What Are the Side Effects of Ayahuasca & Are They Bad For You?

Exploring the world of Ayahuasca can be a transformative journey, but it’s crucial to navigate with awareness. Understanding the somewhat unpleasant Ayahuasca side effects is important, as they can feel scary at the beginning of your Ayahuasca practice.


Whether you drink Ayahuasca in the rainforests of Peru, or the concrete jungles of a metropolitan city….not as nurturing, FYI….you will have side-effects. But what doesn’t? Sugar gets us jacked up then crashes us down. Same with caffeine, tobacco, soda, or long bouts of strenuous exercise.

And let’s not forget the medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration, prescribed out to millions of people a day, which carry the following possible side-effects: fatigue, nausea, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, muscle weakness, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, restlessness, restless leg syndrome, nervousness, blurred vision, constipation, incontinence, uncontrollable hunger, loss of appetite, confusion, delirium, dry mouth, hives, itching, forgetfulness, agitation, irritability, thoughts of grandeur, hallucinations, weight loss, weight gain, muscle atrophy, brittle hair and nails, swollen gums, fever, pain with swallowing, malaise, dermatitis, headaches, tinnitus, balance issues, early arthritis, compromised immune system, bruising, internal bleeding, and last but not least, cancer. Due to the side-effects of one drug, another prescription medication is often given to combat that, and so on down the line.

What the….? If those are possible side-effects, how are these drugs even legal? How indeed. But again, these are only possibilities. And according to the masses, the benefits outweigh the risks. Which begs the question, why do so many people shy away from trying Ayahuasca due to its side-effects, when its unpleasant aspects are so short-lived? We can’t get through to a healing without first shaking up the tree.


When reviewing the side effects of ayahuasca, it’s important to distinguish between long-term and short-term effects, which can differ significantly.

Short-term side effects

Possible short-term side effects of Ayahuasca include: increased heart rate, hallucinations, tremors, dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, restlessness, fear, anxiety, panic, long lasting euphoria, peacefulness, tranquility, elimination of depression and suicidal ideation, elimination of hopelessness, fear, panic, anxiety and PTSD.

Long-term side effects

There has been limited research on this topic, but reported potential long-term effects can include persistent mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Also, there is the possibility of dangerous drug interactions, posing risks to individuals using prescription medications or supplements. Therefore, it’s highly important to keep in mind that there are some medications that shouldn’t be combined with ayahuasca in any given situation. Additionally, you need to be in good physical and mental shape to partake in the consumption of Ayahuasca.

Explore further details on this page.


Couldn’t one say that the pros outweigh the risks? Especially considering one does not have to be popping a pill on the daily to maintain their new level of emotional or physical well-being? Not having to pop a pill every day that eventually creates an unwanted side-effect which has us having to take another pill every single day?

Some argue that because Ayahuasca is illegal, it should not be used ever. To those who press that point, do take into consideration that legal prescription drugs have now outpaced car accidents as the leading cause of death in the United States alone. Yikes my friends. That means that over 40,000 people a year die because of prescription drugs. And that’s not including the deaths by overdose of opioid prescriptions, which kills an average of 130 a day and costs the US economy an average of &78 billion a year.

To each their own but…yeah, I’ll drink the foul tasting jungle brew, temporary side-effects and all….any day over that statistic.


If you’re intrigued by the transformative potential of Ayahuasca and unswayed by its potential side effects, consider embarking on a profound healing journey with us. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes, and guided by experienced shamans, our premier ayahuasca retreat Peru provides a safe and supportive environment to explore the depths of your consciousness.