Can you Drink Ayahuasca During your Period?

Women menstruating ayahuasca

Embarking on an Ayahuasca journey is a profound experience, yet for women, questions often arise about its compatibility with menstruation. Let’s delve into this topic, examining the perspectives and considerations surrounding women participating in Ayahuasca ceremonies during their menstrual cycle.

Key takeaways

  • Ayahuasca during menstruation offers a unique journey of personal and spiritual exploration, unlocking profound insights and transformations.
  • Safety and comfort in the ceremonial setting are essential, ensuring a supportive spiritual growth and healing environment, especially during menstruation.
  • By understanding traditional views and modern perspectives, women can make informed choices aligned with their well-being, fostering empowerment and integration of personal power and potential.

Table of Contents

women Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca and menstruation 

Deciding to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony can bring up many personal questions, especially when it comes to natural body processes like menstruation. It’s a sensitive issue; some spiritual leaders and shamans advise against drinking Ayahuasca while menstruating, based on long-standing traditions, while others see no problem and welcome everyone. This mixed guidance can make things confusing. You might wonder: “Should I go if I’m on my period? What could happen if I do?” These questions are important not only for your physical health but also for fitting in smoothly with the group and respecting the ceremony’s traditions.


When facing this decision, it’s essential to gather as much information as possible and consider everyone involved in the ceremony. Understanding both the traditional reasons behind these guidelines and the experiences of other women can help you make a choice that feels right. Remember, the decision to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony during menstruation should be made with care, respecting both the old ways and your personal well-being, ensuring that your experience is respectful and meaningful for everyone involved. 


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Different approaches to women participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony on their period

The practices surrounding a woman on her period participating in Ayahuasca ceremonies can vary significantly, not just from culture to culture, but even among individuals within the same community. This diversity in practice highlights how personal and subjective these traditions can be. For instance, in some settings, she might be asked not to participate at all, while in others, special accommodations are made, such as providing a designated area away from the main ceremony space. The reasoning behind these different approaches often stems from a belief held by some that menstruation can obscure the visions of other participants, though opinions on this can widely differ.


Individual viewpoints on women drinking Ayahuasca on their period 

For example, Mama Concha is known for her preference that women on their periods do not join her ceremonies. On the flip side, Taita Miguel takes a more inclusive approach. During a pre-ceremony discussion, when a participant brought up Mama Concha’s advice against drinking Ayahuasca while menstruating, Taita Miguel acknowledged the validity of that perspective for Mama Concha’s ceremonies but was quick to point out that his ceremonies operate under different beliefs. Similarly, another shaman named Juan once hosted a ceremony where he asked a woman on her period to not go near the altar, aiming to respect certain traditional beliefs. Contrastingly, Sergio, another respected shaman, challenges these norms. After a ceremony that included a participant on her period, he asked others if they felt any difference in their experience, using this as a teachable moment to suggest that much of the concern might be rooted in superstition.


These varied examples underline the importance of respecting each medicine giver’s practices and the cultural nuances they bring to their ceremonies. For participants, being aware of these differences and engaging in open dialogue with the ceremony leaders can ensure that everyone’s journey with Ayahuasca is respected and fulfilling, harmonizing personal needs with communal and cultural expectations.


Understanding cultural beliefs about menstruation and Ayahuasca ceremonies

A belief in not mixing medicines

The beliefs surrounding menstruation and participation in Ayahuasca ceremonies are deeply rooted in the cultural and spiritual frameworks of indigenous communities. Many cultures regard each phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle as spiritually significant, viewing it as a time for women to reflect on the past month’s stresses and challenges, which can potentially lead to heightened emotional states. Some traditions consider this introspective process as a natural medicinal period, suggesting that the profound personal insights and emotional cleansing it provides may eliminate the need for other spiritual medicines like Ayahuasca during this time.

A belief reflecting patriarchal views

Some suggest that these traditions may also reflect outdated gender norms, influenced by patriarchal values. Historically, women’s roles and rights were restricted in many societies, including indigenous ones, which could have shaped various cultural practices. For example, the restriction against women participating in ceremonies during menstruation might have been initially promoted by men who labeled women as emotionally unstable during their periods. This could have been a tactic to encourage women to focus on self-care, to prevent them from “contaminating” the communal experience, thus perpetuating a narrative that served to maintain control under the pretence of cultural tradition. This conversation highlights the importance of continuously evaluating our practices to ensure they remain respectful and inclusive, balancing traditional wisdom with a modern understanding of gender equality.


How menstruation affects your Ayahuasca ceremony

For women considering participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony during their menstrual period, it’s important to set realistic expectations and prepare for the experience, which can differ significantly from their usual menstrual cycle. First, it’s not uncommon for some women to experience an increased level of bleeding when they drink Ayahuasca during menstruation. This can be attributed to the physical and emotional intensities that the medicine invokes. Additionally, the experience itself can vary widely—some women report having a more profound and intense journey, possibly due to their heightened emotional and physical state, while others might find it difficult to engage deeply with the experience, feeling somewhat disconnected.


