Ayahuasca vomit explained: Why you vomit on Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca vomit and purge

Ayahuasca is one of the most powerful plant medicines in the world. It’s origin is from the Amazon, and one thing comes to mind when hearing about Ayahuasca… Vomiting. 

Something most people absolutely hate, so why would I drink something where I know I will end up vomiting… 

But the vomiting is more than just a physical side effect of Ayahuasca. It is actually a deep level of purging, letting go of unwanted energy, healing, and much more. 

In this blog, we will dive deeper into the topic and also discuss how to prepare yourself best for the unpleasant experience of vomiting. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Purging, through vomiting or diarrhea is a normal physical side effect of Ayahuasca. 


  • During the vomiting the participant is also going through an energetic and spiritual cleaning, letting go of things that no longer serve them and keeping them down.

Table of Contents

One of the first questions people ask is:

Do you always have to vomit?

In most cases, you will vomit, but not always. Ayahuasca is a purging medicine, and the normal reaction is either vomiting or diarrhea. 

However, in very few cases, people do not experience vomiting or diarrhea. 

What is purging on Ayahuasca, known as “la purga”

Purging on Ayahuasca signifies that you are physically and energetically cleansing.

Purging from repressed emotions, psychological burdens, and things that weigh you down In a way, it represents spiritual detoxification and letting go of energies that hold you back from your true potential. 

Ayahuasca Experience: “Vomiting Was the Favorite Part of My Ceremony”

One of the participants in an Ayahuasca ceremony shared the day after the ceremony that the vomiting was actually her favorite part of the ceremony.

Initially, she was apprehensive about this, and just felt like alright, this is something I have to deal with when I want to have the experience.

So she embraced the process. In her experience, the vomitting was a very liberating part of the ceremony.

We all carry so much weight and unresolved things with us, it is great to be able to let go if. And she felt that powerful release through the vomiting in her ceremony. 

So of course it is not something pleasant or something that we look forward to, but this experience might help you to reframe your position towards vomiting when drinking Ayahuasca. 

Also, as crazy as it sounds, there are also some tips to follow around vomiting in your Ayahuasca ceremony. 

Tips for Vomiting in Your Ayahuasca Ceremony

Here are some tips and insights that might shed light on this unique experience.

Try not to vomit in the first 30 minutes – rinse your mouth

After drinking Ayahuasca, it is important to resist the urge to vomit in the first 30 minutes.

This period is critical for the Ayahuasca to permeate your system, to allow its healing properties to absorb into your body and start working their magic.

If you purge too quickly, you might not feel the full effect of the medicine, which could be a setback in your journey.

Post-drinking, rinsing your mouth with water can help eliminate the residual taste, making the urge to vomit less potent.

If you’re unsure about when 30 minutes have passed, generally, resisting the first and second wave of the urge should suffice.

Sit down and breathe

But what if the urge is overwhelming? Well, remember this second piece of advice: Sit down and breathe slowly. The calming effect of deep, mindful breathing can help soothe the turbulence within, keeping the Ayahuasca safely in your system for longer.

It’s about calming your body and spirit, reminding yourself of the purpose of your journey, and preparing for the transformative experience that lies ahead.

Ask the Ayahuasca to stay in 

Sometimes, there can be an internal conflict during this process.

We all have parts of ourselves resistant to change, aspects that fear the challenges Ayahuasca might bring, and that part might try to expel the brew quickly.

It’s essential to acknowledge this resistance, but also to encourage the transformative aspects of your being to persevere.

In an unusual but effective practice, try asking the Ayahuasca to stay in, to remain within you as you traverse this journey.

You’re drinking something that, despite the initial discomfort, holds the potential for immense personal growth.

Ayahuasca vomit: Open your mouth while vomiting 

And finally, when the moment of purging does come—and for many, it will—remember to open your mouth.

This might seem like an odd tip, but it’s practical. If your mouth is open as wide as possible, it ensures a smooth passage for the release of unwanted energies, making the process less uncomfortable by avoiding the sensation of vomit through your nose. 

