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6 Things to Know about Iboga

6 Things to Know about Ibogaine

If you are considering iboga or ibogaine treatment, all the information online can be overwhelming. Before you start, here are 6 things you should know about ibogaine to give you a foundation to continue your research.

1. Ibogaine is only a single an alkaloid extracted from iboga as a whole.

The words iboga and ibogaine are often used interchangeably but they are different substances. Iboga come from the plant Tabernanthe iboga and is made from shredding the bark of the shrub. Iboga contains many alkaloids and ibogaine is just a single alkaloid that is extracted from the root bark. Many centers tend to use ibogaine HCL (hydrochloride, or a pharmaceutical grade of ibogaine) but New Life Ayahuasca believes the spirit exists in the whole plant and that all of the alkaloids contribute to the experience so we only use iboga root bark supplemented occasionally with iboga TA (total alkaloids). If all this has you confused, don’t worry, click here to get a further breakdown of the differences between all the different types of iboga and ibogaine.

2. There is an entire spiritual practice around iboga use.

Ibogaine is mostly known for its capacity in addressing physical withdrawal from opiates and has grown in popularity as a tool in treating drug dependencies, so much so that the spiritual side of it often gets overlooked. Iboga has been used as a spiritual sacrament by Bwiti sects in Central West Africa for hundreds of years. Bwiti spiritual principles are focused on the cycles of birth, life and death as well as the recognition of male and female energies and the balance between them. Bwiti colors are red, white and black. The red and white represent the feminine and masculine. Bwitists believe that iboga gives them the ability to journey between worlds, see truth and receive knowledge from the ancestors. The consumption of iboga can produces visions and provide insights into ones life and experiences. We feel that Bwiti tradition is a fundamental element of the iboga process. New Life Ayahuasca offers iboga retreats with ceremonies influenced by Bwiti to show our honor and respect to the powerful medicine iboga.

3. Iboga(ine) can be a very difficult experience.

The whole process with iboga can be quite difficult and is not to be taken lightly. The intense part of the experience can last from 16- 24 hours and during this time is normal to experience physical discomfort including vomiting and severe ataxia. This is then followed by an additional 24 hours of recovery time in which you slowly return to normal but it can still be difficult to sleep for days afterward. It is important to know what you are getting into, be prepared and have a clear intention. While iboga may be difficult, it can also bring with it really beautiful rewards.

4. Ibogaine is not for everyone

Ibogaine can be dangerous for some and there even have been deaths reported with irresponsible use. It is important that whichever center you choose has medical protocols in place. Iboga can be tough on the physical body and there are many medical conditions that are not compatible with iboga therapy. There are also many medications that have an interaction with ibogaine and could cause complications. The most important thing is to be thorough and honest with you provider about your medical history. New Life requires all potential participants to get an EKG, a CMP (complete metabolic panel) and a liver panel which are to be approved by our doctor for high standards of safety.

5. Ibogaine is not a cure.

Ibogaine is a tool that can be used as a catalyst for change only when an individual is ready and willing to put in a lot of work to make those changes. Unfortunately, many centers or articles written online advertise ibogaine as a ‘cure’ for addiction, depression and PTSD.  Some even go on to claim that ibogaine can cure HIV, herpes, candida and more. The truth is that ibogaine alone does not cure anything. An individual must be ready to face their challenges and be ready to take action and responsibility to make the change. Iboga can be an important and valuable tool to find the motivation, strength and conviction to make those changes.

6. Iboga will show you truth

Iboga will show you the truth of everything, however it can often takes years or even a lifetime to make sense of it all. Be patient, keep and open mind, an open heart and iboga will do the rest.


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