What does Iboga look like?
What does Iboga look like?
Okay, here it is: Tabernanthe iboga.
This is the full shrub that’s fruiting, indigenous to Gabon in West Africa used by the Bwiti:
The root of the shrub is harvested and then the outer rootbark gently shredded off the inner woody stalk. From there the raw root bark can be ingested, or in can go through a refinement process which extracts Ibogaine from the root.
Now that you’ve seen where the beautiful medicine is derived from, it will be easier to understand and assimilate the rest of the information in this blog and on the site.
What it looks like is pretty simple, a photo or two gives you the general idea. So now it’s time to get into more of the details. Let’s start with some of the basics, then work our way up from there. Here’s a little bit about what Wikipedia says about this plant:
Tabernanthe iboga or simply iboga is a perennial rainforest shrub and psychedelic, native to western Central Africa. Iboga stimulates the central nervous system when taken in small doses and induces visions in larger doses. In parts of Africa where the plant grows, the bark of the root is chewed for various pharmacological or ritualistic purposes. Ibogaine, the active alkaloid, is also used to treat substance abuse disorders and depression. A small amount of ibogaine, along with precursors of ibogaine, are found in Voacanga africana.
Normally growing to a height of 2 m, T. iboga may eventually grow into a small tree up to 10 m tall, given the right conditions. It has small green leaves. Its flowers are white and pink, while the fruit can be either an elongated oval shape, or a round spherical shape, both having an orange colour. Its yellow-coloured roots contain a number of indole alkaloids, most notably ibogaine, which is found in the highest concentration in the root-bark. The root material, bitter in taste, causes an anaesthetic sensation in the mouth as well as systemic numbness to the skin.
The Iboga tree is the central pillar of the Bwiti spiritual practice in West-Central Africa, mainly Gabon, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo, which uses the alkaloid-containing roots of the plant in a number of ceremonies. Iboga is taken in massive doses by initiates of this spiritual practice, and on a more regular basis is eaten in smaller doses in connection with rituals and tribal dances, which are usually performed at night. Bwitists have been subject to persecution by Catholic missionaries, who to this day are thoroughly opposed to the growing spiritual practice of Bwiti. Léon M’ba, before becoming the first President of Gabon in 1960, defended the Bwiti religion and the use of iboga in French colonial courts. On June 6, 2000, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Gabon declared Tabernanthe iboga to be a national treasure.
In lower doses Iboga has a stimulant effect and is used to maintain alertness while hunting.
Below you can read more from, Dimitri Mugianis and Howard Lotsof. Read as they share their perspective and experiences with ibogaine, which is derived from the iboga plant’s root bark. These two men have given a lot to the ibogaine world. They were both major leaders in bringing this style of treatment into the public’s eye. Both seriously putting it on the line for the betterment of all. If you don’t know much about Dimitri or Howard, look them up – both are incredible people.
“Iboga healed me from drug addiction,” states Mugianis in the video. “I was a 20-year drug addict. I was injecting cocaine and heroin. I was on methadone. I could not stop.”
“With one treatment of iboga, eleven years ago, I stopped my addiction to heroin, cocaine, and methadone,” he states.
“What is special about ibogaine is that it can reverse addiction,” Howard Lotsoff comments. “I mean we can take an active heroin addict, an active cocaine addict, with a completely runaway addiction syndrome, and bring them into a hospital, or bring them into an apartment, or bring them into a Bwiti temple and give them ibogaine, or iboga, or iboga extract and completely reverse that addiction. So we can turn an addict into a non-addict over a two to three day period. And that is simply something that is unseen.”
Traditionally used in West African countries including Cameroon, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to induce deep hallucinogenic trances where profound healings take place, iboga is now being used in specialized clinics in Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, and New Zealand to treat drug addiction, one of modern civilizations most persistent maladies, with astonishing results.
“I’ve seen people really come to grips with eating disorders, body image,” says Mugianis, who was also the subject of the 2010 full length documentary film I’m Dangerous With Love, which chronicles iboga culture in Africa and its use for detox in the U.S. “It’s an incredible tool for healing, for healing the wounds that we inflict on each other and on ourselves.”
“As a drug to be used in psychotherapy I don’t think it has an equal,” says Lotsoff. “It just allows a complete review by the individual of the issues they consider the most important to themselves. We all know the questions we have to ask and we all know the answers, but ibogaine precipitates that discussion.” Read more…
Depending on the details of your visit with us, you may receive doses of the root bark or Ibogaine. Both are very powerful, curative medicines. To be more clear, you will for sure take Ibogaine and you may take iboga root bark. Ibogaine is always provided, but not everyone takes iboga. This is because iboga is very very difficult on the stomach and gag reflect – making it difficult to keep down. Most people get sick and throw it up, which rarely happens with ibogaine.
I’ll talk more about this in future posts.
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It’s also fun to read about the History of Ibogaine, this helps to round out the picture of what this medicine is about.