The Master Plant Diet

The Amazon is home to thousands of medicinal plants that indigenous traditions have used for wellness purposes for millennia. Master plants are considered healers and teachers that bring higher knowledge and understanding. The practice of fasting a master plant is done for the purpose of both learning and healing.

Connection to a master plant allows guidance and sacred wisdom to be transmitted to the dieter via dreams, introspection and ceremony. The goal for those who begin a master plant diet is one of transformation and requires complete dedication.

The key to a successful diet rests on the strict adherence to specific requirements both during, and after the diet has been completed. By honoring these rules of the diet, a pathway is opened for the plant and its medicine to be fully integrated.

After the diet has been closed, the teachings and the medicine will continue to work and transform the dieter. Strength, patience and commitment will play a key role in this experience and so we ask anyone who chooses this path to think well on their intentions and goals.

The Process


Upon arrival to the center, you will meet with the principle healer to review your medical profile and intentions for the retreat. At this point you are prescribed a specific master plant that you will consume on a daily basis. The diet is officially opened once the plant preparation has been ingested into the body - it is in this moment that a connection begins between you and your specific master plant. The infusion is generally taken once or twice per day, for the duration of the retreat. During this time the dieter will make efforts to strengthen the connection with their plant, which is achieved through introspection and the dream state.

Isolation is normally a key restriction that enhances the longer-term dieter’s connection with their plant. By detaching from outside stimuli, the dieter can focus on self-contemplation and become open to the plant’s medicine and higher wisdom. For those dieting the shorter 10 day process, there is no rigid isolation restriction however, we encourage you to seek time alone to connect with your plant and process the ceremonial experiences. There will be plenty of time allotted for you to sit in meditation or journal.

The plant’s medicine is cumalitive, which means the relationship will build and strengthen over time. Insights and teachings should come both immediately through dreams, epiphanies and ceremony, and then continue once the diet has been closed. It is through this process that one begins to release traumas, stagnant emotions and unwanted energies. This is the profundity of the master plant, which has now become a spirit ally and will always work with and guide you in years to come.

Preparation for the Diet

The master plants will communicate through subtleties, and if the mind and body are not quiet, these communications will not be heard. To ensure that the diet is executed safely and with success, there are traditional requirements that must be followed. The traditional Shipibo diet is challenging and requires austerity. Excluding salt, oil, sugar, caffeine, spices, red meat, pork, processed foods, sex and media entertainment serves a higher purpose and allows you to withdraw from common stimuli of the material world, and prepare for communication within the spiritual world.

A clean and healthy diet will help the medicine do its work. The less physical toxins the medicine needs to purge, the more work it can do with you on higher levels.  Eat sparingly the few days prior to traveling to the Amazon and try to stick with whole foods. Fruits and vegetables, brown rice and whole grains, fresh juices, and fish (cooked without oil) are recommended. Simple, bland food is best and the more plant-based your diet is, the better. The following is a guideline (and not required):

·      Avoid processed foods (especially those with sugar and salt). 

·      Avoid fried, excessively fatty, oily, acidic (citrusy), fermented and spicy foods. (No Kombucha).   

·      Avoid aged cheese and dairy products.

·      Avoid pork and red meat products,

·      Suspend or reduce the consumption of salt (including processed foods with high amounts of salt).

·      Suspend or reduce the consumption of sugars (including sugar in processed foods).

·      Suspend or reduce the consumption of onions, garlic, chilies or strong spices.

·      Suspend coffee, tea, energy drinks and any beverages containing caffeine.

·      Suspend alcohol and all recreational drug use (including Cannabis) at least 5 -7 days before and after ceremony.

·      Suspend sexual activity for at least five days before and after ceremony.

·      Drink plenty of water and get good sleep.

Requirements during the Diet

Remember that the plant’s medicine and spirit must be given a chance to germinate and grow within you. The following dietary and behavioral restrictions will help to ensure this and must be followed once you have arrived to the retreat and begin the work:

  • No caffeine (coffee or teas), no salt, spices, sugar, oils or processed foods

  • Daily meals consisting of bland foods like Plantains, Rice, Yucca, Eggs, Fish (Bocachica, Doncella)

  • Only natural body and hygiene products

  • No western medications (see detailed medication restrictions)

  • No physical contact with other people (at the center or other areas you might find yourself)

  • No media, social media and any other form of loud music or entertainment

  • No sexual activity (of any kind)

Post-Diet Requirements

Once the diet has been closed, the process enters the final phase of maturation and integration. During this time period the plant’s medicine is strengthening its roots and continuing its teachings through intuitive messaging. In some cases, dreams and visions might even intensify.

