Ibogaine is a naturally occurring substance derived from various members of the  Apocynaceae plant family, including Tabernanthe boga, and Voacanga africana.  It is a psychoactive compound and has been used medicinally and ceremonially by the Pygmies and other peoples native to West Africa for millennia.

The Bwiti religion ingest large amounts of iboga root bark in order to bring on the healing effects of the medicine  They have been know to  eat up to 70 grams or more over the course of the ceremony.  To try and put this into context, imagine eating 70 grams of sawdust, teaspoon-by-teaspoon.  Ibogaine is an alkaloid, or group of alkaloids, that is extracted from the root bark to make it more potent.  The two common forms of ibogaine found on the market are TA (total alkaloid), which contains all of the alkaloids present in the iboga root bark, whereas Ibogaine HCL (hydrochloride) has been refined one step further, and only contains ibogaine.

The people of the Bwiti religion in Gabon use ibogaine to aide the healing of many different disorders.  While treating for addiction is not it’s primary use in this ancient culture, it has been said that when the elders of Africa were told about the Westerners focus on ibogaine and addiction, they were not surprised by this direction of use.

Using ibogaine to treat for addiction took it’s roots somewhat by-accident in 1962 when a chemist approached his buddy, a guy named Howard Lotsoff, because he knew he would try just about anything.  The chemist had just come across ibogaine for the first time and needed a guinea-pig.  Lotsoff was happy to oblige and swallowed some ibogaine on his way to visit his therapist.  More than 36 hours later, Howard finally came down.  It was an experience like no other, but what would change his life forever was that he had been a heroin user in the years leading up to his ibogaine trip, but throughout out the trip, and beyond it, he had little to no craving for opiates.

Ibogaine has since been used and studied as a first class addiction interrupter.  It works well in interrupting most addictions, and shows exceptional results with opiate addiction, as it directly subdues withdrawal symptoms.  Unlike most opiate maintenance programs, ibogaine is not something you get addicted to, and not something you need to keep taking day-after-day.  An effective ibogaine session will eliminate withdrawal symptoms in opiate users within an hour of ingestion, will obliterate cravings for most substances, and will reset thought patterns to a more innocent state, thereby allowing the person to take up a new and more empowering direction.

Ibogaine can also be used in it’s more traditional sense, in that it does work to promote radical spiritual growth and resolve certain pathological problems.  Used as a tool for initiation into adulthood by the Bwiti, Westerners can also leverage ibogaine towards a more advanced state of being.

To learn more about using ibogaine to help with psycho-spiritual issues like depression, click here.

To learn more about using ibogaine to help beat an addiction, click here.