Standing up while when you throw up on Ayahuasca 

A piece of advice from the indigenous elders is to stand up while the Ayahuasca vomit.

This might sound counterintuitive, particularly when your body is wrapped in waves of nausea and potential dizziness.

Standing up, however, can aid in the more natural expulsion of energies, allowing for a more profound purge.

It’s a matter of embodying your strength and engaging your willpower to also follow the traditions and the wisdom of the elders.

However, understand that this doesn’t necessarily apply to first timers. If you can’t stand up, don’t worry.

Sitting down while purging is not a failure—it’s a matter of listening to your body and respecting its limits.

The purging process is about emotional and spiritual liberation.

No need to feel ashamed of vomiting

One critical aspect to remember during an Ayahuasca ceremony is that there’s no room for shame in your journey.

The act of vomiting, despite its appearance, is a pivotal part of the process. It’s an expression of your commitment to the process and to let go of the energies that no longer serve you.

Every participant, from the most seasoned veteran to the first-timer, goes through the same stages.

Remember, you’re in a shared space of healing and transformation, where empathy and understanding reign over judgement.

Do not force yourself to vomit

While the sensation of nausea can be intense, prompting a desire to force the vomiting process, it’s crucial to let nature take its course.

Ayahuasca works on its own timeline, gently stirring your inner world, sifting through your buried emotions, traumas, and blockages.

When it’s ready, and when you’re ready, the purge will come naturally. Trying to rush this process can cheat you out of the full depth of the experience.

Patience, in this case, is indeed a virtue, and a profound part of the healing journey.

Have toilet paper on hand, in preparation for the Ayahuasca vomit

Preparation is an essential part of the Ayahuasca ceremony, and this includes having toilet paper on hand.

This might seem mundane, but when you’re in the heightened state of sensitivity that often accompanies purging, even a minor interruption can disturb your process.

If you’re deep in introspection, gleaning invaluable insights about your life, a pause to fetch toilet paper could potentially disrupt an important realization. So, be prepared in all aspects, both spiritually and practically.

Must read blog: Ayahuasca preparation: How to prepare for your Ayahuasca ceremony

Do not lay down before vomiting. 

One practical guideline, often echoed by experienced practitioners, is to refrain from laying down before vomiting..

Laying down can lead to falling asleep. This does not just diminish the effect of the medicine, but you can also end up vomiting on yourself unconsciously.

So let’s not do that. Instead, adopt a seated position, grounding yourself both physically and mentally.

In this posture, concentrate and focus on your intention. Let the Ayahuasca work its magic, and let your body’s natural responses develop at their own pace.

This is a journey of surrender, so let go of control and trust the wisdom of the medicine and your own body.

The ceremony intensifies after vomiting 

Lastly, bear in mind that the Ayahuasca ceremony often intensifies with stronger visual and auditory perception after the Ayahuasca vomit.

It’s as if purging clears the path for deeper exploration and understanding. Therefore, maintain your focus on yourself and your intention.

Avoid distraction, resist the urge to strike up a conversation or crack a joke. This is your time, a sacred opportunity to delve into your inner world with undivided attention and unwavering intention.

Are you ready to drink Ayahuasca? Feel free to consider our Ayahuasca Retreat Center in Colombia

What triggered you to vomit? 

An intriguing aspect to reflect on is the triggering factor for vomiting. This can differ from person to person, as Ayahuasca interacts uniquely with each individual’s emotional and psychological makeup.

Sometimes, it could be a particular thought, a memory, or a suppressed emotion that triggers the purge.

There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain. Perhaps you were contemplating a challenging relationship or a painful incident from the past.

Maybe it was a recurring pattern in your life that needed addressing, maybe you saw a participant in a ceremony that reminded you of somebody in your life and it triggered you for the Ayahuasca vomit. As these thoughts or feelings emerge and your body reacts with a physical response, it’s beneficial to pay attention to what provoked the purge. This observation can offer valuable insights into your healing process, helping you understand what you need to let go of or work on.

