What is Iboga?
Tabernanthe iboga is a small shrub that grows wild in Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Cameroon. It is related to the coffee plant and grows in well-drained soil, partially shaded by larger canopy trees. It has deep green narrow leaves, small clusters of tiny white-to-yellow flowers. The fruit are yellow to orange and about the size of a grape. Iboga root bark contains the active alkaloids which give it it’s unique properties. The first layer of root bark is removed and discarded. It is the second layer that is scraped and powdered for use.
Iboga is a strong entheogen. In sufficient quantity the user experiences a long lasting visionary state. It has psychedelic properties and commonly creates open eye hallucinations.
Iboga has been used for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. It is a powerful, activating plant teacher and spirit. Its origins lie with the forest Pygmie people of central West Africa. The Bwiti sects of Gabon and Cameroon use iboga as they key sacrament in their initiation process.
Bwiti is the reason Gabon has been called “The Tibet of Africa,” and iboga is at the center of Bwiti spirituality. Taken in small doses, iboga(ine) stimulates the central nervous system and heightens the senses. In larger doses, it produces intense and long lasting (aroud 12-16 hours) visionary states, the process of which can lead to long-term psychological recovery as well as beneficial life changes. It is in this manner that iboga(ine) excels in treating disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Iboga was introduced to the West by Howard Lotsof in 1962. Lotsof discovered that iboga, or more specifically the derivative Ibogaine HCL (hydrochloride), could reduce or eliminate opiate withdrawal symptoms. While ibogaine therapy is a promising treatment for options for addictions, it is not a cure-all and there is a long process of recovery that requires a dedication of time. Most ibogaine facilities do these detox treatments over the course of a week, and in our opinion this is no where near sufficient time to address all the issues that cause and fuel addiction. For this reason, we do not offer detox services.
Indole alkaloids typically make up 6% of the scrapings of the root bark. The more time the iboga plant grows the more alkaloids it contains. It takes an average of seven years to reach maturity and contain enough alkaloids for therapeutic use. Ibogaine, ibogamine, ibogaline and tabernanthine are four key alkaloids present, with most of the pharmacological knowledge about ibogaine. Also found in iboga are coronaridine, voacangine, isovoacangine, and conophararyngine, which have unknown qualities..
All forms of ibogaine are derived from iboga root bark. Therefore there are different types of ibogaine and varying degrees of purity. Ibogaine HCL is the purest form of ibogaine (up to 99%) and has been found to be safest and easiest on the body as well as reducing recovery time post-treatment. Ibogaine TA (total alkaloids) is another type of ibogaine available and is 15% total alkaloids by weight, 8% of which is ibogaine.
The visions produced by ibogaine therapy can provide insights to past patterns and behaviors in an individual’s life and personality which helps people realize what changes they need and want for personal growth and success in their lives. These visions also usually come with feelings of gratitude, acceptance and peace from matters of the past, allowing a user to focus on their future and the potential it can hold. It is in this matter that ibogaine excels in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD and other conditions of the mind.
Patient safety is our biggest priority at New Life Ayahuasca. Ibogaine treatment can be tough on the body physically so we implement a rigorous medical screening process that requires certain medical tests including an EKG and certain blood work, which is determined by our medical director, prior to treatment. We do constant monitoring of vital signs during the treatment and have a medical doctor on site during treatment and the following day. For more information please visit our sister program New Life Iboga on Ibogaine Safety.