Must read blog How to prepare for your Ayahuasca ceremony.


Our approach to drinking Ayahuasca on your period

Given these variations, we generally recommend that women start with a smaller dose, such as half a cup, to gauge how their bodies respond to Ayahuasca during menstruation. This cautious approach helps manage the intensity of the experience. Furthermore, the first day of menstruation, typically characterized by heavier bleeding and more significant discomfort, may not be the ideal time to participate in a ceremony. Comfort is key during such a vulnerable time; therefore, staying warm is crucial. We advise having an extra blanket handy and avoiding going outside, which can expose you to the elements and exacerbate discomfort. By taking these steps, women can better manage their physical comfort and mental state, helping ensure a safe and meaningful Ayahuasca experience.


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Considerations for drinking Ayahuasca during your period

Women contemplating Ayahuasca during menstruation should prioritize their comfort, cultural perspectives, and guidance from ceremony facilitators. Open communication ensures a personalized and respectful experience, fostering a supportive environment for spiritual exploration. During your period, your energy can be low, so sometimes the medicine can feel stronger. 

If you do decide to part take in a ceremony during your menstruation, here are some key recommendations to keep you and comfortable during your Ayahuasca journey.

Preparation with Teas and Herbs

Incorporate teas like raspberry leaf and chamomile, known for their uterine toning and calming properties, respectively. Additionally, herbs such as red clover and nettle offer nutritional support.

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Energetic Protection

Consider wearing crystals or traditional protection totems like a Chumbe, a braided red rope believed to energetically safeguard the womb.

Comfort and Warmth

Prioritize warmth and comfort during the ceremony to alleviate potential cramps and discomfort. Choose loose, warm clothing and keep warm socks on hand.

Emotional Awareness

Be mindful of heightened emotions during the ceremony, trusting the transformative process of Ayahuasca to facilitate deep healing and connection with womanhood.

Communication with Facilitators

Inform ceremony leaders of your menstrual cycle to receive appropriate support and guidance throughout the journey.

My personal experience

At the beginning of my Ayahuasca journey, I was afraid to drink during my menstruation. Still, with time and the guidance of the fantastic team at Guacamayo Retreat Center, I was able to overcome my fears and connect more deeply with the energy of Ayahuasca during my menstruation. 

I have found this to be a humbling and profound healing experience, especially around my womanhood. This is an ongoing journey, but I’ve realized that our wombs are like a second brain, with this vast wisdom craving to come out and integrate. As women, we store so much trauma in our wombs, sexual trauma and repression of our desires. By drinking Ayahuasca during my menstruation, I was able to heal from those traumas and connect intimately with my body.

Every woman’s experience with Ayahuasca during menstruation is unique and deeply personal. This can be a religious experience that can unlock profound insights; just keep your safety and comfort in mind.

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?

Interesting Fact about Ayahuasca and the menstrual cycle 

An interesting aspect of participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony during menstruation is how it might affect the menstrual cycle itself. Some women find that their period may arrive earlier than expected, while others experience a delay. It’s important for women to maintain a flexible attitude about their menstrual cycle when planning for the ceremony. Fretting over the timing—worrying that it might start on the day of the ceremony—can add unnecessary stress. Adopting a calm and accepting mindset towards whatever happens can help alleviate this stress and allow participants to focus more deeply on their spiritual experience.


Conclusion to drinking Ayahuasca on one’s period

In conclusion, if you’re considering participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony while menstruating, it’s crucial to have an open dialogue with the medicine givers. It’s important to understand that participating during menstruation is not universally seen as wrong or prohibited—it’s not a cardinal sin. Different facilitators have different perspectives based on their traditions and experiences. By discussing your concerns and intentions with them, you can gain clarity on how they approach this issue and ensure that your experience aligns with both your personal comfort and the ceremonial guidelines. This conversation can empower you to make an informed decision, helping you to embrace the ceremony with confidence and peace of mind.


The decision for women to participate in Ayahuasca ceremonies during menstruation is profoundly personal and multifaceted. By embracing traditional wisdom, contemporary perspectives, and individual considerations, women can navigate this spiritual journey in alignment with their physical and spiritual well-being.

For further support or inquiries about Ayahuasca and menstruation, feel free to connect with me on Instagram at @elcafedebrujas. I’m here to provide guidance and support on your journey.


In some cultures it is forbidden to drink Ayahuasca during the menstruation cycle. However, this does not universally apply and different traditions as well as different individuals within a tradition might have different approaches towards this subject. It is important to have an open dialogue with your facilitators.

Some people might view it as an outdated gender norm to not allow women to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony. However, this is not the full truth. Many cultures acknowledge that period of the month as a very sensitive time and even a medicine in and of itself. For that reason they prefer to not mix different “medicines” as there are certain challenges that go with it. It does not necessarily refer to outdated gender roles.

To make an informed decision about whether you should drink Ayahuasca on your period or not, it is important to discuss it with the organisers and medicine givers of the retreat you are participating in. Also to take care of your personal comfort during your experience following some of the tips and considerations mentioned above.

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