• Members of the previous forum can retrieve their temporary password here, (login and check your PM).



member for the trees
Senior Member
The South American term "vegitalisimo" means a rare and highly trusted category of "maestro"(ayahuascero) or shaman, indicating that
they derive all their learning from the plants, and work in union with and for the plant teachers. Some are married exclusively to the
spirits of particular plants. They are trusted by many in particular because, if true to path, their agenda is the same as the plants..
Only some (a minority) of curanderos/maestros etc. earn the "vegitalisimo" title...it is said to be the most difficult or disciplined of the paths..

Ref: personal informant plus
See: Portals of power: Shamanism in South America by E. Jean Matteson Langdon, Gerhard Baer. University of New Mexico Press, 1992

any suggestions..?
Vegitalismo, or "Dieta", appears to be an interesting shamanic outcropping
with a strict diet of vegetables and abstinence of sexual activity.

I'm glad you posted this topic, it's peaked my interest and I am doing
a little reading on it now. Check out this article by Lunaya Shekinah
if you haven't already. She dissects the fundamentals of the tradition
which I found really informative. This is an interesting subject, thanks
again for bringing it to my attention.
..thank you for the link, bassmethod,

good to see the nexus interfacing with the shamanic domain.
i do think a strict 'dieta' (if one can stick to it in the modern world)
can greatly enhance the learning process with plant entheogens (teachers)...
One small correction, it's Vegetalismo :)

And, while I understand when you talk about plants being the learning source for these people, I wouldnt go as far as saying that its their only source of learning. Talking from a psychological point of view, no human being learns everything from one single source. A person's family and friends/acquaintances, the general history and interaction with others, experiences in the jungle, etc etc, everything will also teach them things one way or another.

By the way I also wouldnt classify vegetalismo as one "higher" class of shamanism. Vegetalismo is a mestizo phenomenon, meaning it comes as a mixture of indigenous "shamanic" knowledge, as well as the more mixed 'urban' amazonian communities and people. Consequently, being in the border between the forest and the city, vegetalismo has also received a fair bit of attention and influence from other aspects of the outside world. There is nothing 'pure' about it (which doesnt make it less valid), but its not like they have received a divine knowledge independently from the world. Probably there are all sorts of indigenous cultures who have no idea what 'vegetalismo' mean, even though their rituals and path may be just or more powerful/strict than the vegetalistas.

Also one thing regarding the dietas. There is no consensus amongst different vegetalistas/indigenous people about what the right dieta is. In fact, something that is a big taboo for one (like, say, alcohol) can be a part of the sacred rituals of another (like, say, the shuars and their fermented maize). I have an old book (O Índio e as Plantas Alucinógenas, by Sangirardi Jr) that talks about the shuars also having orgiastic rituals with ayahuasca to celebrate when they cut off and hanged oponents heads as trophies.... Lovely ;)
:) ..thanks endlessness.

it was because i've seen the term being used in a modern context i wanted to clarify a meaning (& spelling).
the definition i gave was more along the Portals of Power line...
I highly suggest the book Vegetalismo by Eduardo Luna, if you can find it. It is the number one book on the subject.
Also I disagree with the above portholes of power perception of vegetalismo. Eduardo Luna maintains that vegetalismo is more loose then the above description. Vegetalistas are in a sense a type of curandero (or intuitive, animistic or spiritualist healer) who learns from the spirits of plants. There are many types of vegetalistas as well not all of whom work with ayahuasca. Perfumeros, Toers, camalongeros, tobacaneros, as well as ayahuasceros, to name a few. I'm not buying this notion that the term as well as the practice has to be seen within a very narrow bandwidth. I've studied with vegetalistas for over 6 years and have learned that the practice of vegetalismo is not puritanical and has a wide sweeping range of possibilities and plenty of room for adaptation within pracitioners... Not mention that it's extremely individualistic and differs from practitioner to practioner in form and practice a great deal.