Must read blog: Ayahuasca ceremony – what to expect

How much will you vomit? 

Then comes the question of quantity. How much do you actually vomit during an Ayahuasca ceremony? I vomit once for every cup of Ayahuasca I drink in a ceremony, also occasionally replaced with diarrhea. 

 If you’re relatively new to Ayahuasca, you might experience more purging as your body and spirit work together to cleanse accumulated burdens and blockages, so the Ayahuasca vomit might be more in the beginning.

How much you vomit can also depend on the type of Ayahuasca you drink and how clean your body is as well. But remember, Ayahuasca is a purging medicine, and it is a normal side effect to vomit and have diarrhea.

Find out if Ayahuasca is right for you

  • Will you be safe physically and emotionally?
  • How will you be supported in the ceremony?
  • How do the facilitators handle difficult situations?
  • How will you be able to process the experience?
  • You want change, but will your life be unrecognizable after Ayahuasca?

+ 13 things to consider before drinking Ayahuasca?

Vomiting is healthy

To begin with, vomiting is an inherently healthy physiological response, a mechanism of release built into our biology. It’s our body’s tried and tested method of expelling toxins, whether they’re physical, such as harmful substances we consume, or energetic, like the emotional and psychological burdens we carry. All mammals, including humans, have this ability to purge as a protective measure. 

However, in our modern world, opportunities to naturally engage this response are few and far between. When you think about it, when was the last time you vomited? And yet, how much toxicity do you think you might be accumulating daily? Ayahuasca ceremony allows for a purposeful, guided use of this biological mechanism to expel physical and spiritual toxins.

Ayahuasca, as an indigenous medicine, holds a profound respect for the process of purging through the Ayahuasca vomit. It’s a perspective that’s not limited to this vine but is shared among many traditional medicines, viewing purging as a necessary rite for cleansing the digestive tract. This perception contrasts sharply with modern western notions that often stigmatize vomiting as a sign of illness or weakness.

The indigenous cultures that birthed Ayahuasca honor purging as a crucial step towards wellness, a pathway to longevity and vitality. Many members of these communities enjoy not only long lives but also maintain an enviable vigor well into their old age.

To illustrate, let’s consider Mama Concha’s Grandfather, who lived a remarkably long life of 125 years. He wasn’t just enduring through the years, but living them fully, vibrant and active, a testament to his path of traditional medicine to increase health conditions. The core of this longevity and vitality lies in the inherent wisdom of the indigenous medicinal practices, a significant part of which is the act of purging.

These individuals have harnessed the healing power of Ayahuasca (and other medicinal plants) and the detoxifying benefits of vomiting to cleanse their bodies and spirits, promoting health and vitality. Such examples stand as an inspiration, reminding us that we too can incorporate these ancient wisdoms into our own paths towards health and wellness.

Ayahuasca vomit: The spiritual significance of vomiting during an Ayahuasca ceremony

I talked to a woman recently who expressed her dislike for Ayahuasca, citing the discomfort and the notion of vomiting as her primary concerns. While her concerns are understandable, they also reveal a common misunderstanding about the nature and purpose of the Ayahuasca experience.

Ayahuasca, much like other plant medicines, imparts its lessons in unique ways. The experience is not designed for comfort or to simply provide a pleasant, easy journey. Quite the contrary. The Ayahuasca journey often involves challenging and uncomfortable moments. This discomfort, however, serves a purpose; it is a vessel for growth, strengthening our bodies, minds, and spirits. It is through navigating these challenges that we experience the transformative potential of Ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca’s teachings often require one to traverse a landscape of inner trials and confrontations, where personal strength and resilience are tested, and ultimately reinforced. The discomfort of vomiting, for instance, symbolizes a necessary struggle on the path to liberation. This difficult aspect of the journey, much like life’s adversities, aids in cultivating inner fortitude, resilience, and growth. One is urged not to shy away from these challenges or seek to avoid them but to embrace them, for they carry valuable lessons.

