Shamanic Herbal, Clay and Flowering Baths

Preparation of the ritual flowering bath. Photo: F. Sammarco

Preparation of the ritual flowering bath. Photo: F. Sammarco

Baño de limpieza means literally “cleansing bath” and is a purifying herbal bath aimed at the dissipation of negative energies/thoughts that may have penetrated the auric field and/or the body of a person, creating a situation of unhealthy emotional imbalance. During each Ayahuasca retreat there will be three cleansing ritual baths per week (the timing is decided by the shaman), with Ayahuasca, Chacruna, Ajos sacha, Sara masho, or Rosa sisa leaves.

The baño de barro is is done after the baño de limpieza, with either mud, or pure refined rainforest grey clay.

Baño de florecimiento means exactly “flourishing bath”, and has the purpose of attracting good-luck, wealth and prosperity into one’s life.

There will be two ritual flowering baths towards the end of each retreat. They are meant to attract good luck, prosperity, love and friendship in one’s life.The baños de limpieza are always done first, and the baños de florecimiento always come after and are done towards the end of the retreat (exception made for dieteros, i.e. those doing the plant diet, who may receive their flower baths more often). Each week, there will be up to two cleansing herbal baths, one clay bath, and two flower baths that pilgrims may receive as part of their treatment during the Ayahuasca retreat.

"Labio de novia" plant. Photo: F. Sammarco

“Labio de novia” plant. Photo: F. Sammarco

The main ingredients of the shamanic flower bath are the flowers of the Rosa cisa (Tagetes erecta), Labio de novia (Psychotria poeppigiania), Chiric sanango (Brunfelsia grandiflora) and Piri-piri teacher plants.

Piri-piri dry extract, ready to be mixed with water for the ritual flowering bath.

Piri-piri dry extract, ready to be mixed with water for the ritual flowering bath.

Through these ritual baths, the spirits of the plantas maestras are believed to enter more easily in contact with the person.

The shamans recommend that it is important not to shed off the flowers from one’s body, after having done a baño de florecimiento. The flowers should be left on your person for as long as possible (to retain good luck), and you should simply wait for them to fell down, with the natural movements of your body.