Vegetalismo translated may better be defined as animistic/spiritualistic intuitive herbalism.
Has anyone speculated as to why specific diets may allow for enhanced experience in these realms? I read on wikipedia (unreliable?) "Further mechanistic studies indicate that beta-carboline derivatives inhibit DNA topoisomerases and interfere with DNA synthesis."

It seems to me that DNA can only form with what we put in our bodies. I know nothing about all this really, but maybe these diets optimize the Aya-DNA interactions.

Has anyone tried such dieting, noticed much difference? And anyone have links to the type of food involved? I think I'm going to start looking into all of this
But as I said, there is no consensus on what diet is ideal, so which culture/shaman/vegetalista are you going to base your decisions on? there are many contradictions between them. Whatever you one choses will be arbitrary, which isnt to say you shouldnt test it out if you want... If you want to do it, go with whatever you feel more connected to.

Personally I think its more related to intentions and focusing on a task with a symbolic meaning, or sometimes its about stressing the body, or sometimes its rather about changing habits to gain perspective which is further consolidated during the psychedelic experience, or about avoiding unhealthy food one eats in daily life.
...avoiding unhealthy food one eats in daily life.

..one version of 'dieta theory' could be:

Mono-Amine Oxidaze (the enzyme) is there to (amongst other things) break down toxic amines which are found in
many foods. (I hypothesize this is an evolution to deal with broader diets or more processed foods.)
The more of such foods an individual consumes regularly, the more their system strives to break down such potentially
accumulative toxins. Am unfortunate side effect of this is that other amines (e.g tryptamines, both endogenous &
external) are affected in their metabolism. (it is true certain amines can occupy avail.MAO thus boosting tryptamine
effects, but these effects are changed & sometimes unpleasant)

An individual whose MAO system is less 'stressed' regularly therefore may have different neurological
metabolism. This could result in greater sensitivity or enhancement of trptamines within the system.

..toxic amines when consumed directly under MAOIs can result in mentally chaotic, as well as physically uncomfortable
(sometimes dangerous) symptoms. e.g. chick peas, lentils, coffee, nicotine..(or tobacco to be more correct)

i understand, therefore, why shamanic traditions would emphasize only what optimally should be eaten (according to
their particular cultural experience). some diets are also aimed at cleaning out the system, allowing better
absorption of the medicence via the stomach wall, and require time to work effectively..

agree with endlessness that trying things out & personal experimentation is the way...
But their diet is not related to tyramine content though...

Also remember there is a big difference between MAO-A reversible inhibitor such as harmalas, and pharmaceutical irreversible MAO (inc. MAO-B) inhibitors.

Though as an argument to the other side, there is some paper (forgot which, could try to dig up the reference) that talks about harmalas in high dosages being potentially also partial MAO-B inhibitors. In any case I dont know what the high dosages would be equivalent to, and also I can say both from personal experience as well as from being around both the indigenous path and Santo Daime people, that diet restrictions are not really necessary for most people.

I feel more that the issue with diet is rather eating healthy vs eating unhealthy, regardless of tyramine. It seems that for a lot of people ayahuasca seems make one confront his/her own faults, and bad eating habbits would quite possibly come to the surface. As aya is being absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, it feels as if it 'scans' the unhealthy molecules and can lead to a purge, up or down. So if one ate too heavy or unhealthily (like lets say very greasy overfried vegetables, which arent problematic in terms of tyramine), its quite possible there will be a reaction with aya IME.

So at least for me personally I feel its just necessary to have a good sense regarding eating during normal life and also before psychedelics, whether that is aya or shrooms or whatever else. Eating healthy and light is more than enough ime, independent of tyramine. Thats just my way though

Though yeah it might be interesting to experiment with different diets, at least for gaining some perspective. Just be careful making absolute conclusions because its hard to differentiate between effects with physical causes or suggestion/perception/subjective interpretation. Also just because one feels good doesnt mean its healthier.

