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Traditional Dietas with Tobacco & Trees

What is a Dieta?

The Shamanic perspective views illness as stemming from the spiritual realm. Traditional healers establish a connection with plant spirits through a practice known as a 'Dieta', offering it to those seeking healing and wisdom from plants through spiritual means. These plants, referred to as 'Master Plants', are esteemed by indigenous cultures for their medicinal properties and are seen as both healers and mentors. Each Master Plant holds unique healing qualities and knowledge, guiding individuals towards inner harmony and environmental balance. The healing facilitated by plant spirits plays a vital role in traditional healing methods, with healers administering plant remedies and selecting appropriate plants for the 'Dieta'. Tobacco often accompanies these rituals, providing a foundation for cleansing and grounding while aiding in the integration of teachings from other plants. Various trees such as Ayahuma and Chiric Sanango, are used alongside Tobacco, each offering distinct healing benefits for physical, emotional, and energetic well-being. During a plant diet, participants receive ceremonial plant tea nightly while resting during the day and consuming light, plant-based meals. To enhance the experience, participants are encouraged to maintain in solitude, avoid sexual stimulation, and follow a detoxifying regimen before the diet. After the diet, resting, gentle eating, and self-care are recommended to facilitate the integration of the healing process and maintain the connection with plant spirits.


A 'diet' ('dieta' in Spanish) is a method of learning from a plant through direct experiential practice rather than solely relying on written knowledge. Through this process, plants serve as guides, leading individuals towards healing and enlightenment. Each plant possesses unique healing properties and wisdom, ultimately guiding individuals towards a deeper understanding of themselves and their role in the world. A dieta typically involves isolating oneself for a designated period, often a series of seven-day cycles, during which the participant consumes light meals like juice or soup and ingests plant medicine under the guidance of a healer. This experience can be intense and involves delving into one's thoughts, beliefs, and fears in solitude in order to release them. The specific plant used is determined by the healer based on the individual's needs, with trees often chosen for their symbolic connection between earth and sky. These trees cleanse and heal on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, forming a spiritual bond with the participant. Though challenging, embarking on a dieta with courage and dedication can lead to profound personal growth and healing.

What is a Curandero?

The term "curandero" in Spanish roughly translates to "one who cures," "healer," or "doctor." There are various types, such as vegetalistas who use plants like herbalists, curanderos who access different states of consciousness to guide and heal, and mythical curanderos like the Shipibo moraya, who have attained mastery, etc. Curanderos specialize in areas like ayahuasca, chiric sanango, or tobacco, and some focus on specific issues like women's health or bone setting. 


Curanderos are akin to doctors; patients seek them for physical or psychological ailments like depression, anxiety, or trauma. They may use plants to address symptoms but also aim to uncover and heal the root cause, often delving into the psyche. Through ceremonies or diets, patients work experientially with plants like ayahuasca to heal and learn. Becoming a curandero involves intensive plant work, guided by a teacher, leading to a deep understanding of oneself and the healing power of plants.


Trauma, if not addressed emotionally, can manifest as physical illness. While herbalists focus on the physical, shamans seek spiritual roots of diseases, treating them to allow the body to heal itself. Shamans intuitively select plants based on the patient's unique process, using insight, metaphors, and dreams. Their role is to create a safe healing space, guide participants, and bridge the gap between Western and plant spirit worlds.


Dietas, or plant diets, raise one's vibration, making it easier to identify and release harmful emotional and mental patterns. They're beneficial for connecting with master plants, treating various conditions like depression or trauma, and discovering new perspectives. Tobacco ceremonies cleanse and ground the body. Shamanic initiation offers learning from master plants for those interested in becoming Tabaqueros.

Akin to the spanish word curandera, as a mestiza Visayan woman, a similar descriptive term is that of the 'Babaylan' (Central and Western Visayas) Also known as dailan (from dait which means friendship/peace), the babaylan is a mediator between the gods and the people and healer of the body and spirit. Mostly played by women, the babaylan’s role bordered on the political as well, being a close adviser of the datu in almost all matters concerning religion, medicine, natural phenomena, etc.

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Upcoming Dietas

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Maui, Hawaii

March 12 - 19
March 20-27 

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Northern California

2024 is Now Open

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