slightly overripe, especially bananas and apples; raisins and other dried fruits, fig newtons, etc (banana peels also should be avoided — as though you’d eat them anyway)
  • Avocados, if ripe or overripe (slightly underripe avocados are fine in moderation). Guacamole should be avoided.
  • Red wine, especially Chianti; sherry, vermouth, champagne, brandy; beers and ales, including nonalcoholic; whiskey and liqueurs such as Drambuie and Chartreuse
  • Dairy products that are close to the expiration date or that have been unrefrigerated (fresh yogurt is safe)
  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet)
  • Fava beans, especially if overripe
  • Peanuts – in large quantities
  • Raspberries – in large quantities
  • Spinach, New Zealand prickly or hot weather – in large quantities
  • Chocolate – in large quantities
  • Caffeine in large quantities (note: in a few rare individuals, there may be a severe interaction with even small amounts of caffeine)

How long do they need to be avoided?

24 hours before and after drinking Ayahuasca should be sufficient.

Is it really important to avoid those foods?

The warnings about tyramine interaction sound very serious, because they are adapted from warnings about interactions with pharmaceutical MAOIs.
However, food interaction with Ayahuasca is frankly not as serious a matter as it is with pharmaceutical MAOIs.


However, while there are no reports of fatalities from food interactions with Ayahuasca, food interactions could conceivably be life-threatening for a person with severe high blood pressure or serious heart disease. People with these conditions, therefore, should follow the MAOI safety diet very strictly when taking Ayahuasca.

Please note: Peganum harmala (Syrian rue) is a stronger MAOI than Banisteriopsis (Ayahuasca vine) and has potentially more serious interactions.

What can I eat?

In terms of the MAOI safety diet, basically foods that are as fresh as possible and not overripe, preserved, or spoiled in any way.

Drugs and Medications

Is it really dangerous to combine some pharmaceutical drugs with Ayahuasca?

YES. Unlike food interactions, whose consequences are unlikely to be serious, interaction with pharmaceutical drugs and meds (including some over-the-counter drugs and certain herbs) can be potentially life-threatening..

Which drugs are dangerous with Ayahuasca?

A list of meds to be careful of with MAOIs:

  • other MAOIs
  • SSRI’s (any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)
  • amphetamines (meth-, dex-, amphetamine)
  • antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine)
  • appetite suppressants (diet pills)
  • medicine for asthma, bronchitis, or other breathing problems
  • antihistamines, medicines for colds, sinus problems, hay fever, or allergies (Actifed DM, Benadryl, Benylin, Chlor-Trimeton, Compoz, etc.)
  • CNS (central nervous system) depressants
  • antipsychotics
  • alcohol

Some specific drugs that should not be combined with MAOIs:

  • Actifed
  • Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel)
  • Amoxapine (Asendin)
  • Benadryl
  • Benylin
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Buspirone (BuSpar)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol)
  • Chlor-Trimeton
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Cocaine
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • Cyclizine (Marezine)
  • Desipramine (Pertofrane)
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  • Disopyramide (Norpace)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Ephedrine
  • Flavoxate Hydrochloride (Urispas)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl)
  • Oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex)
  • Parnate
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Phenergen
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Procainamide (Pronestyl)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Quinidine (Quinidex)
  • Salbutemol
  • Salmeterol
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Tegretol
  • Temaril
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Elavil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Yohimbine

Also avoid the following herbs:

  • St. Johns Wort
  • Kava
  • Ephedra
  • Ginseng
  • Yohimbe
  • Sinicuichi

Using Tricyclic antidepressants within two weeks of taking MAOIs may cause serious side effects including sudden fever, extremely high blood pressure, convulsions, and death.

Using Fluoxetine (Prozac) within five weeks of taking MAOIs may cause high fever, rigidity, high blood pressure, mental changes, confusion and hypomania.

Using Meperidine (Demerol) with pharmaceutical MAOIs has resulted in deaths from a single dose.