(hope you dont mind me argumenting other things here, dont mean to sound negative or to deny dieta or other people's rituals, each one should do what they feel is best if it doesnt affect anyone negatively :) )
:) ..i argue with myself half the time, ha, ha..

actually in my experience with reversable MAOIs tyramine containing foods may not be as big in issue as
older literature leads one to believe.

a few people i know have deliberately eaten aged cheeses, pickled herring and red wine and reported that,
after feeling very ill with pins&needles sensations in the limbs, they experienced a surge of very strong
and quite different visual phenomena. on the other hand i've seen someone look & feel like they would have
a heart attack after coffee+sugar.(..an ayahuasca death in canada a few years ago was attributed to nicotine poisoning).
obviously people have very individual physiologies, but some toxins are accumulative..

my general point was that a diet generally free of certain toxic amines should lead to a different long term
neurophysiological metabolic rhythm, whereas certain common (& not in most ways 'unhealthy') foods and
medicines, could be quietly tweaking people's daily brain activity..
Cheers for the advise... I've also thought about that 'dieta theory' nen :)

I've definitely noticed how making my diet healthy and quitting smoking have enhanced my day to day thought patterns. Revelations seem to come faster, and it's nice to consider exactly how far this could be pushed.
I've done the dieta many times. Your cleaning your self, makif your self an open house and inviting. A plant ornapirit to come reside within you or to teach you something. The foods revolve around specific cultural and spiritual hygiene taboos. They do the deita with with many things not just ayahuaca. So the maoi concept is total bull. Deita can be adapted to local foods. Butthe reasons why one would choose specific foods would need to follow a logic on keeping the body clean and allowing energy to move through ones body.
One could think of the deita as making your body a nice clear clean house, that you then invite other beings to come visit or live within. You have to be a gracious host to venerable and powerful guests. In some sense it's like plant possession.
So what did you eat?, how did it feel? And the MAO thing isn't necessarily bullshit because they aren't using ayahuasca, perhaps this clean diet alters MAO function and raises sensitivity to everyday life (reckon it would do so by some other mechanism anyhow)
EquaL Observer said:
So what did you eat?, how did it feel? And the MAO thing isn't necessarily bullshit because they aren't using ayahuasca, perhaps this clean diet alters MAO function and raises sensitivity to everyday life (reckon it would do so by some other mechanism anyhow)

Rice, plantains, water, also have done it with salmon and venison. Many types of meat are approvable. Mostly I do a short dieta really working my energy, that's key. You feel good, empowered, clear. I think the role of Mao function as you mention it is highly sepeculative. And dubious...

Swims noticed people tend to learn these practices and traditions and never ask really why these folks do it the way they do to begin with. Swim likes to figure that out and adapt it to his own way that works for him in his own region. The results are what mater. Swim started a forum on vegetalismo on tribes a long time ago, some one else mods there now. Lots of good discussions to read through there on the subject.
I think the role of Mao function as you mention it is highly sepeculative. And dubious...

..well, MAO is mediating mood daily, as well as being involved in the processing of all (trypt)amines in the
body (incl. the brain), incl. serotonin,so their role is less than trivial...
..i was talking mainly about 'ayayhuasca' orientated diets. a number of people i know would agree that
the longer the diet the better the results..
..BTW i am taking evidence more from own experimentation than some ancient tribal prescription..
..eat chick peas,lentils,cheese etc every day for two weeks then drink ayayhuasca..tell me there isn't a
difference & tell me this doesn't somehow involve MAO.
..speculative, but not without experimental data and metabolic theory...
The difference could be completely in your expectations. Plantains are high in tryamine and they are a mainstay. The actual list of plants and animals eaten and why would surprise you.
Regardless those who participate in the deita do not believe they are doing it because of mao, and the likelyhood of all of heir food taboos some how managing to revolve around low levels of specific amino acids is a silly notion. We have over the years ignored and confused the deita with the maoi diet so much it's made it hard for us to see that there are massive cultural reasons for their food taboos.

There's a great story about a woman cooking Easter dinner for her mother and family for the first time. She takes out the ham Nd cuts both ends off of it and places it in a pan to cook it in. Her mother watched her do it and asked why she had cut the ends off. She said well mom Its what you always do, it's to keep it moist right?! The mother replies, no dear I cut off the ends because my pans to small.

People do the deita and they don't really know why.
Top Bottom