Embarking on the path of using plant spirit medicines for mental, emotional, or physical healing is a serious undertaking. Find a shaman and community you trust. I find these 7 tips for safe plant medicine a meaningful set of guidelines for navigating this space.
1. Choose a Facilitator Carefully
Choose a person with considerable experience with the medicine to administer it for you. If you are interested in authenticity, look for people with a spiritual lineage as compared to people who are doing plant medicine for only commercial reasons. In my opinion, people who are already energy workers or healers often make good medicine people.
2. Follow the Dietary Recommendations
Many medicine ceremonies suggest specific dietary guidelines in preparation for the experience. Follow them. Even without specific guidelines, eat a clean and simple diet at least one week before the medicine.
3. The Journey Begins Before the Ceremony
People often say that the journey begins the moment you make the decision to commit to a ceremony, or when you feel called by the spirit of the plant. You may start having experiences or become aware of insights before even drinking the medicine.
Surrender to the medicine and the process, do not try to control it. Any doubt and fear projected towards the medicine will affect the experience of the journey. Pre-conceived expectations may leave you disappointed. Make peace with the idea that the spirit of the medicine will show you what you need to know and what you are ready for in the journey itself.
5. Communicate Honestly
Discuss your medical conditions as well as any supplements and pharmaceuticals you are currently taking with the administrators of the medicine.
Let them be the judge of your suitability to sit with the medicine. Be transparent about any concerns so you can work with the facilitator and the medicine effectively.
6. Dose Carefully
Start with a small quantity of the medicine and gradually increase the serving size. More is not always better. Make sure to not let ego determine your dose.
7. Integration is Meaningful for Safe Plant Medicine
Be prepared for an integration process after the ceremony. Take some extra time to rest well, recollect the lessons from the ceremony, and see how you can integrate these lessons in your real life. Only share your experiences with others after you have gone through the integration process.