"Focus on the things you can influence. Let go of the things you cannot change. May you have the wisdom to see the difference between the two." ~ Buddha
Safety is a top priority
are they safe for everyone?
Sorry, but NO. With certain mental or physical conditions it is not safe to journey with the Plants. Certain medications will give contraindications. And Plant Medicines can certainly not be taken when drugs are (still somewhere around) in the physical system. Please carefully read through the info on this page and read about the Contraindications & Precautions further down this page.
When you want to work with the Sacred Teacher Plant Medicines, it is important that you are physically and mentally prepared. If you ignore the warnings on what not to do or if it is not possible to take the Plant Medicines, attending a workshop can even be dangerous.
are sacred plants suitable for you?
they are suitable for...
Anyone looking for healing, meaning, answers and/or personal and spiritual growth. To cure disorders, unhealthy behaviours or patterns or to optimize your well-being by learning how to use your emotional, spiritual and creative potential to the max. Processing of loss or other grief and healing on both the physical and mental level. To find peace and relief. To contact your Higher Self in order to gain insights about who you really are. Anyone who is curious about what the Plants have to show and who wants to travel within and beyond ~ to the essence of you and other (spiritual) dimensions. And, for anyone who wants to gain access to the Source of All, to become one again with the universe, to experience that we are part of the whole and the whole is part of us, that we are all connected ~ ‘Somos Unos’
When you start drinking brews from Sacred Teacher Plants, it is important to know if this is safe for you to do so.
The Chakana Questionnare
We ask everyone who registers with Chakana to fill out a questionnaire to find out if drinking the Teacher Plant Medicines could bring any risks to you. And we always contact you by phone – to get to know each other a little and to talk about the reasons you have why you wish to join in a ceremony. This is for your own safety, and that of the others, and also for you to get a sense if you feel comfortable and have faith in doing a workshop with us.
Sacred Plant Medicines are a wonderful therapeutic remedy that can have a very positive impact on a person’s life. Many say, among us ourselves: ‘There is a life before and there is a life after drinking the Sacred Teacher Plant Medicines’. But because it is such a powerful vehicle, it is not without risk to take it. Professional guidance is a must! You have to take your own responsibility when it comes to your knowledge about your own physical and mental state. You should be aware that serious and violent reactions could occur if your physical state is not in the right condition to work with the Plants. Also, you could get into a state of paranoia, turn fear into panic, you can faint or become unwell. Traumas can come into your consciousness that, without the proper guidance, will cause even more damage rather than something being healed and processed.
So, again always make sure you go somewhere where professional guidance and safe practice is assured. And if you want to register, take our questionnaires seriously and call us in case of any doubt! Teacher Plant Medicines are a wonderful medicine for most, but certainly not suitable for everyone. Maybe one of the other workshops or therapies we offer might then be suitable for and welcome to you.
Sacred Plants are a wonderful therapeutic remedy that can have a very positive impact on a person’s life. Many say, among whom we ourselves: There is a life before and there is a life after drinking a sacred plant medicine. But because it is such a powerful tool, it is not without risk to take it. Professional guidance is a must! You have to take your own responsibility when it comes to your knowledge about your own physical and mental state. You should be aware that serious and violent reactions could occur if your physical state is not in the right condition to work with the tea. In this way you could get into a paranoia state, turn fear into panic, you can faint or become unwell. Traumas can also come into your consciousness that, without the proper guidance, will cause damage rather than that something is healed and processed. So if you want to register, take our intake form seriously and call us in case of any doubt! Plant Medicine is a wonderful medicine for most, but certainly not suitable for everyone.
be mindfull of your preparation
Sacred Plant Ceremony Preparation
If you consume brews from sacred teacher plants, it is necessary to prepare for this. You do this preparation on a spiritual and physical level. By preparing for the ceremony you are already tuning in to what is to come during it. It is recommended not to eat certain foods for a few days prior to the ceremony and not to consume alcohol and (recreational) drugs at least three days before the ceremony. For more information about diet contraindications and medication use, scroll down on this page. We also advise you not to have an orgasm three days before and after the ceremony. The energies that are released during orgasm can be better used during your journey and help you to get the insights clearer during and the days following.