Using cocaine with MAOIs may cause a severe increase in blood pressure, increasing the chances for stroke and cerebral hemorrhage and making it possible to overdose on a relatively small amount of cocaine. (A fatality has been recorded involving combining Peganum harmala and cocaine.)

Using Bupropion (Wellbutrin) within two weeks of taking MAOIs may cause serious side effects such as seizures.

Using Buspirone (Buspar) with MAOIs may cause high blood pressure.

Using Carbamazepine (Tegretol) with MAOIs may increase seizures.

Using CNS depressants with MAOIs may increase the depressant effects.

Using Dextromethorphan with MAOIs may cause excitement, high blood pressure, and fever, or brief episodes of psychosis.

Using Tryptophan with MAOIs may cause disorientation, confusion, amnesia, delirium agitation, hypomanic signs, shivering.

Using alcohol with MAOIs may cause side effects like angina (chest pain) or headaches. The headache may mask or be mistaken for hypertensive crisis caused by MAOI interaction.

Using Kava with MAOIs may result in hypotensive crisis (severe blood pressure drop).

Using Temaril with MAOIs may increase chance of side effects.

Special note to diabetics: MAOIs may change the amount of insulin or oral antidiabetic medication that you need. Notes on Diabetes and Ayahuasca.

Threads discussing specific meds:

asthma inhalers
Losartan (Cozaar)
St Johns Wort

How long do you have to stay off them before and after an Ayahuasca ceremony?

Depends on the drug. May be 24 hours, may be six months. Two to six weeks is typical, but do not guess. Find out for sure from your doctor.

Questions about food or medication interactions may be posted in this thread http://forums.ayahuasca.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7088
Or you can create a new thread in the Information Forum with your safety question.

51 Responses to “What foods and drugs need to be avoided?”
  1. Stephen says:

    Is there an issue with diabetes and ayahuasca?

  2. hbro says:

    is there an issue with epilepsy (petit mahl)

  3. beno says:

    hey ‘hbro’.
    yeh epilespy has a dangerous record with third-eye(pineal)/pyschedelic substances. because of the rapid pigmentation these substances have you undergo.
    Perhaps try lower dosages of mushrooms or LSA (Hawaiian baby woodrose[legal btw]) before aya.
    :) GOod luck with where-ever your jouneys take you

  4. Tom Woods says:

    In the drug interactions I don’t see time release morphine or vicodan both pain meds. I have spinal lumbar stenosis and it is advanced enough to need constant pain meds. I want to do some ceremonies that are perported to heal my stenosis. But my medication is a problem. I kind of feel like I am being told that I am too sick to be healed and that I need to get well so I can then be healed. I have taken dmt while using these meds with no problem. And the pain meds don’r seem to have any problem with my own dmt. I know that there are other plants in the concoction but as a outlaw biker 23 years ago I survived many mix and match sessions alot crazier than this. I would like to avoid heavy duty surgery on my back if a Shipibo shaman woman can heal me.

  5. Sylvio says:


    do you have information about a possible interaction with the cannabis and Ayahuasca ?

    thank you

  6. Jordan says:

    Just wondering what a “large amount” of caffeine is. Is a pot of coffee ~12 hours beforehand considered too much?

  7. Lars says:

    I would like to know if anybody know any cases of diabetes being healed through ayhuasca cermonies ? Diabetes 1

  8. is there an issue with epilepsy (petit mahl)?

  9. Mr. Hawk says:


    I read here that caffeine use is discouraged, but I have also read of tribes that drink Matte during ayahuasca ceremonies because it keeps them alrert. There is only a small amount of caffeine in Matte, like .04%, but it is present. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you,

    Mr. Hawk

  10. Mickyls says:

    Hi, what herbs natural and medicinal should be avoided while taking tegretol. Also what helps with twitching whilst sleeping, my partner is soo tired from the tegretol.

