Ibogaine is an entheogen and a psychedelic substance with dissociative properties found in some plants, such as Tabernanthe iboga, which has the power to facilitate psychological introspection and spiritual exploration.
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Most commonly, ibogaine is derived from the root bark of the Tabernanthe iboga, the iboga plant.
In Africa, the cradle of humankind, it is regarded as the true tree of knowledge, which came directly from the Garden of Eden. Perhaps Africa was the garden of Eden. When early humans first consumed the iboga plant, they were able to recognize God and become conscious of the world around them, or in the language of the bible to have the knowledge of good (the divine) and evil (the physical).
Traditionally, the rootbark of Tabernanthe iboga was chewed or pulverized and swallowed in order to combat fatigue, hunger, and thirst, while higher dosages were reserved for inducing visionary states during rites of passage, initiation rituals into secret societies and cults or cultic cummunities, and religious ceremonies.
This practice continues to this day by the Pygmy tribe and the followers of the Bwiti, a religion practiced in West-Central Africa, mainly Gabon, Cameroon, and the Republic of the Congo.
The iboga shrub is a sacrament used for magical purposes, as an instrument of initiation to the true world of the divine, and a “bridge to the ancestors.” It allows shamans to time travel.
Iboga was often combined with other psychoactive plants, such as Cannabis, Yohimbé Tree (Pausinystalia yohimba), and Niando (Alchornea floribunda).
In Congo palm wine is made with iboga roots.
Take a maximum of 15-22 mg of ibogaine per kilogram of body weight (around 200 mg) for a trip that is quite long, relative to other psychedelics and can last up to 36 hours after ingesting the substance while aftereffects can last up to 72 hours. Onset of effects can be anywhere between half an hour and 3 hours.
2-10 mg ibogaine per kilogram of body weight produces a non-amphetamine-like stimulation of the central nervous system, while 40 mg results in LSD-like effects.
Using a much lower dosage (3-6 mg/kg of body weight) results in a 5-8 hour trip, and may be more suitable for most users, especially for those taking it in the context of psychotherapy.
A microdose of 16-32 mg ibogaine may be taken daily as a stimulant for people who suffer from exhaustion and debilitation.
For use a stimulant, a lower dose is taken than that which is needed for an hallucinogenic effect, which explains why in hallucinogenic dosages, the experience is quite unpleasant and involves intense central stimulation.
Tabernanthe iboga as an ibogaine source
When using the ground dried roots of Tabernanthe iboga as the source of ibogaine, you can:
- Eat them and wash them down with water.
- Make a tea.
- To make an aphrodisiac wine, steep the roots in wine (traditionally palm wine is used) for a few hours, filter, and drink.
As for dosage, a heaping teaspoon of the root powder produces a stimulant effect along with euphoria.
6-10 grams induces visions and psychedelic hallucinations.
Initiation to the Bwiti cult requires eating 50 – 200 grams, which is obviously highly dangerous and should not be attempted by most people reading this article.
Sometimes other plants are added to iboga preparations. Flowers of Cannabis sativa for instance and Nicotiana leaves, as well as Alchornea floribunda, Elaeophorbia drupifera, Strychnos icaja, and Pausinystalia yohimba.
Eye drops are sometimes used during Bwiti initiations to produce more profound or clearer visions.
Don’t use ibogaine if you take any medications, especially anti-arrhythmic drugs, anti-fungal medications, HIV treatment drugs, antihistamines, and psychiatric medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics.
Avoid foods containing bergamottin or bergamot oil, such as grapefruit juice.
It is highly dangerous to take ibogaine for people with medical conditions, especially heart disease. Nutrition doctors estimate that in modern society we all suffer from heart disease starting in childhood, which is why iboga is one entheogen I recommend to be extra careful with unless you are able to take it under medical supervision.
If you’re experimenting with this substance on your own, use a very low dosage. If it’s not strong enough, then wait several weeks before trying it again with a slightly elevated dosage.
At low doses, ibogaine can serve as a stimulant though a measure of spatial disorientation may accompany this effect, including dizziness and a sense that the body is heavy as well as an inability to fluidly coordinate muscle movements. In high dosages you may lose control of bodily functions.
Like other entheogens, ibogaine can enhance spirituality, bring about an existential self-realization together with ego death and a sense of unity and interconnectedness. Some report meeting a transcendent being or one’s ancestors.
Visual and auditory hallucinations may be experienced as well as dissociative effects and synaesthesia.
Other effects some people experience include wakefulness, mindfulness, delusion, increased libido, and time distortion. Increased awareness of the surroundings may be experienced along with a “panoramic” view of past memories.
