Traditional Shipibo Plant Dietas
We are excited to now be collaborating with Maestra Ynes and her family as they offer traditional plant dietas at their center in San Francisco, Peru, near Pucallpa, on the Ucayali river.
Since 2009, the Temple has been blessed with the presence and expertise of one of the most recognized and powerful lineages of Shipibo healers from Pucallpa. For generations, the family of Ynez Sanchez –with her son, Jose, and daughters, Laura and Lila– has been carrying and practicing the medicine and wisdom of their ancestors. Through their connection with the plants, their songs, and dedicated care, they have been instrumental in the healing and transformational experiences of hundreds of our guests.
Acknowledging the immense value that Ynez, Jose, Laura, and Lila add to our extended family through their expertise, integrity, commitment, love, and passion for plant medicine, the Temple is excited and honored to support them as they design, develop, and promote their own programs in their newly built center, Niwe Rao Xobo.
These dietas will also include the added service of our highly skilled and bilingual facilitators to bridge the linguistic and cultural gaps, provide additional tools for processing and integration, and create a synergistic space to maximize the benefits of your traditional Shipibo plant dieta.
Prior experience with ayahuasca is strictly required to participate in a dieta.
A Message from Niwe Rao Xobo, Traditional Plant Dieta Center
We are very excited and grateful to be working in collaboration with the Temple of the Way of Light in offering traditional Shipibo diets in our Family Center. For centuries, traditional medicines and shamanic practices have been the only system for the protection and maintenance of our health in the Amazon Rainforest. For many generations, traditional healers and medicinal plants have played a fundamental role in the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our people. For us, it is evident that plants possess diverse and complex bioenergetic properties whose active principles constitute an excellent means of treatment for a range of conditions and diseases.
A fundamental aspect of our teaching is sharing our natural and traditional way of living in total harmony with Mother Nature. We want to inspire others to benefit from the practice of medicinal and master plants that nature generously offers us. For the Shipibo people, the plants of the forest are alive; they feel, communicate, and have the power to teach us. We believe that each plant has it’s “genius,” or spirit. These are the spirits that we see and work with during ayahuasca ceremonies.
Ayahuasca helps to bring us in closer contact with the spirits of nature, and helps to harmonize with them. A traditional plant dieta process is the method that we use in order to meet the spirits of the plant. Through periods of communion with a particular plant spirit, we experience firsthand their medicine and receive their direct teachings. We also establish a respectful alliance to ensure their cooperation and help during our healing practices.
What is Niwe Rao Xobo?
We are a spiritual center of traditional healing, meditation, and reflection. Our practice is based on the experience of the wise men and women of the Shipibo-Conibo culture of Peru. Our family center gives people the opportunity to interact with authentic and highly experienced Shipibo healers, and to experience the benefits of traditional medicine and Shipibo shamanism.
In our space, people afflicted with diverse physical and mental health problems are offered the opportunity to deepen their healing and learning journeys. We present an opportunity for people to rediscover themselves and their human universal birthright to the full enjoyment of peace, tranquility, and happiness in life. We offer this through dieting powerful plant teachers in the traditional Shipibo tradition, following the teachings of the Shipibo spiritual masters and ancestors who have walked this path for thousands of years. We will also be working with different rituals of energetic and spiritual cleansing such as flower baths and massages.
We are an indigenous Shipibo family with a wealth of knowledge about natural medicine and shamanism acquired through oral transmission from our ancestors. We desire to share the knowledge that was given to us so that all people have the opportunity to live in a different way. Our medicine helps dissolve selfishness and promotes reconnection with nature, and helps in the conservation and preservation of the environment and traditional knowledge.
It is our intention to promote the revival and revaluation of our ancestral knowledge regarding the use of medicinal plants. We believe this to be important for the development of intercultural health. We have achieved this through our work with the Temple of the Way of Light, and are now pleased to extend our work and offer dietas at our family center, Niwe Rao Xobo, in Pucallpa, Peru.
Maestra Ynes Sanchez Gonzales and her family
The Dieta Process
The dieta is a millenarian technique which consists of retreating into the rainforest and ingesting a master plant given by a shaman. A dieta can be for one week, or months, or even years, depending on the case. Dietas at Niwe Rao Xobo are for a 2 week period.
