Monday, November 20, 2017

Ayahuasca Dieta and Salt

Someone asked a quetion about why was salt forbidden on the ayahuasca dieta. His take was that since he used Himalayan Sea Salt he didn't see why he could not use that. A couple of people replied that lack of salt made you weak and that that was a good way to go into ayahuasca ceremony, and someone else noted that your body cannot be purified by the medicine if water is tied to it by salt. I don't buy those explanations. Here's my take, once more:
Actually, until quite recently, there was not much salt available in the Amazon. What salt there was was used to salt fish and meat to bring it to market without spoiling, not to be wasted on food. Remember, until 2000 or so, nearly all village to town trips were made by dugout canoe, meaning they often took several hours or maybe half a day. If collecting enough fish to make it worthwhile to go to town to sell them took a week, salt was vital to preserving them. (In 2000 or so the cheap Honda motors for peque-peques became available for the first time, allowing a lot more people to have access to motorized tranportation in the Amazon.) The Chinese, however, when brought over to build railways in Peru, brought with them Aji-no-Moto, MSG, and that became a staple of food seasoning in the Amazon. It certainly was everywhere when I got there in 1984, and is still the seasoning of preference over salt. So I think the "no salt" thing is simply another "thing" that was not available, so not used, and which has now become part of a doctrine of dieta. And that's fine if people want to include it, but not traditional in the sense that it was given up as it was not normally used anyway. Certainly for gringos in lodges who are not going to sweat, giving up salt is okay. But for people who are going to do jungle tours that include hiking in jungle and other strenuous things, giving up salt is not a good thing for the body. Going into ceremony physically weak--low on electrolytes, low on sugar, dehydrated from lack of salt--is not a good way to go. Just my opinion, of course.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It is supposedly because salt is a spiritual "grounding" agent.