In the West, ibogaine is mainly used for its addiction suppression properties. It may help people who are addicted to substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine, opiates, and nicotine.
Cognitively, one may experience an enhancement of analysis and immersion, memory suppression, as well as an increase in conceptual thinking and thought organization. One is susceptible to mind control and may be easily hypnotized. (Some suggest that ibogaine was used in Project MKUltra, a CIA mind control program.)
Finally, ibogaine is a powerful dream potentiator. Dreams may even occur during the waking state and manifest as full-fledged visions.
The ibogaine “trip” is sometimes divided into 3 separate phases.
- Acute/Visionary Phase – This “waking dream” phase can last 4-8 hours. A “panoramic,” mostly visual experience of past memories may be experienced along with contact with transcendent beings, passage along a lengthy path, floating, and entering visual landscapes.
- Evaluative/Reflective Phase – This introspective phase can last 8-20 hours and may be accompanied by a more neutral and reflective emotional tone, where one evaluates the experiences of the previous phase.
- Residual Stimulation Phase – This phase can last 24 to 72 hours or more. Heightened arousal and vigilance is experienced, while attention shifts back to the external environment as the subjective psychoactive experience begins to fade. Normal movement returns.
The effects of ingesting iboga may be different than those produced by taking pure ibogaine due to range of other alkaloids present in the plant material, such as ibogamine, gabonine, ibogaline, voacangine, and voaphylline.
Iboga Trip Report
In TiHKAL, there is an entry on ibogaine, where it is acknowledged that “[t]here is no question but that ibogaine is a rough trip, physically as well as mentally.” One report is included on an oral dose of 200 mg ibogaine:
Subjectively, the most unpleasant symptoms were the anxiety, the extreme apprehension, and the unfamiliar mood associated with visual and bodily hallucinations. The visual hallucinations appeared only in the dark and consisted of blue disks dancing up and down the walls. Dysesthesia of the extremities. a feeling of light-weightedness, and hyperacusis were other symptoms noted. Autonomic signs, such as dryness of the mouth, increased perspiration, slight pupillary dilation, and increase in pulse rate, as well as extrapyramidal syndromes (fine tremors, slight ataxia, enhanced tendon reflexes and clonus) were also present. The peak effect was reached at about 2 hours after swallowing the drug; it subsided gradually, leaving as a residue complete insomnia. No undesirable after-effects, such as exhaustion or depression occurred.
Many additional experiences can be found on Erowid.org. One person who took 14 grams of Tabernanthe iboga roots orally reports:
my brain was being cleansed and smoothed and massaged by this plant. As soon as I climbed up to bed and laid down, the visions came. The plant introduced itself to me, not as a form, but as a presence. Suddenly, I was in ITS world. Like a surgeon, it began to prepare the patient. At first I was concerned because the visions didn’t seem crisp enough… and I thought maybe I may need to take more, but within 20 minutes more and more opened up and the visions became crisper. I began to hear auditory sounds through my inner ears, and I could feel funnels around my ears, spiritual ears I suppose. Through them I could hear three different levels simultaneously […] After this, the visions fade, it is now 8am or so, and I stay in my bed for the next day. All day I feel like I am in my womb. I am not bored, I don’t drink anything, eat anything and feel totally content – and I am in a timeless place. Walking is something I am reticent to do and only to get up to go to the bathroom a couple of times. On the 2nd day, I begin to eat little bits of food in the afternoon, and feel more able to move about more. On the 3rd day, I can walk pretty okay and spend my time sitting around the house, rather than in bed, and begin to eat more. I feel a movement in my stomach, like an energy wave passing around my internal organs, which feels good and I feel is the plant still working on my system. On the 4th day, my walking is almost back to normal and the energy wave in my organs is still present. On the evening of the 4th day, I am still hearing internal music […] only on the 8th day, do I really feel like I am ‘back’!
Tabernanthe iboga – the iboga shrub is found in African territories, such as Gabon, Cameroon, Angola, the Republic of the Congo, and Zaire. Psychoactive material is present in the root, root cortex, and leaves.
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Tabernaemontana spp. – some species contain ibogaine and other related substances. T. dichotoma (divi kaduru) for instance is said to induce delirium and regarded by the Muslims as “the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden.” T. undulata is also said to be psychoactive and contain significant amounts of ibogaine.
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Voacanga spp. (Vocango Bush) – the bark and seeds of V. africana, V. grandiflora, and possibly other species are used by African shamans for their aphrodisiac, stimulant, hallucinogenic, and vision inducing properties.