From research and personal experience in the field of traditional medicine, I have come to realize there appears to be sequence of using traditional medicines both in South America and Southern Africa for psychological and spiritual healing.
Many western seekers are focusing on psyche opening plants like ayahuasca, yet there are 3 other equally important categories of plants used to transform a person.
1. Cleansing. To let go of the old self one has to clean and let go of the past. In my training in South African traditional medicine I used a number of powerful cleansing plants to steam and vomit with (ingwavuma being one) to prepare myself to open with Ubulawu (mind opening medicine). This together with diet restrictions (same as in dietas).
2. Mind Opening medicines: Once you cleanse yourself, you open with the ubualwu medicines. These I am finding are not without their dangers. Incorrect mixtures and dosages can lead to harm. So an experienced healer is required to advise (if you don’t have a dream connection with ancestors who guide you on this).
3. Grounding-Strengthening Medicines. After using ubulawu (in a ritual process for up to 4 days sometimes 2.5 weeks depending on the case and using new medicines every 4 days), or other entheogens like ayahuasca, you need to ground from the opening. Too much opening is not good for an initiate or seeker they must also relax. This is where I used red tree bark medicines to root and relax me for 5 days.
4. Protection medicines. Certain plants are used to help you manage your energy field and become strong.
For more on this plant based mind healing and self development technology see: http://phytoalchemy.co.za/2018/02/14/cross-cultural-technology-healing-consciousness-using-psychoactive-plant-medicines/
Many of these plants I cant mention because they form part of an initiation process that is sensitive. Yet others I can mention such as ingwavuma-for cleansing, and Chenopodium ambrosiodes L.* [insukumbili (Z)] for grounding as an incense etc.
The Ubulawu should be taken very seriously to avoid psyche disturbances.
The importance of these categories is to harmonize the intense disruption of old patterns of behaviour with plant medicines like ubulawu with relaxing and smoothing plants in the categories of strengthening and protection. My research findings, initiation process and traditional healer reports suggest that the use of these categories of often subtle acting psychoactive plant medicines is indispensable for the healing process, and that Westerners would benefit in knowing these categories and that shamanic healing is not only the use of Strong opening plant medicines like San Perdo or Ayahuasca, but a well designed process of using numerous subtle acting psychoactive plant medicines, in a sequence, in order to heal and transform a person, that requires time and patience.