Master plant dietas will be given to dieteros on a case by case basis. Maestra Ynes and Maestro Jose will hold an initial ayahuasca ceremony with all guests at the start of the 2 weeks to diagnose which specific plant will suit each individual dietero. Some of the master plants they work with are listed below. After the first ayahuasca ceremony, the plant(s) will be administered to the dietero throughout the 2 week period along with 4 additional ayahuasca ceremonies.
While dieting, the dietero will have an austere and plain food diet, without salt or sugar. They will only eat green parboiled plantains (inguiris), oats, or rice. During the diet, the dietero will be encouraged to be in isolation as much as possible. They will have the support of a facilitator for translation purposes, and will be attended by the healer in administering their designated plant. During the diet, they will be in isolation from any personal relationships, but not of sensory stimuli, since one is in the jungle, in contact with the song of the birds, the vegetation, and the sound of the river.
The social isolation and the highly restricted diet stimulate the oneiric state and enhance dream production. It is through this act of dreaming that the healers have learned how to heal others, and are given certain songs (ikaros) by the mother, or spirit of the plant in dreams. These ikaros are fundamental tools in their healing work.
Preparation & Dietary Restrictions
Before the beginning of the dieta the participant must be in complete agreement with the dietary restrictions to observe and comply with the prohibitions of the dieta. Fifteen days prior to arrival, all participants refrain from consuming:
- Street drugs
- Pharmaceutical medications that were not approved during booking
- Natural remedies and plant medicines
- Salt (a small amount is necessary for health)
- Meat (other than chicken and fish)
- Sour and sweet fruits
- Cold water & ice
- Strong sun
- Sexual activity
Post-dieta restrictions will be given at the end of the dieta and are subject to each individual’s healing needs.
In the Amazon, some psychoactive plants are considered by healers and shamans as Master Plants. Properly ingested, these plants generate knowledge about their healing properties through dreams, visions, perceptions and intuitions. Through their entheogenic properties, they also give us an introspective view of ourselves and of life in general.
Each plant has a different energy, whether to heal, to teach, to reassure, or to help neutralize negative influences in the person. Teacher plants guide us to a beautiful dimension for learning more about ourselves, and can even teach various arts and skills that can be offered to others who are suffering, too. In our center, we work with many different plants that are useful in the recovery from physical, mental, and energetic afflictions, amongst others.
Bobinsana (Pfaffia iresinoides)
Traditional Uses: Bobinsana is a woody tree, 4 to 6 meters high, with small bipinnate leaves and colorful brush flowers. It grows on the banks of stony rivers and is resistant to floods and strong currents of water. The spirit of this plant comes from water.
Bobinsana is considered a master plant and is often added to ayahuasca recipes to help shamen connect and learn from plants on a spiritual level. Bobinsana is a powerful plant, and an ally who helps us develop empathy, compassion, clarity, and concentration. It is said that this plant roots a person more deeply in the natural kingdom, and provides mental, emotional, and spiritual strength.
In the physical aspect, Bobinsana heals bone pain and rheumatism, arthritis and colds. It helps us be more resistant to the cold weather. A decoction of the roots is also used to treat uterine cancer and as a depurative. A decoction of the whole plant (leaves, stems, branches, and flowers) is prepared as a general energizing tonic. The spirit of Bobinsana teaches fighting tactics and combat strategies so that one can acquire the power to fight disease.
Marosa (Pfaffia iresinoides)
Traditional Uses: Marosa is a small herbaceous stem plant, with flowers. In the Shipibo culture, Marosa is considered “Onanyati rao,” or (roughly translated) a “plant to become a healer.” Marosa is also known as “Incaico,” or the sacred plant of the Incas. In traditional Shipibo medicine it is used to cleanse the astral body and develop premonition powers.
Marosa is prepared fresh in macerated baths, to be taken at night before going to bed. The diet and the number of baths depends of the teacher’s indication. During the dieta, the spirit of the plant presents itself and asks the purpose or the intentions that one has for working with “his” plant. As you progress, one is shown it’s magical world in dreams, it’s power, it’s medicine, and the art of healing. The Marosa plant is also known to give the power of premonition through dreams.
