The samá tradition is not to be taken lightly and each student should come into it on their own terms; ready and open to the experience.

The samá tradition is not to be taken lightly and each student should come into it on their own terms; ready and open to the experience. The natural process of the samá can be very unsettling and challenging. Physical, mental, and energetic shifts can take place and be profoundly beautiful, or even extremely unpleasant as one reestablishes their own universal balance and brings about a harmonic integration and collaboration with the conscious energy of a master plant. To facilitate learning and healing one must have discipline and strictly follow the requirements, which focus on isolation and abstaining from certain foods and activities. Neglecting these requirements can restrict or end the benefits from a period of samá, or even be extremely detrimental to one’s health and well-being.

One will need to arrive with the desire and commitment to initiate and complete the period of samá while continuing to nurture the samá within oneself after the period of isolation. The earlier one can refrain from consuming and participating in the following list of restrictions (see next section) prior to initiating the samá, the better. We recommend a minimum of 2 weeks. Many foods, drugs, and pharmaceuticals react very strongly to certain Amazonian plant medicines; please refer to this forum for a very thorough list and possible reactions. In the context of samá, these restricted energies can contaminate our bodies and distract our minds, causing an unbalanced energetic state within oneself.

Samá Restrictions

A strict and properly observed samá will better purify one’s body and make it easier for one to recognize and feel the subtle energies of a plant medicine and connect with its accompanying spirit, or íbo, to heal us and teach us. These restrictions, in combination with isolation, are meant to provide this purification by cleansing one’s physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual bodies.

The main restrictions to abstain from during any period of samá:


    • Caffeine
    • All Dairy Products
    • Added Salt
    • Added Sugar
    • Added Spices and Herbs
    • Fruit, Especially Acidic and Over-Ripened (Fermenting)
    • Pungent and Caustic Vegetables
    • Processed Oils
    • Frozen or Cold Food and Drinks

Foods/Ingestible (continued)

  • Fermented Drinks and Foods, Especially Alcoholic Drinks
  • Mammals (Red and White Meats), Especially All Pork Products
  • Factory Raised Fowl
  • Carnivorous and Farm Raised Fish
  • Recreational Drugs
  • Pharmaceutical Drugs
  • Herbal Supplements and Multivitamins (There is some flexibility here.)


    • Sexual Activities and Thoughts
    • Phones, Computers, and Screens of Any Kind
    • Touching Other People
    • Unmindful Communication with Other Students
    • Bathing with Soaps and Shampoo
    • Application of Deodorants, Lotions, Creams, Makeup, and Hair Products

    It is best to eat as clean as possible prior to the samá, so we advise not to overdue on added sugars, salt, oil, and avoid most packaged and all processed foods. Cooking one’s own food as much as possible is best. This way one will know exactly what they are putting into their body. Essentially, you are what you eat.