  11. Pablo says:

    does ayhuasca effect blood sugar, I have a friend that would like to try it but he has diabetes and is worried his blood sugar will tweak out?

  12. Mary says:


    do you know if there is any interaction with corticosteroid drugs?
    Is it safe to take it with liver hepatitis?Thanks

  13. Sloop John D says:

    I’m curious if anyone with stage 2 hypertension has undergone the ayahuasca experience and had no troubles… I would like to know how long it is recommended to follow the dietary guidelines (I take no medications for bp). Is a day or two enough? Or should I follow the restrictions longer before/after taking the medicine? It makes me nervous to read that those with high blood pressure are at risk for life-threatening consequences. I would really like to take ayahuasca, but not at risk of dying! If anyone can advise for those of us with high blood pressure, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  14. zach says:

    so i was reading the “don’t eats” and that’s pretty much all I do eat. any specific examples as to what i can eat? p.s. i want this info ASAP cuz i got the ingredients for aya as a gift so i can extract the DMT but i wanna start with a lil easier process

  15. zach says:

    can i eat bread? ik it said not to eat “brewers yeast” but idk if that’s the kind they use for bread

  16. Federico Martinez says:

    quiero saber sobre los efectos de participar con Ayahuasca, si llevo 8 años tomando RIVOTRIL ( clonacepam) por problemas de sueño, necesito suspenderlo? y con cuanta anticipacion?

  17. John Hawk says:

    Cannabis has no known negative reaction withe Vine…in fact, they dance well together in the latter stages of the experience.

  18. Judith says:

    Would you please add multi-vitamins and supplements to your list of things not to ingest before a ceremony? I guess I should have know better, but I was trying to stay healthy while fasting and unfortunately found that they probably interfered with the Ayahuasca. Thanks!

  19. anna says:

    brewers yeast is for alcohol, beer. yeast used in baking is allegedly fine.

  20. Bear Woman says:

    Dear John,

    I have many experiences with the vine and work with a very powerful shaman. In my experiences Cannabis absolutely needs to be avoided until well after the ceremony is finished. Cannibis is a female master plant as well as the vine and they can work against each other. The shaman says that this can cause a person to become lost and go mad. In reference I was in a full dieta once with a participant that was smoking back at his tent between the ceremonies and he had a full blown psychotic negative reaction. It was very hard on him and required the shaman to pull him back. Needless to say he will never mix the two again. Aya has all the you need and should be respected. As well, cannibis is a master plant and should be respected in its own ceremonial place.

  21. Bear Woman says:

    I know several diabetics that partake of the vine and they have no problems as long as there diet is good, NO sodas. It even adjust there sugar levels in a good way quite often. Insulin is fine with the vine.

  22. Jessica says:

    Can anybody tell me if Tramadol/Ultram is ok to be on while taking ayahuasca? It does have an SSRI effect I’ve been told. Also anybody know about Lithium and Xanax. Is it dangerous?

  23. curiositykilledthecat says:

    what is it like to drink this.and can it kill youif you do consume it . ? very curious . i have the ingredients but i dont know much about it

  24. Sergio says:

    How about AZT, 3TC, efavirenz. These are for HIV? Should they be discontinued for ceremony?

  25. Lacerda says:

    Does anybody knows if it has any interaction with doxycycline? we are going to take it for malaria prophylaxis.

  26. michal says:

    what about “remotive” which is based on st. johns plants? and is few days off from the remotive before the meditation is enough?

  27. daniel says:

    hi wondering if smoking changa whilst on 50mls of methadone daily will cause any problems. i have done it many times before with no problems but only realised today there may be a methadone maoi interaction. can anyone confirm this please?

    feel free to email me at 93 @ hushmail . com

  28. Egon Speneder says:

    I have slightly high blood pressure and take Bisoprolol Fumarate 5mg.
    Also I have an uneven heartbeat ( atrial fibrilation) so I need to take Digoxin .25mg.
    And I am 60 years old, not over-weight, still in pretty good shape, work out etc.
    Would I be disqualified from taking ayahuasca?

