Botanical Name : Tabernanthe iboga
Species: T. iboga
Common Name : Iboga, Abona, abonete, aboua, ahua (Pahuin), bocca, boccawurzel, boga, botola, bugensongo (Ngala), dibuga, dibugi, difuma (Eshira), eboga (Fang), eboga bush, eboghe, eboka (“miracle wood”), elahu (Mongo), eroga, gbana (Gbaya), gifuma, iboa, ibo’a, iboga (Galwa-Mpongwe/Miene), ibogakraut, ibogain-pflanze, iboga shrub, ibogastrauch, iboga typique (Congo), iboga vrai, ibogawortel (Dutch), ibogawurzel, ikuke (Mongo), inado a ebengabanga (Tshiluba), inaolo a ikakusa (Turumbu), inkomi (Mono), isangola, leboka, liboko (Vili/Yoombe), libuga, libuka, lofondja, lopundja, mabasoka, mbasaoka, mbasoka (Mitsogo), mbondo (Aka Pygmy), meboa (Bakwele), minkolongo (Fang), moabi, mungondo (Eshira), obona, pandu (Mongo), sese (Fang), wunderholz
Habitat :Iboga is native to the regions of western Central Africa. It grows wild in forests around Africa. The Australian relative is in the closely related genus Tabernaemontana, which also grows in many other countries, especially Tabernaemontana orientalis.
Description:Tabernanthe iboga, known commonly as Iboga, is a perennial rainforest shrub .It normally grows 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.
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. A small amount of ibogaine, along with precursors of ibogaine are found in Voacanga africana.
In addition to its visionary qualities, iboga has a variety of medical applications. Its root has been used in West African folk medicine, likely for as long as it has ritualistically, as a stimulant, tonic, and aphrodisiac. It is also utilized to combat severe cases of nervous tension, as well as fever, high blood pressure, and toothaches, due to its anesthetic properties.
The Metsogo use iboga root as a medical diagnostic tool; it is thought to provide insight into illness. Iboga is used in the Congo to combat Malaria. The French have claimed to have successfully used iboga root extract to treat myriad diseases, most notably syphilis and neurasthenia. Homeopathic medicine makes use of iboga root extract for a number of ailments as well.
The cheif active component of iboga, ibogaine, is given to patients in addiction clinics that are going through heroin withdrawl. It has also been used with success in reversing addictions to methadone, tobacco, cocaine, crack cocaine, and alcohol. However, since 2005, production of ibogaine has slowed to the point where it is not available as a treatment to most addicts seeking therapy worldwide.
Outside Africa, iboga extracts as well as the purified alkaloid ibogaine are used in treating opiate addiction. The therapy may last several days and upon completion the subject is generally no longer physically dependent. One methadone patient said in the Dutch behind-the-news show NOVA that in just four days he reached a state that normally would have taken him three months, but without the agony. Evidence suggests that ibogaine may also help to interrupt addiction to alcohol and nicotine. The pharmacological effects are rather undisputed with hundreds of peer reviewed papers in support but formal clinical studies have not been completed.
It has been used in folk medicine in Africa as a general stimulant and also to treat neuralgia and nervous conditions. Iboga causes euphoria and visual hallucinations. Ibogaine is not a substitute for narcotics or stimulants, is not addicting and is given in a single administration modality (SAM). It is a chemical dependence interrupter. Retreatment may occasionally be needed until the person being treated with Ibogaine is able to extinguish certain conditioned responses related to drugs they abuse. Early data suggests that a period of approximately two years of intermittent treatments may be required to attain the goal of long-term abstinence from narcotics and stimulants for many patients. The majority of patients treated with Ibogaine remain free from chemical dependence for a period of three to six months after a single dose. Approximately ten percent of patients treated with Ibogaine remain free of chemical dependence for two or more years from a single treatment and an equal percentage return to drug use within two weeks after treatment. Multiple administrations of Ibogaine over a period of time are generally more effective in extending periods of abstinence.
Ibogaine has central nervous system activity, produces hallucinations and has anticonvulsant properties. Plants containing ibogaine are traditionally used in the treatment of fevers and hypertension, as a tonic, stimulant and aphrodisiac. It shares many of its healing properties with yohimbine and other related indole alkaloids. It’s remarkable ability to stimulate the alpha-2 adrenal receptors produces a longlasting stimulation without the hypertension associated with many other stimulants. Recent research into yohimbine’s effect to efficiently combat lethargy and lack of energy in HIV patients and chronic fatigue syndrome may also be applicable to ibogaine.
In the United States these clinics are illegal but exist nonetheless, providing treatment for a wide variety of addictions
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 utilises 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 is usually performed at night time. 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
TRADITIONAL EFFECTS: Common themes amongst reports of iboga experience include a sense of interconnectedness with the forest, to the point where the sense of self and the forest cease to exist as separate entities. And of course, connection with ancestors. The Fang describe iboga’s ability to merge the natural and supernatural realms, and the living and dead.
According to the few white people that have gotten a chance to try iboga root, the term ancestor can be taken broadly to include animals and the ancients.
The effects of iboga usually last eight to twelve hours.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
- Brooke Mueller heads to “extreme rehab” in Mexico (cbsnews.com)