Moreover, Ayahuasca tends to gravitate toward the denser, less comfortable areas of our bodies, the elements we may want to change or release. These could be unresolved emotional traumas, unhealthy habits, or pent-up negativity. Ayahuasca illuminates these areas, then facilitates their release through the Ayahuasca vomit. 

Before going into an Ayahuasca ceremony it is always important to be clear with your intention. For this we have a separate blog:

Must read blog: Ayahuasca intention – How to set your Intention for Ayahuasca

You might also be worried or afraid about other parts of Ayahuasca in this case I recommend our blog:

Must read blog: Afraid of Ayahuasca? Confront the fear of Ayahuasca

Understanding Dehydration Post-Ayahuasca Ceremony: The Importance of Restoring the Body

Ayahuasca ceremonies, profound spiritual journeys that they are, also involve physical experiences. Among the most commonly overlooked aspects of this journey is dehydration, a physiological effect of Ayahuasca that can have significant implications on the body if not properly addressed.

In the course of an Ayahuasca ceremony, participants often lose more fluids than they consume. This loss can be attributed to the sweating, diarrhea, and of course, vomiting that form part of the purging process. Adding to this, there’s a significant period of fasting before the ceremony, usually extending six hours or more before drinking Ayahuasca. The ceremony itself lasts about seven to eight hours. The cumulative effect of these factors can leave your body in a depleted state, both nutritionally and in terms of hydration.

Post-ceremony, it’s essential to give your body what it needs to recover and restore itself, expecially after all the Ayahuasca vomit. You’ve undertaken a powerful, intense journey that required a significant amount of physical and emotional energy. To replenish, make sure to eat nutritious food and rest well after the ceremony. Proper nutrition and ample rest are key to restoring energy and balancing the body’s physiological state. Also, consuming electrolytes is highly recommended. These essential minerals, which include sodium, potassium, and magnesium, help regulate nerve and muscle function, balance blood acidity and pressure, and rebuild damaged tissue. They’re crucial for recovering from dehydration.

Do not do Kambo after Ayahuasca

It’s also worth mentioning that some practitioners offer Kambo, a powerful cleansing ritual after an Ayahuasca ceremony. While Kambo has its own therapeutic benefits, it’s essential to consider its implications in the context of an already depleted state post-Ayahuasca. With the body already experiencing dehydration, engaging in another intense, purgative process might increase the risk of complications 

While the desire to experience as many healing modalities as possible during a retreat is understandable, one must balance this enthusiasm with a consideration for safety and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s recommended to abstain from participating in a Kambo ceremony immediately after an Ayahuasca journey. Allow your body the time and space to properly recover before engaging in another rigorous healing experience.

We created a separate page for Kambo Medellin.


In conclusion, vomiting during an Ayahuasca ceremony is not just a random side effect, but an essential and powerful part of the process—a moment of cleansing, detoxification, and healing. The practice of intentional vomiting can be seen as a form of release, an avenue for letting go of physical toxins and emotional burdens alike. As you navigate the transformative journey of an Ayahuasca ceremony, remember that each bout of purging marks a step towards liberation, a profound gesture of self-care and healing, and a celebration of the innate wisdom of your body.

Or course the purging and letting go of negative energy through an Ayahuasca ceremony is one part. The big question is how will your life change after Ayahuasca and what you can do to integrate this experience. For this we recommend our blog:

Must read Blog: Ayahausca integration – how to maintain the magic of Ayahuasca

The reason why Ayahuasca causes vomiting is because it is a purging medicine. It is totally normal, but sometimes people also do not vomit on Ayahuasca. In those cases the purge manifest through diarrhea. 

No, you should not take medication against vomiting before drinking Ayahuasca. I heard somebody wanted to take it to be able to keep in the Ayahuasca longer and have a stronger effect with it. This is not advised and can lead to medical problems

There is no specific way to avoid vomiting in Ayahuasca. Many people do not like to vomit, however the best way is to embrace it, see it as a part of the ceremony and also be grateful for the physical and energetic cleaning that is happening through the purge. 

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