  29. Goodz says:


    I am wondering how safe is it to take aya, considering that I have had a manic episode a few years ago.

    I am not on any meds and have not been for over 6 months.

    I feel completely healthy physically and psychologically.

    Please let me know if you have some medical sources regarding Manic-deprasion(bipolar) and Aya.

    thank you

  30. Swimmingdancer says:

    I noticed a lot of people asking questions here. You can find the answers in the forum. Just do a search of the forum and if you have a question that is still not answered you can post your question there in the Information section. I highly recommend anyone considering trying these plants read the forum first. Especially anyone on medication. These plants are strong medicine. You wouldn’t just take a prescription medication without doing any research and making sure to find out whether it has any interactions with anything you are already taking would you? It shouldn’t be any different with plant medicines, especially entheogens like these. Please do your research and be safe :-)

  31. Jessica says:

    Hello? I have sone questions regarding Anahuasca Tea consumption
    I was on a series of Antibiotics for a stomach bug and a UTI, Amoxicillin, Clarithromycin, and omerprazole,
    I stopped taking it yesterday but I was wondering if it is safe for me to partake in tea consumption tomorrow night? I have already started taking all other dietary restrictions into account. I am just trying to be safe. My family has a history of heart problems and I do not want to be a casualty because of a mis judgement. Thanks so much.

  32. Jane says:

    Is guaifenesin okay with aya?

  33. Jane says:

    By the way, I tried to join the medications forum but it won’t let me because it says my email is already in use. But I don’t remember ever joining the forum and I searched my email and I don’t have anything from the forum so if someone could answer my question here, I would really appreciate it.

  34. Ryan says:

    I have been on dilantin for a dozen years now and for the past two years have been using aya in ceramonies. I didnt see dilantin(phenyotin sodium) on your med’s list adn was wondering if there was any info that i had missed. I have had no side effect’s or fit’s during or after ceramonie. Any info would be great to add to the collection, thank you

  35. Live and Learn says:

    24 hrs after my first ceremony I woke, drank 3 cups of strong coffee, walked the dog and smoked a little weed (roach). I had a severe hypotensive raction. I felt my mind leaving like a sudden trip, got scared enough to get a grip from the adrenalin (sympathetic) response, drove 1 mile home, climbed the stairs and made it into the house. Suddenly I could not stand up. I was severely hypOtensive. Having a medical background I knew I was in shock. I could tell my BP was very low.
    I suspected the weed more than the coffee and expected to feel better in about 4 hours and I did. I laid on my back 4 hours with my feet raised 2-3 feet. After 4 hours, I got pins and needles (tingling) in my hands and feet and felt my circulation returning. I was fine shortly after.
    I was told by the coordinators to stay away from weed and coffee for 48 hours. What can I say. I screwed up. I blame the weed more than the coffee but of course the combo could have been synergistic as well. Regardless, I quit weed on the spot and gave away what I had left and stayed off coffee one month. I also learned it is important to follow directions.

  36. Marian Rodriguez says:

    I would like to know what is the interval between taken ayahuasca and taking iboga, a week two weeks?

  37. Cary Gordon T. says:

    I take “Blopress Plus (Candesartan Cilexetilo/Hidroclorotiazida) for blood pressure. How long should I refrain from taking before ceremony?


  38. craig. says:

    hello, i have been taking xanax for a couple of months now for anxiety issues, how long will i need to abstain from this medication before undergoing an aya ceremony??? also i take a med for my stomach its called pantoprazole should i abstain from this one also?? thank you for your help :)

  39. Malek says:

    I am considering coming to the December 2012 Aya ceremony. I am on PE’s =protease inhibitors…they are 1) 1 tablet once a day Truvada- 200mg of emtricitabine & 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and 2) 1 tablet twice a day Isentress- 400mg raltegravir…will I need to quit these before and during and after aya cermony? What is expected of the participants who are on such strong medications? Thank you Malek

  40. rebecca says:

    I take many of the drugs you suggest no taking. I cant go 6 mos. Without them. What is my alternative? I want to stop all drugs but it is dangerous to do so. Sounds as tho I’m caught in the middle.