The “learning” diet with Marosa is very powerful. It opens us to the powers of infinite dimensions, and teaches icaros with beautiful melodies so the healing can become more effective. Marosa is a world of pure medicine, with strength, power, and beautiful chants. The Shipibo consider this plant a “jealous” one, meaning that it is demanding in the diet that it requires. The diet must be fulfilled at exactly as prescribed by the shaman. If one is committed, it’s powers and benefits are incredible.
Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica)
Traditional Uses: Tobacco is a magical and powerful plant. From tobacco, chopped “mapacho” is made to be smoked in pipes or wrapped in paper. Mapacho is the main tool of the shaman, who uses it during ayahuasca ceremonies to clear and protect the ceremonial space and to enhance the strength of his healing work. After ikaros are sung, the patient is blown with mapacho in order to infuse and seal his astral body with the effects of the healing.
In the physical aspect, tobacco is a good medicine for people who are physically weak or chronically tired and helps resolve stress and migraines. In the mental and emotional aspect, tobacco makes one stronger and more decisive. It heals sorrow and releases and aligns blocked emotions. In the spiritual aspect, tobacco is also a protector for the healer as he works with others.
The tobacco diet consists of soaking the mapacho with water, leaving it until the water becomes a deep, dense red. The leaves are then squeezed and the tea is drunk. When its used well, tobacco is a medicine and is not addictive. Instead, it supports our strength, protection, and mental clarity.
Traditional Uses: With Niwe Rao, the apprentice acquires a basic knowledge of natural medicine, as an initiate. Combined with the power of Piñon Colorado, he can cure simple uncomplicated diseases such as “manchari” or “susto”, “cutipado” (in children), depression, or stress. In Shipibo culture, Niwe Rao teaches one their first healing icaros, which are fundamental for opening the spiritual world in ceremony, performing simple cures, and for closing a ceremony.
The magical world of niwe rao is full of medicines and teachers. The icaros that come from the spiritual world invite one to join the dance of the universe, full of colors and radiance, so that we are immersed in the wonderful world of medicine. The vision is known to end with amazement, joy, dynamism, and a lot of power. Niwe Rao guides one to a feeling of satisfaction, enthusiasm for life, the laughter, fun, and a purpose in activities and relationships.
Renaquilla (Clusia sp.)
Traditional Uses: Renaquilla is a large plant sometimes mistaken as a tree. It has diverse medicinal properties but perhaps the most well known is its ability to heal obstacles in relationships. In physical form, renaquilla grows by wrapping itself around a host tree over many years, eventually becoming one with its host. Its energetic medicine takes a similar approach helping to hold together, bind, unite, and strengthen issues that have become ‘broken’. It helps to regenerate bones when there are open fractures and its resin has healing properties when applied to wounds.
The Shipibo love to diet this plant because of its powerful teachings, specifically supporting the resolution of relationship issues between partners and family members, bringing unity and connection through its medicine. Renaquilla is also known to assist with conditions relating to the circulatory system, the reproductive system, hernias, bruises, prolapses, dislocations, and is prescribed for women as a strengthener.
The Shipibo also believe that its bark is effective to cure issues caused by the cold as it gives corporal heat. Traditional Amazonian medicine often relates many physical diseases to too much cold or too much heat in the body. With people coming to the Amazon from cold climates, they recognize that many westerners suffer with excess cold within their system.
Piñon Colorado (Jatropha gossypifolia)
Traditional Uses: Piñon Colorado is a small shrub with webbed leaves that are dark reddish in color. It is a medicinal plant used to cure many different diseases. It grows easily by natural regeneration as a cultivar.
A preparation of leaves and resin may be applied in plasters to diseased area of the body to heal physical conditions. It is a powerful ingredient in cleansing baths, as it purifies the body of negative energies.
In the mental aspect, it brings tranquility and a peace of mind. In the emotional aspect, it accelerates healing and relieves emotional pain by providing peace and relaxation. In the spiritual aspect, Piñon Colorado is a relatively easy plant to diet as it is not very demanding. The spirit of the plant is manageable, docile, and with wonderful powers.
