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Preparing for Plant Medicine


If you’re reading this because you have made a conscious decision to embark on exploring your higher purpose or just plainly thirsting to connect with your ancestors through plant medicine – CONGRATULATIONS! It is a commendably brave decision that only specific types of people undertake fearlessly but respectably. However, preparation for the ceremony itself requires the same
brevity and seriousness in order for medicine to be equally effective.  

In many cases, plant medicine tends to activate (work with you) the minute you start agreeing to seek its support, direction or pathway. Admittedly, there will be instances where other people will experience the true power of plant medicine only when they get to ceremony – this is fairly common. The aforementioned ‘instantaneous activation’ of medicine means you will likely experience life lessons, in whole or in part, that will largely crystalise or have a greater context in ceremony. Thus, paying close attention to what transpires to you before ceremony can become important in mentally preparing you for what might be in store for you.

Diet Guideline

Plant medicine is sacred and by default requires to be treated with the respect it deserves and warrants – this cannot be stressed enough. Part of the power of these ceremonies lies in how participants show up, particularly in body and mind. When it comes to the medicine journey you always get out what you put in, ensuring the mind is in great health and the body is well nourished for the ceremony to be effective.

One of the major reasons participants are required to avoid certain foods is to ensure the medicine experienced is not compromised. Please note any compromise affects all participants of the ceremony, which also means the sacredness and seriousness of the medicine requires a mature and responsible approach.

Foods or Things to Avoid:

  • Salt (or salted foods);
  • Sugar (chocolates, sweets, pie, ice cream, croissants, baked goods, etc.);
  • Dairy Products;
  • Canned foods (baked beans, canned vegetables and fruit, etc.);
  • Red Meat (or related products);
  • Pork (or related products);
  • Fermented Foods, (breads, sauerkraut, pickles, olives, etc.);
  • Spicy Food (or spices in food);
  • Processed Foods;
  • Fried Foods;
  • Prescription Drugs (antidepressants like SSRIs, high blood medication, sleep medications, MAO-inhibitors, etc.);
  • Recreational drugs (cocaine, opiates, marijuana, MDMA and other psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin);
  • Alcohol;
  • Caffeine;
  • Animal Fats;
  • Nutritional Supplements (protein powders);
  • Sex (or indeed self-love).

Foods to Consume:

  • Peas, Beans and Legumes (Not Canned);
  • Fresh or Cooked Vegetables;
  • Fresh Fruits and Juices;
  • Fresh Herbs (Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Dill, etc.), Ginger and Turmeric.

Intention Setting and Mental Preparation

The power of medicine lies with the divine intelligence of Spirit, which therefore means every participant needs to ensure they set a clear intention of why they’re attending a specific ceremony. This allows Spirit to weave answers in the most profound ways unimaginable. The act of setting intention should ideally be written down, this is powerful for manifesting or communicating with
the universe or spirit but also important after the medicine (see post-ceremony below). The act of setting intention does not mean one has to have a list of items, it is perfectly common to have one intention. Herewith some examples of intention:

  • Connecting to ancestors and guides to
    clarify spiritual and life purpose;
  • Comprehension of any blocks affecting
  • Support and direction for relationship

One of the most critical aspects of attending ceremony is mental preparation, this largely refers to clearing one’s mind of all negativity and grounding oneself. Pessimism can take shape in many forms in life – unconstructive arguments at home or work, depressing news on TV (or programmes that project too much disheartening emotions) and social media. On this basis, DoYouAndThrive recommends avoiding these as reasonably as possible in the week leading towards ceremony (5 days prior). The mind absorbs negativity and this affects how you show up in ceremony which impacts one’s experience as well. To ground, participants can explore any of the following (or indeed what works for you):

  • Yoga or Gym to release endorphins;
  • Meditation sacred space;
  • Prayer;
  • Taking walks or Spending time in gardens,
    parks, nature etc.;
  • Explore spaces that bring joy (board
    games, painting, soothing music, etc.).

Intention Setting and Mental Preparation

Post Ceremony Integration

The last part of the plant medicine process ends with integrating the experience of ceremony, in other words – consolidating what messages were received or what showed up. One of the reasons it is advisable to write down your intention, is because during that consolidation process participants get to review if the purpose of going on ceremony was met. However, it is worth noting that spirituality is not linear or black and white in how things are communicated, it is therefore possible to miss some key aspects of the entire experience due to how it could have been communicated by ancestors and guides. Collective integration can really help in further understanding where there is lack of clarity.

The plant medicine process ends from a ceremony perspective, but a new course of direction starts by taking action on what has come up in medicine. This new path can take months or more, depending on what it is. As the saying goes, the real journey starts after the ceremony ends.

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