Beyond the relationships formed with plant spirits thanks to dietas, I think life as a whole can be understood in terms of relationships. In fact, life could actually be defined by relationships. Our relationship to the food we eat, to the environment in which we live, to our coworkers, employers and employees, clients, and job, to our friends and family, our community, and society, to substances like alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, or activities like singing, dancing, and making love, all of these relationships and many more define our lives. It is the nature of the energy within these relationships, and the quantity of love we give and receive through these relationships, that most influences our health. The dieta is a further extension of these life defining relationships into dimensions or energy frequencies often imperceptible in our normal reality, and it is these relationships with spirits that make it possible for curanderos to facilitate powerful transformations for others. We are all aware of how much we get by with a little help from our friends, but perhaps no one knows this as well as curanderos.
NOTE: Recently, since foreigners have begun drinking ayahuasca and a tourist industry has formed around ayahuasca ceremonies and treatments with curanderos, a new diet has emerged that most people refer to as the ayahuasca diet. This diet was designed to keep people safe during the ceremonies. Ayahuasca can have dangerous effects when mixed with certain substances, namely pharmaceutical medication and most specifically anti-depressant medication or SSRIs. Other negative effects are possible when mixing ayahuasca with some foods as well, like dairy products, but this diet is different from the dieta described above. While the ayahuasca diet can be used to demonstrate one’s determination and is a good idea, it should not be confused with the traditional dieta that forms such an integral part of the science of plant medicine in the Amazon Rainforest.
Many people outside of the cultural tradition of curanderismo have trouble understanding the concept of consequences, feeling that plant spirits are like enlightened beings, and therefore would never punish someone, but I think in the context of a contractual agreement, consequences might make more sense. Even with the perception that plant spirits are loving and benevolent, and understanding of consequences is quite logical. Parents teach the concept of consequences to their children to prepare them to be adults. They teach their children about consequences because they love their children, and want to instill in them the ability to make appropriate decisions. I think plant spirits are doing the same thing. Of course, everyone is free to think whatever they like. What I have presented is merely my interpretation of what I have been taught by my teachers and by what I have experienced myself by doing dietas. It took a decade of study for me to reach this understanding, and I am sure I will continue to develop my perspective and ideas in the future.
The preparation of the dieta plant and mapacho is ingested and the dieter then fasts for at least two days. Water is often limited during this time, as well. The same preparation is ingested the following day, and possibly on consecutive days as well or again after a period of time. Once the fast is complete, the dieter then begins eating according to the terms worked out. In the case of students, their teacher may negotiate a less restrictive dieta that includes rice, beans, some vegetables, and even bananas, however the student may also decide on his/her own to keep a more strict dieta to further emphasize his/her determination. Ultimately, it is the dieter who must keep the dieta, but if the terms were established by the teacher, the teacher will also take responsibility for the student keeping the dieta.
La comida rápida es hamburguesas y papas fritas en lugares como McDonalds o Burger King, pero ambos tipos de comida chatarra son extremadamente poco saludables para su cuerpo. Soda también, se considera un tipo de comida chatarra, los médicos coinciden en que la adición de comida chatarra en su dieta afecta directamente su peso, haciéndolo más obeso. Pero se pone peor que eso, también está asociado con la presión arterial fuera de control, la caries dental, algunas formas de cáncer, y más.
El estrés es, créanlo o no, una causa importante para el aumento de peso. Esto es porque en el día, cuando la gente estaba estresada, era a menudo porque la comida era escasa, por lo que nuestros cerebros han evolucionado de tal manera que cada vez que nos sentimos estresados, nuestro cerebro le dice al cuerpo que debe almacenar alimentos, ya que puede ser escasa.
Tobacco, or mapacho as it is called in the Amazon, is a sacred medicine of people all throughout the Americas, where it is indigenous to. It is often said that tobacco is the Grandfather plant, from which all other plants sprung forth. In the Amazon, tobacco has a universal appeal as medicine, spanning most indigenous groups. Tobacco is often the primary medicine of the curandero, or shaman.
“Estas pastillas solo deben suministrarse de forma adicional a un tratamiento nutricional y en personas con afecciones como retención a la insulina, que provoca obesidad”, sostiene el médico nutriólogo Arnaldo Hurtado. “Acudir a estos medicamentos en primera instancia es un acto facilista por parte del paciente. Lo que hay que hacer es empezar a cambiar el estilo de vida y aprender a comer”, añade, por su parte, la nutricionista Lisette Vigo de la clínica San Pablo. Cabe mencionar que estas deben suministrarse solo por un médico y no por nutricionistas.
Algunos remedios naturales como el té verde, el chitosán y las bayas de goji son excelentes para favorecer la pérdida de peso. También existen medicamentos de farmacia como el Saxenda y el Orlistat, siendo importante que el medicamento sea indicado por un médico, ya que el tipo de medicamento y la dosis dependerán de las necesidades individuales de la persona.