Absolutely. IF administered by knowledgable people.
There are two types of potential dangers that can arise: 1) physical harm from additives to the medicine & 2) An energetic danger.
All these medicines are physically safe as long as people follow the required diet, are not taking anti-depressants, and are not pregnant.
What has happened with these medicines’ recent growth in popularity is that more people have come seeking them with unreal expectations. Some people assume these always cause visions because they heard others had them. The reality is that there is an infinite amount of possibility as to what one experiences, ranging from very mild feelings, to purging, to intense visions. Some people take upwards of 8 ceremonies before they have a connection, some people achieve it on the first try.
1) When people don’t get what they wanted or expected they complain and demand their money back. To avoid this, some people started adding ingredients to the medicine to increase chances of hallucination (since that’s what tourists want). The problem is that if the facilitator adds ingredients like “toé”, a powerful but dangerous flower from the jungle, and they don’t know how much to add, it can cause permanent brain damage or death. ALWAYS ask the facilitator where the medicine comes from and what is in it. NOTE: Toé is a very respected plant and there are cultures that developed around it, but you must be absolutely certain how to administer it.
The energetic is more difficult to explain, but feel free to use your own terminology (spirits, demons, energies, etc.) or ignore this if you don’t believe any of this.
Normally, whether you know it or not, humans have an energetic field that protects us from incoming energies looking for a home (these energies are essentially anything that is not you; greed, jealousy, anger, depression, sadness, etc.). Normally these can only enter us with permission. When we partake in these substances, this field weakens making it much easier for these energies to enter, but also to exit. A lot of the healing done during a ceremony is these energies being forced out b/c the individual has a breakthrough or revelation and willed it out consciously.
2) When people who have no experience or knowledge of how this works, and they begin facilitating ceremonies, they put themselves and their patients in danger. Part of being a facilitator is knowing how to protect yourself and how to offer protection for your patients. It may not happen often, but there are people who carry some very dark and strong energy they’ve let fester over time. If the facilitator isn’t prepared others may pick up this energy, including the facilitator, and instead of healing in the ceremony, people leave sicker than when they arrived. ALWAYS ask how a facilitator was trained and be weary of ceremonies that have a lot of people at once (20+).
Please do not let these scare you. If the medicine is prepared correctly (most teachers brew it themselves), if you follow the diet, and if the facilitator is reputable or well trained, then THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR.
The diet ranges depending on who you talk to. We will offer what we’ve been taught. No meat, no alcohol, no drugs (pure tobacco is ok), avoid processed sugars, avoid salts (it retains water), and no sexual acts (yet to be proven). Essentially drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables as naturally as you can get them. Rice and breads are ok.
Duration depends on the person. If you know you eat unhealthy (lots of meat, junk food, soda, smoke cigarettes, etc.), and you really want to heal, you should shoot for a week of diet. If you’re a vegan/vegetarian, you don’t eat junk food, and don’t smoke cigarettes, you really only need 2-3 days of good diet.