In the days before the workshop try to reduce the hectic pace of daily life and make time for calm and peaceful reflection. Avoid crowds or chaotic environments if possible. Take time for yourself; allow yourself the space needed to get closer to you. Do not absorb too much information from the outside that distracts you from being with yourself (television, advertisement, social media, news, newspapers). Meditate, go for a walk, or read a book. Give yourself the space to make clear for which intentions do you go on your journey.
For your own benefit, please make sure to read the three points down below:
Getting in touch with yourself by drinking a brew from sacred teacher plants can sometimes be overwhelming and perhaps very exciting. Through what you have read about Sacred Plants or stories about the experiences of others you can already create a certain expectation about what the tea will bring you. But it is best try as much as possible to approach this journey without any expectations. Simply be prepared to surrender to what presents itself during your journey – that will make you travel in the best way possible. Trust that what you get is what you need and what you can handle. Be open to what the plants have to tell you. Observe and try to be without judgment. And above all: open your heart and have compassion for everything that comes to you.
It makes sense to take the time before the workshop to get your intention clear. Getting a clear intention without wanting to steer and create expectation is difficult, but having an intention is very important. So, right now, ask yourself what your motivation is to drink Plant Medicine. This can help you to put the experiences and insights you acquire in your journey into the right framework after the workshop. You could ask yourself what you need now in life and what will provide you with a solution, what you desire, or with what you need to be helped with and why at this moment. Specific questions that you have may also function as an intention. Try to put these questions in the theme that goes with them and ask the Sacred Plants for teachings and insights about this theme or situation. Make sure your intention is always expressed in a positive form, i.e. “I want/wish that…” or “Help me with…” and not “I do not / do not want…”
Try to focus your attention as much as possible. Be receptive to what the plants have to tell you, be curious and try to surrender to the experience. Release your thoughts and judgments and trust the wisdom of the plant. You are in a safe environment. We are there to help guide and assist you in your journey. Make sure to be aware of the fact that you are traveling and that what you are experiencing in the journey is an experience or memory and that you are not really living it at that moment. Nothing can happen to you during the journey, because you are actually lying on a mat even though you feel as though you are shooting through the universe or have become the memory instead of reliving it.
Stay with yourself as much as possible during the ceremony. Have minimal social interaction with your fellow travelers during the journey. Everyone is in his or her own process and we want to make sure that someone is not removed from their process. After the ceremony and during group sharing, there is the time to share and discuss your experiences. Also try not to go into any distraction and instead focus your attention inside as much as possible. Of course you can always communicate with one of the supervisors at any time if necessary.
- Mutual respect for each other
- No sexual or aggressive behavior
- The use of telephones or electronic devices during the ceremony is absolutely not allowed
- It is not allowed to make videos and / or audio recordings during the ceremonies and sharings
- We share a house together during the workshop, try to keep the house clean and livable. Clean up after yourself and what ever you used. Help with household chores is also appreciated and sometimes even necessary
your diet and things you should consider
Contraindications & precautions
It is important to review the topics below before you start a journey with Sacred Plant brews! Please read carefully and contemplate before you decide to participate in a ceremony. Click on the topics below for more information about the subject. And always call us if you have any questions!
Be aware that if you drink a brew from Sacred Plant Medicines, it is important for yourself and us to know if you are in the right physical and mental condition to take these medicines. That is why we ask everyone who registers with Chakana to fill out an intake form and we always contact you by telephone. In cases of a history of psychoses, schizophrenia and sometimes borderline, we do not recommend taking part in a workshop. (But then again it can depend on the nature of the problems. Sometimes psychoses are confused with other phenomena like a trauma that comes to the surface and wants to be heard/ recognized. Still, caution needs to be taken!)
If you have a past with physical complaints such as cardiovascular diseases, severe kidney problems, strokes, cerebral infarctions, severe neurological disorders, or epilepsy, we also advise against participating in one of our workshops. And we advise you to always contact a doctor or pharmacist when in doubt about your own conditions and ability to consume the Plants.
