Latin: Tabernathe iboga
Parts Used: Bark of the root
Taste/Energetics: Bitter, cold
Properties: Entheogen, Stimulant, emetic, dissociative, anti-addictive
Actions: Iboga is a tree that grows throughout West-Cetral Africa and is commonly used ceremonially and for healing rituals by Bwiti and other indigenous peoples for its potent stimulating and (in larger doses) entheogenic properties. The main constituent that causes its overwhelming effect is the alkaloid ibogaine and both it and the whole plant are illegal in the U.S. It has gained recognition not only as a potent entheogen but as a plant that can help those dealing with addiction issues and especially for opiate addiction.
At higher (flood) doses, there is a sense of communion with the spirit of this plant. The Bwiti people describe taking Iboga as inducing potent visual trances, communication with ancestors and a spiritual catharsis. In essence the plant can cause a deep inventory of one’s life and help heal deep seated psychological and spiritual issues. At higher doses, the plant is deeply incapacitating and causes derealization and fragmentation from ordinary reality. For many Iboga has been instrumental in helping them change their lives, unhealthy patterns and addictions and to live in a better way. There is some evidence that iboga can reduce or even terminate withdrawals and cravings for opiates and other substances. However, the plant also is strongly stimulating to the heart and is dangerous to anyone with cardiac issues. It can induce vomiting, muscle tension and severe confusion in some as well.
Dosage: The average dose of the ibogaine alkaloid by itself is in the 200-2000mg range. The alkaloid is found in concentrations of around 6 % in the root bark. The average dose of the whole bark and root is between 3 and 30 grams. The lower doses are more stimulating and the larger doses (flood doses) are psychedelic and can be deeply profound and overwhelming. There are reports of deaths on this plant from cardiac arrest at higher doses and I have personally met a woman who said her son died from an overdose of ibogaine. Because of this I would encourage utmost caution when working with this plant. There are a number of clinics that specialize in working with addiction issues through the use of iboga/ibogaine but many are run by unscrupulous folks so please beware.
Like many entheogenic plants found in places like South America and Africa, there is quite a bit of exploitation of the plant and the indigenous peoples who have worked with it for ages. Already there is some evidence that overharvesting of this slow growing tree is leading to rapid diminishing reserves. We need to not add to this excessive exploitation of this culturally valuable plant.
Contraindications: Extremely potent psychedelics just ain’t for everyone folks. Anyone with cardiac issues should avoid it. Avoid if pregnant. Best done in small “test” amount to see how one reacts. Don’t do it alone and best done with a professional and knowledgable “sitter” who can help. Be very careful and do lots and lots of research.