Iboga, Tabernanthe Iboga

Tabernanthe Iboga, Ibogaine or simply Iboga, is a perennial rainforest shrub and psychedelic, native to western Central Africa, originating from Congo and later spread to Gabon and Cameroon. Iboga is traditionally used in rites of passage and healing rituals.

Iboga has been found to eliminate withdrawal from opiates and reduce craving for a wide range of drugs of abuse. The iboga experience facilitates a profound revision of one’s personal history and life situation, as wel as adjustment of one’s behavior and role in the family and society.

The Bwiti tribe of Gabon and Cameroon views Iboga as the sacred essence in their spiritual practices. Once in their lives, members of the tribe ingest Iboga during an initiation ceremony. Through this ritual, the members become a baanzi, one who has seen the other world/reality.
The active alkaloid Ibogaine is used to treat substance-abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Ibogaine is also used as a facilitator to psychological introspection and spiritual exploration.
When taken in small doses Iboga stimulates the central nervous system and induces visions when ingested in larger doses. These visions are said to include long forgotten childhood memories along with other revelations, which is said to heal past hurts. The effects of Ibogaine can also include nausea and vomiting, though this is not always the case.

It has been speculated that addiction is related to a disrupted relationship between the brain’s two hemispheres, and that ibogaine may cause “bihemispheric reintegration” causing the two hemispheres to reconnect. Ibogaine is also said to access REM sleep in a profound way – people are said to need considerably less sleep for several months after an ibogaine experience.

In the parts of Africa where Iboga grows the bark of the root is chewed for various pharmacological or ritualistic ceremonial purposes. The active alkaloid Ibogaine is used to treat substance-abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Ibogaine is also used as a facilitator to psychological introspection and spiritual exploration.

Traditionally in the Bwiti culture, iboga is used in rites of passage of adolescent boys or healing rites for men and women. In the span of five days, a death-rebirth process is initiated with the ingestion of this ethnobotanical and carefully guided by the community in the form of various rituals in which many people take part.

In Occidental society, ibogaine is an experimental tool in psychotherapy and addiction treatment used for opiate detoxification and addiction interruption of a variety of drugs and prescription medications.

This information was provided by The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research & Service. Find more information about Iboga here.

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