The moment you’ve registered with us we will send you all the information on how to best prepare yourself for a workshop. It is wise to really create space in your daily routines for this coming event. So do not plan as if you are making a pitstop in between extremely busy times. We advise you to watch your daily activities and diet for a bit and also create some time after the retreat (if possible) in order to be able to process all of what you have experienced.
The MAO-inhibiting effect of the drink requires following an appropriate diet for approximately three days in advance. The MAO in Sacred Plant brews is in fact a reversible inhibitor of Monoamine Oxidase or a RIMA. RIMAs have a shorter effect than the pharmaceutical variant of a MAOI. Nevertheless, combinations with certain medications are hazardous. Especially antidepressants and other emotional oppressors must be avoided at all times because they can lead to life-threatening situations! In addition, it can have a damping or strengthening effect (with panic as a result) on your journey. Therefore, always prepare well in advance if you use one of these medications. Always check with any medication you take what the interaction will be with the MAOI/ RIMA.
All drugs must be avoided in combination with the Plants! In case of medication and drugs a much longer time of being off of them is needed then the stated 3 days for food and (small amounts of) alcohol. Some food products may cause nausea or headaches, and therefore it is better to avoid them 24 hours and up to 3 days in advance to the ceremonies.
MAO stands for Monoamine Oxidase; two enzymes, MAO-A and MAO-B, occur naturally within the human gastrointestinal tract. The MAO barriers are a safety mechanism that protects us from lightly hazardous food. For example: Without these enzymes, a slice of old cheese could floor us.
Although it is often said that the Sacred Plant medicine is an MAO-inhibitor, we are actually talking about a RIMA, a reversible inhibitor of Monoamine Oxidase. There are some significant differences between an MAOI and a RIMA. First of all, MAOIs last much longer; pharmaceutical MAOIs tend to linger for a few days to a few weeks. RIMAs, on the other hand, only last a few hours. Sacred Plant brews RIMA mechanism also shows a more selective inhibition than its synthetic counterparts. These differences explain why there are no known victims of Sacred Plant brews, as opposed to the incidental deaths caused by synthetic MAOI drugs.
There is also evidence that the harmala alkaloids of the drug act exclusively on MAO-A, in a mechanism similar to Moclobemide, an anti-depressant with no dietary restrictions. For other antidepressants (e.g. SSRI’s), so find out if you are taking these medications!
Many foods contain the amino acid “tyramine”. A certain amount of tyramine is no problem for our system. But if the MAO enzymes are inhibited, tyramine can be freely absorbed, in larger amounts than our body can handle. When tyramine enters our system, it moves the stored adrenaline in our adrenal glands. Once adrenaline is dumped into our bloodstream, it can lead to a hypertensive crisis, which can then lead to severe headaches, excessive sweating, enlarged pupils, stiff neck, palpitations, high blood pressure and, in severe cases, heart failure. Releasing excess adrenaline can also cause feelings of anxiety and ultimately panic, which only makes the situation worse.
Plant Medicines do not fully inhibit the breakdown of tyramine, allowing the body to regulate it to a certain extent. Therefore, there are no known victims as a result of eating food containing tyramine while the Plant medicine was being taken, but it is still wise to proceed with caution and this is especially true for people with high blood pressure or known heart problems and people who tend to get stressed or nervous easily.
It is up to each individual to decide to what extent he or she wants to avoid food containing tyramine. We do advise you not to eat any blue cheese/over-ripened cheese or consume any alcohol at least 3 days before the use of the brew.
- Ripened cheese/ blue cheese (Avoid!)
- Each alcoholic beverage (Avoid!)
- Meat that is not fresh, liver in particular
- Processed meat, such as sausage, pepperoni, salami, etc.
- Protein dietary supplements
- Protein extracts
- Fish which is not fresh or has undergone any kind of processing: Smoked, fermented, etc.
- Yeast in any form (bread is possible because it doesn’t contain much yeast)
- Soy sauce and fermented soybean paste
- Fermented tofu
- Fermented bean curd
- Canned soup, broth or any soup containing protein extracts
- Miso soup
- Crushed or overly ripe fruit
- Dried fruit including, but not limited to, dried grapes and figs
- Avocado and guacamole
- Non-alcoholic drinks (e.g. non-alcoholic beer)
- Dairy products which have not been refrigerated or which are close to their expiry date
- Shrimp paste
- Broad beans
- Large quantities of peanuts
- Large quantities of raspberries
- Large quantities of spinach
It is up to each individual to decide to what extent he or she wants to avoid food containing tyramine. But do not eat any blue cheese /over-ripened cheese or consume any alcohol at least 3 days before the use of the brew.
