Common fears of Plant Medicine

“Will I throw up?” and other common fears of plant medicine

“Will I throw up?”

The is one of the most common fears of plant medicine: So many people ask me this question if they are new to plant medicine – and trust me, I too was afraid before my first plant medicine ceremony!

I didn’t know what to expect and only had biased ideas about plant medicine. So many questions and fears were racing through my mind before my first ceremony.

Fears I had in my first plant medicine ceremony

A few years ago, my best friend took me to an old shaman in the woods. It was my birthday that weekend and I was being treated to my very first shamanic ceremony. 

The thing is – I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had been asked to bring food and water to get me through the weekend and, as I entered the tipi for the first time, I realized that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for what was about to happen.

Suddenly, so many questions flooded my mind:

  • Are we going to do drugs?
  • Will I throw up? 
  • What if I don’t like it?”
  • Also – what am I going to do if I don’t like it?

In a plant medicine ceremony, there’s nothing to do. All you have to do is surrender to what you are experiencing – to “watch it” like a movie.

4 common fears of plant medicine

Little did I know this weekend would be the beginning of Part 2 of my life. 

I was in good hands for that first ceremony and ended up having an amazing introduction to sacred plant medicines. It was because of that ceremony that I was able to overcome my fears of trying plant medicine for the first time, and I am happy to say that there is so much light on the other side of those fears. 

In fact, the shaman who led the ceremony ended up becoming my shaman mentor for quite some time. And after years of study, I can say, with the deepest gratitude and humility, that I am now a practicing medicine man myself. 

So much opened up for me because I was willing to step into the unknown with courage and resolve.

And you can experience this awakening, too! Even if you have one or all of these four common fears – trust me – it’s totally worth taking that first step.

1. Will I throw up?

Throwing up can happen. But – here’s the reason why it’s actually a good thing:

You will only have to throw up what’s been living inside of you – something that needs to come out. If you throw up as a result of taking a plant medicine – it’s because you are purging yourself of something that no longer serves you. This is an important part of your healing!

In essence you are made of love and light, so when you purge – it’s not the love and light doesn’t need to come out. It’s what’s blocking that.

What comes out are the layers you’ve mistaken as your “identity:” the stories, unhealed pain, wounds from the past – you’ve been living with them for your whole life. 

Those need to come out from inside of you and when it does, this is part of your process of getting rid of something that no longer serves you. Throwing up is your process of healing yourself.

2. Will I feel trapped?

Maybe. It is possible to have the feeling of being “trapped,” and yes: you can’t “escape” that feeling. However, there is nothing you need to escape from! The best way to understand this fear is that it is like watching a movie:

When you watch a movie, it can be intense. The movie can take you on a journey through your highest and lowest emotions.

You may even discover things about yourself that you were never aware of before.

Plant medicine can give you this same experience!

And just like you may not always like every movie you watch, you may not like every “trip” you have with plant medicine.

But just like a movie will end – so too will the plant medicine experience. 

In a plant medicine ceremony, there’s nothing to do. All you have to do is surrender to what you are experiencing – to “watch it” like a movie.

Trust the medicine and remember: it will always end.

You never have to be afraid of plant medicine. They are our greatest healers and greatest teachers.

3. What if I’m afraid to lose control?

Plant medicine will only give you what you are capable of dealing with. NO EXCEPTIONS. 

Control is an illusion anyway. Learning to let go and surrender is one of the first teachings of plant medicine – a true gift in life. Only after our surrender can the medicine help us heal and find a new perspective.

Plant medicine helped me understand my need for controlling outcomes, guiding me through a process of surrender so that I no longer needed to respond from a place of control.

The medicine will never force you to do anything – it is only a reflection of you, your decision, and intention. Simply accept: “Apparently, I’m ready for this.”

4. What if I don’t like the emotions that come up?

The fact that it might expand something that lives inside of you might cause a fear. “What if it expands this one thing I don’t want to relive…” 

For myself, plant medicine often brought up my inner child that I had been ignoring for so many years. The part of me that was so desperate to be seen after a childhood of bullying – feeling like a social outcast amongst my peers.

It was that part of me that framed the first part of my life – and it was the plant medicine that asked me to face this part of my past and to heal this.

So yes – I didn’t necessarily like the emotions that came up. However, I needed to deal with them, and the plant medicine showed me the path to this healing.

Fear of our own emotions is completely normal and it’s what the medicine is designed to do: to show you what you need to work on. 

You never have to be afraid of plants: fear is normal 

There is a natural fear we have of plant medicine because ultimately, it highlights the fears we have of the unknown. If you are willing to step into that fear – I promise you will be so grateful for the awareness that you are rewarded with.

You never have to be afraid of plant medicine. They are our greatest healers and greatest teachers.

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