Often times the body is still quite sensitive and it takes some time to return to old eating habits (in some cases people find they no longer have a desire or craving for these past habits). Regardless of the case, continuing to observe some of the diet restrictions can be helpful as you integrate back into your life routines. Some restrictions you might consider slowly phasing back during the post-diet stage include the consumption of pork, red meat and sex for (extending 30 days after the diet has been closed).

The diet is a powerful vehicle to achieve mental, emotional and physical healing. Spiritual growth and transformation are compounded via the diet experience. This is an opportunity to cement an intimate relationship with the intelligent world of the plants and their spirits. By investing your intention and energy during the diet, the plants return to you the blessings of their medicine and wisdom. This relationship will continue to grow, blossom and evolve through out your life’s journey.

Some of the Master Plants offered for Diet

Ajo Sacha

Ajo Sacha (Mansoa alliacea)is a shrub that grows in the upper Amazon jungle. In english it translates to false garlic as “Ajo” is the word for garlic and “Sacha” is the word for false. Its leaves, bark and roots have the smell and taste that resembles that of garlic - but it is not a part of the garlic family of plants, thus the origin of its name. It is considered a mild medicinal, and perfect for someone who is beginning to diet and work with master plants for the first time.

Ajo Sacha cleanses the energetic body and digestive system. Also recognized as a powerful blood cleanser and immunity booster. Indigenous healers view this plant with spiritual powers that protects against negative energies and purify the body. This plant is especially helpful for those beginning work with Ayahuasca for the first time.

Ajo Sacha.jpg



Bobinsana (Calliandra angustifolia) is considered a powerful teacher plant that can induce lucid and colorful dreams. The Shipibo work with Bobinsana in a variety of situations that call for protection, as Bobinsana is known for her ability to enhance one’s resistence. A common plant used for diet, Shipibo onanyas will prescribe Bobinsana to those looking to enhance empathy, compassion, clarity and concentration.

Bobinsana grows to be no more than 6 meters in height and is found mostly on the side of rivers and streams in the Amazon Basin. She is easily identifiable by the striking pink-reddish flowers. An extraction of the entire plant is often prepared as a strengthening and energizing tonic. The bark can be brewed to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.


Renaquilla & Renaco

Renaco (or Renaquilla) is considered a Palo Maestro (Master Tree) with high roots that fall into the ground, and then ascend up again creating a beautiful tangled maze of powerful trunk. Its medicine is extracted from the inside part of the bark and is used to heal broken bones, connective tissue, contusions and lesions. It can support healthy blood circulation and is used as an anti-inflammatory. Those who diet Renaco are reinforced with strength. The spirit of the Renaco tree will often times enter into dreams to teach the dieter its wisdom through song.


Pinon Colorado

Pinon Colorado is a shrub with leaves that have three digits of a deep darkish red color. This plant is used to clean unwanted energies in the body and accelerate healing. It is often used as an ingredient in cleansing baths and helps to relieve emotional discomfort. It is also known to assist on a subconscious level, opening up visions in the dream state. Dieting this plant will help to empower your word and relieve depression & stress.

Pinon Colorado is prescribed to those who are suffering from psychological aggression as it protects from outside negative energies, while also helping to release negative thought patterns.


Nihue Rao

The Nihue Rao tree is a highly revered Palo Maestro in the Amazon that builds up the auric field and works directly on the nervous system, specifically cerebral function.

It is recommended that anyone working with this plant have prior experience dieting other master plants as it is quite powerful. Nihue Rao helps to re-wire neural pathways, deepen intuition, improve cognitive function and strengthen concentration and single-pointed focus. Prior to working with this plant it is important the dieter is energetically aligned and connected to the heart as it will fuel ones volition and manifest thought and word quickly.



Aya  cooking.jpg


Ayahuasca is a sacred brew that has been used for millennia throughout Amazonian communities for healing purposes. A combination of two plants, the Ayahuasca vine and Chacruna leaves, the final preparation is a dense tea used in a ceremonial setting for the purposes of healing. This brew is separate and distinct from the master plant preparation.

When taken in a safe and controlled environment and under the guidance of reputable and experienced facilitators, Ayahuasca expands consciousness and leads to deeper truths and spiritual realizations. Ayahuasca enables us to experience the world from the heart and cracks open feelings of compassion and wisdom that call us back home.



The Ayahuasca that is served at the Nihue Rao Healing Center is a refined and high-quality medicine. It is exclusively prepared with fresh Ayahuasca vine and Chacruna leaves which are cooked and consumed the same day. 

Ceremonies are held four times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. The evening begins at 8pm and closes no later than 4am. Drinking Ayahuasca is not mandatory. If you choose to not drink for what ever reason you may do so, however we ask that you still attend ceremony.