If you want to be sure of not having any negative effects with food in the combination with the Plant brews try to avoid eating food rich in tyramine at least 24 hours before and after the use of a Sacred Plant Medicines ceremony, and check the quantities of these products yourself. Our advice is to be moderate if you don’t know what the effects will be for you. We do advise you to eat fresh healthy food and to avoid fasting! You need your energy during the workshops, so do not exhaust yourself by depriving yourself of food.
The following types of drugs, medication and herbs have contraindications with the Plant Medicines and are therefore dangerous!
!! This list is not absolute or complete so always check, check, double check with your doctor or pharmacist when in doubt!!
- SSRIs (any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) such as the herb Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) and the medications paroxetine (Seroxat), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram, (Cipramil), fluvoxamine (Fevarin) and sertraline (Zoloft)
- Appetite inhibitors (diet pills)
- CNS (Central Nervous System) Suppressors
- Amphetamines (including meth and dex and variants)
- Antihypertensives (high blood pressure medication)
- Medication for asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory problems
- Antihistamines, medicines against colds, sinus problems, hay fever or allergies (Actifed DM, Benadryl, Benylin, Chlor-Trimeton, Compoz, etc)
- Amphetamine (speed), MDMA (XTC)
- LSA (morning glory and baby Hawaiian wood rose seeds)
- Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel)
- Amoxapine (Asendin)
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Buspiron (BuSpar)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
- Cyclizine (Marezine)
- Desipramine (Petrofrane)
- Dextromethorfan (DXM)
- Disopyramide (Norpace)
- Doxepin (Sinequan)
- Flavoxaat hydrochloride (Urispas)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)
- Loratadine (Claritine)
- Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Methylfenidaat (Ritalin)
- Nortriptyline (Aventyl)
- Oxybutynine chloride (Ditropan)
- Orfenadrine (Norflex)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat)
- Fenelzine (Nardil)
- Procaïnamide (Pronestyl)
- Protriptyline (Vivactil)
- Quinidine (Quinidex)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Johanneskruid (St John’s Wort)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- Tricyclische antidepressiva (Amitriptyline, Elavil)
- Trimipramine (Surmontil)
!! This list is not absolute or complete so always check, check, double check with your doctor or pharmacist when in doubt!!
Always be wise with the use of alternative medicines, herbs and vitamin preparations. Not all can be taken limitlessly, and some are not suitable for all.
We advise you not to take recreational drugs at least one week in advance. Special attention should be paid to the drugs and medications that work on the Serotonin receptors as these in combination with an MAOI can cause the so-called life-threatening serotonin syndrome. This applies to MDMA (XTC) and MDMA-related substances. The use of Marijuana and/or Hash is also better to stop for a while, as we have noticed that the use of these substances makes it difficult for participants to enter the trip.
Don’t consume alcohol for a while, we recommend at least 3 days before and after the ceremony.
The purer your body and mind are, the deeper you will be able to journey and the more you will get out of the experience. So, try to avoid extreme situations, horror or porn films, too much exposure to the internet/ cellphone, unhealthy food, … you know…
It is possible that you have taken something that should not be combined with an MAO-inhibitor.
You may also have eaten something unnoticed that should not be combined with an MAO-inhibitor. The following complaints can then arise:
– severe headache
– feeling of intense unrest
– not being able to see well anymore
– overall “lousy” feeling.
In all cases, and in case of other sudden complaints that you cannot explain during the ceremony, report this immediately to us.
always happy to hear from you
If you would like to know more or want to know who we are, you can always give us a call.(If there is no answer we will call you back asap. If we are in workshops this can take a little more time…) or you can book a free ‘Get to know’ appointment in the online agenda and we will call you at your chosen date and time.
Rather call directly? (If we don’t answer the first time we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.)
Of course you can also send us a mail if the info you are looking for is not on this site.