Tamamuri (Brosimum acutifolium)
Traditional Uses: Tamamuri is a large canopy tree of the Amazon rainforest that grows 15 to 25 m high. It produces a white to light pink latex when the smooth trunk bark is wounded or the leaf stems are broken from the branches. Tamamuri is found throughout the lower elevations of the Amazon basin, usually growing alongside streams and rivers where its fruits (similar to a fig but with one large seed inside) are eaten by fish when it falls from the tree.
The Shipibo use the bark medicinally (in decoctions) for gastro-intestinal disorders, to purify the blood and to regulate the nervous system. This medicinal tree is used most commonly by the Shipibo to work on the digestive system. The digestive system is not only responsible for digestion of food, but is connected to and plays a huge role in “digestion of emotions” and carries an immense amount of energy from past experiences that have been “undigested.” Tamamuri has a profound effect on treating physical digestive disorders as well as clearing negative energies and emotional traumas trapped in the body.
In herbal medicine systems in Peru, Tamamuri is considered a pain-reliever, anti-inflammatory, blood cleanser, aphrodisiac and tonic. It is used for arthritis and rheumatism (including rheumatoid arthritis), muscle pain and injuries, for intestinal worms, anemia, vertigo and loss of balance, to help regulate the nervous system, as a general tonic for debility, for fungal and yeast infections, gastric ulcers and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for syphilis.
Credit for the majority of the above content on Tamamuri to Raintree.com’s page on Tamamuri.
Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx micranth)
Traditional Uses: Shihuahuaco is a tree that reaches a height of about 40 meters and can measure 100cm in diameter. In mature trees, the trunk is cylindrical.
In traditional Shipibo medicine Shihuahuaco is used for the treatment of spasms, and heart and respiratory problems. It is also medicine for mental and emotional traumas. Shihuahuaco is known to free a person from hatred and rage, making one mentally stronger. In the spiritual sense, the shamen who give this plant are known as “Paleros” or “Shihushuaqueros.” They have the power to overcome the evils of diseases and are powerful teachers when it comes to healing. Shihuahuaco has the virtues of giving strength to the spirit, body, and soul.
Chiric Sanango (Brunfelsia grandiflora)
Traditional Uses: Chiric Sanango is a shrub that can reach up to 5 meters tall. In the culture of traditional Shipibo-Konibo medicine, Chiric Sanago is a plant that is taken to have a lot of physical strength and not feel cold during fishing activities and timber extraction. It is said that the man who takes Chiric Sanango is strong, sexually powerful, can carry heavy objects, can easily resist the inclemency of the weather, and combats laziness. Chiric Sanango also fights rheumatism, arthritis, Leishmaniasis, and prevents the flu.
In the spiritual aspect, Chiric Sanango has extensive knowledge about the preparation of vegetal remedies. In ayahuasca ceremonies he performs deep healing of complicated physical and emotional illnesses. Chiric Sanango is a shaman with a lot of power who demands respect. The magical world of this plant is a supernatural realm of large and luxurious hospitals, where he is the doctor, director, and chief. In visions, he also shows one his huge pharmacies.
Chiric Sanango also opens the spirit of women, into beautiful maidens, queens, and princesses and a romantic world of beauty known as the world of “huarmi.” The “Sananguero” shaman dominates the “huarmi icaros” which are the songs of love, used to unite couples.
Food: A simple, traditional Shipibo dieta food of plantain, yucca, certain grains, salads, and fish will be served. Vegetarians can be catered for.
Accommodation: Very rustic/basic with each guest being assigned an individual, simple tambo, consisting of a single bed, pillow, sheets, mosquito net, and small table. Compost toilets are outside and are shared, as are showers and wash basins. There is running water. Guests will need to bring their own towels and blanket.
