Bwiti man in initiation Iboga ritual with Ibogaine

Ibogaine Therapy for Opioid Addiction

Iboga is the root bark of a bush, Tabernanthe Iboga, which grows in central Africa and the Ibogaine alkaloid is the primary psychoactive ingredient derived from this plant.

This substance is a very powerful entheogen, which means “generating the divine within,” and is the chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual contexts. It often induces psychological and physiological changes, sparking intense introspection and interrupting addiction.

It as long been regarded as a rite of passage and spiritual catalyst by the Gabon peoples who follow the African traditions of Bwiti. It has increasingly been used as a detoxification treatment from opiates since the 1980s. Ibogaine is an effective addiction interrupter for most substances including heroin, methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycontin, ketamine, hydrocodone, amphetamine, fentanyl, alcohol, and nicotine.

Next thing I knew, I was straight

In the west, it was first discovered to have anti-addictive properties in 1962 by an American scientific researcher Howard Lotsof. When he passed away in 2010, the New York Times was quoted as describing him as a life long advocate after trying it on himself. “The next thing I knew,” he told The New York Times in 1994, “I was straight.”

Ibogaine quickly caught on in the detox and rehab underground, and more and more is hearkening back to tradition and is used in holistic alternative health therapies for psycho-spiritual growth.

Through the years, Ibogaine has also been promoted as a physical and mental stimulant and aphrodisiac and just recently, a research team at Columbia University have been investigating the alkaloid’s use in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

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