  41. Jared says:

    Does anyone know about the interaction with allergy shots? I take 2 shots every 4-6 weeks for grass, mold, tree, etc. pollens. I would like to know two things, 1. Will there be an interaction? 2. How long before ingesting should I cease taking the shots?

  42. Lafollefille says:

    I got here from trying to research cocaine and MAOIs. I’m not actually interested in ayahuasca. Anyway, I just wanted to know if you could tell me how long your last ingestion of cocaine would need to have been before it’d be safe to take the MAOI? I would assume that just a few days, until it’s out of your system, right?

  43. Richard says:

    Hi. I’ve been invited to an Ayahuasca workshop in three weeks. I believe this is something that will help me a great deal in my life, however I have a problem!
    I’m currently taking Methylphenidate (Ritalin) immediate release 10mg tablets three times a day
    for poor focus and hyperactivity.
    Obviously I will have to stop taking the Ritalin for a period before & after the ayahuasca workshop, but for how long?
    please could you tell me how I must abstain from taking Ritalin before my workshop & how long after the workshop I can resume taking my Ritalin?
    Many Thanks!

  44. Alann says:

    I have a fat liver, and whatever I do, I cannot decrease it…I have taken ayahuasca and San Pedro in the past 6 years enough to make me wonder if those plants might have affected my liver? Any answer to this, please?

  45. Dennis says:


    I purchased some Black Ayahuasca. It is suppose to be highly concentrated. But he person told me it is feremented and to call him to prepare it. Can you drink feremented Ayahuasca tea? Or do you have to recook it to remove fermentation? If so, how do you recook it? How long etc thank you for your help.

  46. kalea says:

    Hello, i have a question regarding Prozac.
    My friend never really takes Prozac, and she took one last thursday, and our ayahuasca ceremony is on Friday.
    Should she not go, or has it been long enough for the drug to get out of her body?
    Please respond! Thank you

  47. Javier E. says:

    anyone know what the possible interactions between valsartan and ayahuasca?
    anyone know what the possible interactions between Hydrochlorothiazide and ayahuasca?
    How long before I stop taking the hypotensive?
    thank you very much

  48. Elle says:

    Hello everyone!

    Do you know if there are any interactions with cancer treatments, more specifically with immunotherapies?
    I understand that these belong to a totally different group of drugs than MAOIs but I keep wondering….

    I would very much appreciate it if you could let me know.


  49. Jennifer says:

    I would like to know before placing an order and ingesting the aya potion, I am currently like 2 months pregnant and can abstain from all the foods and I certainly do NOT take any meds on the list. Will the aya potion interfere with the pregnancy in any way?

Check out what others are saying...
  1. [...] Food and medications to be avoided [...]

  2. Syrian Rue says:

    [...] http://www.ayahuasca.com/science/wha…to-be-avoided/ "lease note: Peganum harmala (Syrian rue) is a stronger MAOI than Banisteriopsis (Ayahuasca vine) and has potentially more serious interactions." time syrian reversibly inhibits mao-a but it does not mean that tyramine foods are A OKAY! because they can still cause quite a ass load of nausea to the user you just wont be hit by the dreaded serotonin syndrome as well large amoutns of beta carbolines will have a mao-b affinity just not large enough to cause the most problems with regular maoi's GS_googleAddAdSenseService("ca-pub-9888434945255495"); GS_googleEnableAllServices(); GA_googleAddSlot("ca-pub-9888434945255495", "RIU_skyscraper_header"); GA_googleFetchAds(); GA_googleFillSlot("RIU_skyscraper_header"); Not all suffering is necessary, Maybe no suffering is necessary. – Terence McKenna Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « My Little Greenhouse | – » [...]

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