Through my personal experience, I believe the healing power of Ayahuasca truly lies in the dieta process.
Before arriving at Ani Shinan, I had already experienced 8 Ayahuasca ceremonies in different parts of Brazil, but the physical healing and spiritual insights I received through my dieta process with Marosa were way deeper than all of my past ceremonies combined.
If you think about Ayahuasca in the physical sense, it is a vine that grows naturally in the Amazon, but in order for it to really thrive it needs the support and foundation of a tree to grow.
The two coexist together, yet somewhat modern adaptations of ancient indigenous spiritual practices left behind the importance of dieting in the process of the Ayahuasca journey.
From talking to healers about their dietas, I’ve discovered that dieting a plant or tree is a very intense healing process that can help you heal and treat diseases and problems that weren’t thought to have a cure with modern Western medicine and also can help you learn more about the shamanic path.
So let’s dive into the dieta process and explore a few of the Teacher trees and plants that you can diet while staying in the mystical grounds of Ani Shinan.
What is a Teacher Tree/Plant dieta?
First and foremost, let’s cover what a Teacher Tree/Plant dieta is and why people choose to go through the process of doing one.
A Teacher Tree/Plant dieta is a period of intense cleansing and healing that can be used to cure all types of diseases and illnesses ranging from cancer to psychological problems, addiction, depression, and anxiety.
Dietas have been used by the Shipibo for ages and are essentially the path that a Shaman takes to become a healer or “curandero” – a person who heals through the power of Ayahuasca ceremonially.
Whether you seek to be connected to light energy, heal physical ailments including mental health issues and addictions, connect to your higher self or begin your journey to discovering (and some would say “re-covering”) the healer within you, a dieta is the natural progression for spiritual warriors who seek to evolve themselves.
The dieta begins upon ingesting the Teacher plant or tree that you are dieting.
Generally for dietas, in the first week of the process you have to drink a tea that contains a mixture of the oil of the plant or tree that you are dieting with 1 L of water, combined with tobacco.
Afterwards, you must wait 15 days before starting to drink Ayahuasca again, and then normally you drink Ayahuasca either 2 or 4 times per week during your dieta.
The longer the dieta, the more liquid you drink in the beginning.
After you start, you must follow a strict plant based diet which excludes sex, masturbation, alcohol, and processed sugar in order to truly experience the effects of the dieta. It is a complete detox and cleansing of your mind, body, and spirit.
The reason for this is that your Teacher plant’s energy has the ability to teach you lessons both while awake and through dreams when you are in a clean state. The diet is closed with a final ayahuasca ceremony. Afterwards, you can slowly return to a diet of normal food.
If you are really interested in learning more about the details of the dieta process in the Ayahuasca traditions of the Amazon, the Ayahuasca Foundation provides a more detailed explanation of how it works.
Below, we will take a look at a few of the plants and trees that you can diet at Ani Shinan.
Of course, if you are not sure which dieta is right for you, feel free to reach out to our founder Marco Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a personal call and discuss which plant or tree suits you best in your journey.
There are so many healing trees and plants that are used for different diseases or treatments, so this isn’t a complete list. It’s best to consult with our Shipibo healers at Ani Shinan.
Marosa is the plant of love. It has tiny white flowers and leaves like blades
It is prescribed to connect oneself to one’s own feelings and emotions and to open the heart. Marosa is also good for increasing self-confidence.
It carries a special connection with the animals of the water such as serpents and fish.
The mother of this plant is the anaconda and it’s common to have visions of a giant anaconda or snake during ceremonies.
It always grows close to the river, therefore it carries the energy of the water.
The mother/anaconda lives in the water and comes out during the dieta process.
She is good at balancing masculine and feminine energies and restoring the nervous system to a state of rest.
She helps you attract benevolent people with good intentions and helps you to set healthy boundaries with people in your life who create or possess chaotic or challenging energy for you.
With Marosa, you will experience greater love, increased self-esteem, and self-love and be aware of more beauty in life. You learn to truly love yourself and others.
Excellent at healing long-standing conditions of the female reproductive system
Emotional and Spiritual Benefits
Attracts loving people
Helps establish healthy boundaries between you and others
The masculine spirit of the Copaiba tree is used to cure the mind and body during a 3 month dieta process.
It is particularly used to treat ulcers and other digestive diseases.
Copaiba oil by itself can also be used to cure hemorrhoids.
Above the manager of our Ani Shinan community tells us a bit about the Copaiba (left) and Katawa (right) trees during a medicinal plant and tree tour in the jungle.
