WHAT IS IBOGA?
Iboga is an entheogen, or plant medicine, that has been used traditionally in a ceremonial setting for thousands of years. Similarly to ayahuasca, it is psychedelic in that it induces a visionary state but the two ancient medicines have far more differences than they do similarities.
The visions produced by iboga(ine) therapy typically last 12 - 18 hours and are accompanied by significant physical discomfort. The visions are typically indirect and obscure which can mean that the process of understanding and integrating an iboga experience can be long and confusing. Despite these challenges, an iboga experience can be one of the most profound and life changing experiences.
Iboga(ine) can sometimes provide insights to past patterns and behaviors in an individual’s life and personality which helps people realize what changes they need and want for personal growth and success in their lives. These visions also usually come with feelings of gratitude, acceptance and peace from matters of the past, allowing a user to focus on their future and the potential it can hold. It is in this matter that ibogaine excels in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD and other conditions of the mind.
Iboga has been used for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. It is a powerful, activating plant teacher and spirit. Its origins lie with the forest Pygmie people of central West Africa. The Bwiti sects of Gabon and Cameroon use iboga as they key sacrament in their initiation process and is at the center of Bwiti spirituality. Taken in small doses, iboga(ine) stimulates the central nervous system and heightens the senses. In larger doses, it produces intense and long lasting (aroud 12-1 hours) visionary states, the process of which can lead to long-term psychological recovery as well as beneficial life changes. It is in this manner that iboga(ine) excels in treating disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Tabernanthe iboga is a small shrub that grows wild in Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Cameroon. It is related to the coffee plant and grows in well-drained soil, partially shaded by larger canopy trees. It has deep green narrow leaves, small clusters of tiny white-to-yellow flowers. The fruit are yellow to orange and about the size of a grape. Iboga root bark contains the active alkaloids which give it it’s unique properties. The first layer of root bark is removed and discarded. It is the second layer that is scraped and powdered for use.
IBOGA IN THE WEST
Iboga was introduced to the West by Howard Lotsof in 1962. Lotsof discovered that iboga, or more specifically the derivative Ibogaine HCL (hydrochloride), could reduce or eliminate opiate withdrawal symptoms. While ibogaine therapy is a promising treatment for options for addictions, it is not a cure-all and there is a long process of recovery that requires a dedication of time. Most ibogaine facilities do these detox treatments over the course of a week, and in our opinion this is no where near sufficient time to address all the issues that cause and fuel addiction. For this reason, we do not offer detox services.
While we implement rigorous safety protocols, we do not subscribe to the medical setting for iboga therapy. We believe iboga is best used in its original form in a ceremonial setting. We offer complete root bark sessions supplemented with ibogain TA when necessary.
Iboga contains many different alkaloids. The more time the iboga plant is able to grow the more alkaloids it contains. It takes an average of seven years to reach maturity and contain enough alkaloids for therapeutic use. Ibogaine, ibogamine, ibogaline and tabernanthine are four key alkaloids present, with most of the pharmacological knowledge about ibogaine.
All forms of ibogaine are derived from iboga root bark but there are different types of ibogaine and varying degrees of purity. Ibogaine HCL is the purest form of ibogaine (up to 99%) and has been found to be safest for detoxes and easiest on the body physically, thus as reducing recovery time post-treatment. Ibogaine TA (total alkaloids) is another type of ibogaine available and is 15% total alkaloids by weight, 8% of which is ibogaine.
The safety of our guests is always our highest priority. Iboga can be physically straining on the body and there have been known fatalities from improper iboga use. To ensure the highest standards of stafety, all potential participants are required to complete medical tests to be approved by our doctor before registering for and iboga retreat. These tests always minimally include an EKG (electrocardiogram) and a CMP (complete metobolic panel) with liver function.
A medical doctor is on site during all ceremonies to provide constant monoring of vital signs. Jeanae and Matt are CPR certified. Our facility is also equiped with an AED (automatic electronic defibrilator), oxygen, IV equipment, emergency medications.