Pick-up: 10am at Los Gavilanes Hotel in Pucallpa on the first day of the program
Drop-off: We will leave Niwe Rao Xobo at 11am on the last day of the program and travel back to Los Gavilanes Hotel
**ATMs can be found on Jr Raymondi, Cuadra 5, in Pucallpa, about a 20 minute mototaxi ride from Los Gavilanes Hotel. If you wish to withdraw soles, please plan to visit the ATM prior to the pick-up time as it will not be possible to travel there during your dieta.**
- A plant dieta
- 5 ayahuasca ceremonies
- An experienced Temple facilitator to offer guidance throughout the retreat with processing and integration
- An individual consultations with the healers and your facilitator
- Group meetings and educational talks
- All food and drink (simple, traditional dieta food)
- Private accommodation
- Vomitivo (stomach cleansing)
- Jain Póiti (flower baths)
- Huito (traditional, non-permanent, natural ink tattoos)
- Translation from Shipibo / Spanish to English
- Transportation to and from Niwe Rao Xobo from Los Gavilanes Hotel in Pucallpa
What’s NOT Included:
- Airfares (international and national)
- Transportation to and from the Pucallpa airport
- Travel insurance
- Accommodation outside of Niwe Rao Xobo
- Peruvian visa costs
- Personal expenses (meals and drinks in Pucallpa, etc).
10am: Pick up from Los Gavilanes Hotel in Pucallpa and transfer to Niwe Rao Xobo Center
12pm: Welcome reception and presentation of the healers and staff of the center
4pm: Introduction to Shipibo traditional medicine and shamanism
7am: Vomitivo body cleansing
11am: Individual consultations with the healers
4pm: First energetic spiritual cleansing bath with master plants
8pm: First ayahuasca ceremony
11am: Group meeting to discuss the first ayahuasca ceremony
3pm: First drink of master plant
5pm: Flower bath
10am: Group meeting with Ynes and Jose
8pm: Second ayahuasca ceremony
11am: Flower bath
3pm: Second master plant drink
5pm: Group meeting
10am: Group meeting
8pm: Third ayahuasca ceremony
11am: Group meeting
5pm: Third master plant drink
10am: Consultations with healers (if needed)
3pm: Fourth master plant drink
5pm: Talk about Amazonian Myths and Legends
10am: Group Meeting with Ynes and Jose
4pm: Traditional Shipibo body tattoo with natural inks (huito)
8pm: Fourth ayahuasca ceremony
10am: Purifying bath
3pm: Fifth drink of master plant
5pm: Traditional medicine talk
10am: Consultations with healers (if needed)
8am: Group meeting: Closing the dieta and personal post diet restrictions
8pm: Fifth ayahuasca ceremony
11am: Exhibition and sale of traditional handicrafts
11am: Transfer to Los Gavilanes Hotel
|Final Installment||$750 USD – Due 6 weeks before the start of the dieta|
Transferring your payment in installments is for your convenience only. It is possible to pay the retreat cost in one full amount if you prefer.
Important Terms and Advice
- Once a registration is approved, retreat payments are non-refundable.
- If we are forced to cancel any retreats as a result of the pandemic situation or international travel restrictions, all payments will be either transferred to personal credit to be used for a future program at a later date (with no expiration date), or you may move to a different program at that time.
- We strongly recommend all guests to purchase flight and travel insurance to cover all contingencies and nonrefundable deposits and expenses.
- If you made a credit card payment and are not approved to attend a retreat, your payment will be fully refunded immediately.
- We offer you the option of paying a minimum 50% deposit of your program cost to confirm your reservation. You may also pay the full retreat cost when booking.
- Your balance must be paid in full at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the retreat to guarantee your space. If you made a deposit with a credit card, we will charge that card automatically for the outstanding balance 6 weeks prior to the start of the retreat.
- For cancelations more than 8 weeks prior to the start of a retreat, you may transfer to a different program or transfer your payment to personal credit to be used for a future program in the next 2 years.
- For cancelations within 8 weeks of the start of a retreat, you may only transfer to a different program or transfer your payment to personal credit to be used for a future program in the next 2 years if we can fill your place in the retreat. We will try our best to do so.
IMPORTANT APPLICATION INFO:
**All registrations must be made from a computer – we do not have mobile capability for our medical questionnaires at this time.
Please choose your preferred date below and fill in the necessary information on the following pages in order to complete your application. Once you have submitted the application and we have received your payment and medical information, we will let you know if your application has been approved within about a week. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].
Please do not book flights or make any travel arrangements until your application and medical information has been reviewed and you have been approved to attend.
Prior experience with ayahuasca is strictly required to participate in a dieta.
The next dates for plant dietas in 2021 are coming soon. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page for updates!