Katawa (Ana in Shipibo)
Katawa is a tree that is normally dieted for 6 months.
Besides being used for dietas, it is used by the Shipibo for fishing because its poisonous sap paralyzes the fish in the water.
This is an incredibly powerful tree to diet.
If you are looking for a physical and mental reset and aren’t afraid to go the distance, Katawa may be for you
This tree’s energy starts to permeate every ounce of your being allowing lessons, teachings and clarity to shine through in a way that you may have never experienced in this lifetime.
This is an excellent tree to diet for HIV treatment as well as alcohol and drug addictions.
The Shihuahuaco tree is another powerful Teacher Tree which can be dieted for 4 months to 2 years (the longer the better for all Teacher Tree dietas)
The Shipibo healers call it a “general medicine doctor” since they say it teaches us how to cure everything.
It is found in the Amazon rainforest in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia.
The Shihuahuaco tree’s healing properties include successful treatment of many illnesses including HIV
The spirit of Shihuahuaco is one of the highest in the Shipibo tradition, with one of the most highly evolved plant consciousnesses.
It is said that the spirit appears as a large-dimensional man whose body shines brightly like highly polished metal.
A participant normally needs to diet a few plants before dieting the more challenging Shihuahuaco tree, since the dieter is tested with their shadow aspects.
This powerful spirit focuses more on the mind; cleansing undesirable habitual thoughts and calming mental activity.
It helps anyone with a strong character, who may have experienced hardship, or who may carry heavy emotions like shame, guilt, remorse, anger or paranoia.
Shihuahuaco helps to protect against oppressive environments and strengthens the auric field to prevent dense energies from entering the body—great for sensitive people who are affected by other energies.
He aligns the dieter to the light, helping them to feel more compassion and a greater desire to help others.
This highly respected master teacher will support people working with yoga therapies, energy work, or anyone exposed to strong energies and characters.
Relieves or protects against rheumatism
Emotional and Spiritual Benefits
Heals mind, clears thoughts
Good for guilt or if you have experienced hardship in oppressive environments
Good to relieve aggressive energy
Harmonizes and calms the mind and thoughts
Helps to open the heart
Strong energetic protections (arkanas)
Clears fears of strong or oppressive energies
Aligns and strengthens dieter to the light and love
Protects from dense energies
Yoga therapy, people that work with energies
Prevents dense energies entering the body
Gives compassion and promotes helping others
Machinga is a strong male Teacher Tree spirit, similar to Ayahuma. Usually it is dieted for 4 months to a year.
It also contains a non toxic milky sap that can be placed on tumors and wrapped with a bandage to reduce the size.
The tree has the most extraordinary serpentine roots, like huge anacondas.
Machinga is recommended for people who have suffered physical trauma, for example broken bones.
It helps greatly with healing these traumas – even many years after the event when it seems that the body is now healed.
People are usually given a couple of large spoonfuls at first to see how they react and then the dose may or may not be increased depending on the effect that the first dose has.
Many people experience trembling and great pain when taking it – especially if they have had a lot of physical traumas in the past.
Ishpingo is a tree that you normally diet for 6 months. Dieting this tree helps you improve your relationship with yourself and others.
Ishpingo taught our healer Gilberto at Ani Shinan the Warmi icaro, which is used to call in and attract your soul partner.
Check out the video below as Gilberto sings this beautiful icaro to us that came from his time dieting Ishpingo.
Lupuna is the biggest and tallest tree in the Amazon rainforest. A dieta with Lupuna lasts 3 month to a year.
This is a really powerful tree which teaches you “general medicine.”
It is the strictest dieta, food wise. You can’t eat sweet fruit during the process.
You can only eat a diet of strictly fish and plantains. This is the traditional dieta for Shipibo healers.
Lupuna is the Giant of the Amazon, and therefore very fittingly, its spirit avatar is also a Giant.
Lupuna’s medicine is very versatile, helping stabilize, protect, straighten and strengthen, as well as calm and ground you.
You can call on Lupuna to help strengthen and straighten the mind and the body as well as to help you ground and relax.
You can call on Lupuna for just about anything you need help with, as it also helps with connecting to the heart.
Attached to its enormous trunk are vast buttress roots, the visible parts of which grow up to several meters in height and extend up to 4 or 5 meters radially from the trunk.
Its roots must be so huge as they support a trunk that is 5-10 meters in diameter.
It would take 10-20 grown men to form a circle around a grown Lupuna;s trunk.