Nan's Nook : ArchivesBotanicals : Ibogaine
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Ibogaine Library  35 11/28 09:47pm ShroomVator

By relic (Relic) on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 02:45 pm: The Nook

has anyone here ever taken ibogaine? know anything about it? it's effects, legality, etc.

By ion ewe (Ion) on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 09:47 pm: The Nook

Could have been my worst trip ever, but it was so long (I guess a little more than a day) that I can't really remember most of it. Lots of oranges and other earthy color visuals. Sometimes found myself lost in the wilderness. Pretty scary, but profound. One of my Kets was the worst trip, but this is probably the second. Just too intense and long. Thought I died for a little while there. The comedown was pretty mellow with an edge of brainburn weaving through it. Lost the ego and found it again over the course of a day. Definitely a sobering experience, strangely. Not recommended for the inexperienced. Take about 60-70mg DMT a few times. Take a few crazy doses of shrooms (8+ grams) in the woods. Try 2-CB, Ket, and 5-MeO. Peyote for the sickness and subsequent purging. Then, maybe you'll be ready to try Iboga. It's pretty rough, but a good experience if you think you know everything...

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 04:26 pm: The Nook

Is it even possible? I read the whole two posts in the Archives and a couple dozen things on the internet.

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 04:34 pm: The Nook

Just so we've got something for the Archives...

Reprinted from Neurobiological Mechanisms of Drugs of Abuse
Volume 914 of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
September 2000

Ibogaine: Complex Pharmacokinetics,
Concerns for Safety, and Preliminary Efficacy Measures


Departments of aNeurology, bpharmacology, and gMedicine,
University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA

cCentre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

dDepartment of Psychiatry and Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

eHealing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd., St. Kitts, West Indies

fBehavior Therapy Treatment Research Center, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

ABSTRACT: Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid found in the roots of Tabernanthe Iboga (Apocynaceae family), a rain forest shrub that is native to western Africa. Ibogaine is used by indigenous peoples in low doses to combat fatigue, hunger and thirst, and in higher doses as a sacrament in religious rituals. Members of American and European addict self-help groups have claimed that ibogaine promotes long-term drug abstinence from addictive substances, including psychostimulants and opiates. Anecdotal reports attest that a single dose of ibogaine eliminates opiate withdrawal symptoms and reduces drug craving for extended periods of time. The purported efficacy of ibogaine for the treatment of drug dependence may be due in part to an active metabolite. The majority of ibogaine biotransformation proceeds via CYP2D6, including the O-demethylation of ibogaine to 12-hydroxyibogamine (noribogaine). Blood concentration-time effect profiles of ibogaine and noribogaine obtained for individual subjects after single oral dose administrations demonstrate complex pharmacokinetic profiles. Ibogaine has shown preliminary efficacy for opiate detoxification and for short-term stabilization of drug-dependent persons as they prepare to enter substance abuse treatment. We report here that ibogaine significantly decreased craving for cocaine and heroin during inpatient detoxification. Self-reports of depressive symptoms were also significantly lower after ibogaine treatment and at 30 days after program discharge. Because ibogaine is cleared rapidly from the blood, the beneficial aftereffects of the drug on craving and depressed mood may be related to the effects of noribogaine on the central nervous system.

hAddress for correspondence:
Deborah C. Mash, Ph.D., Department of Neurology (D4-5).

1501 N.W. 9th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136.
Tel.: (305) 243-5888; fax: (305) 243-3649.

e-mail: [email protected]


Ibogaine is a naturally occurring indole alkaloid derived from the roots of the rain forest shrub Tabemanthe iboga. Ibogaine is used in low doses by indigenous peoples of western Africa to combat fatigue, hunger and thirst, and in higher doses as a sacrament in religious rituals. The use of ibogaine for the treatment of drug dependence has been based on anecdotal reports from American and European addict self-help groups that it decreased the signs of opiate withdrawal and reduced drug craving for cocaine and heroin for extended time periods.1 Although ibogaine has diverse effects on the central nervous system (CNS), the pharmacological targets underlying the physiological and psychological actions of ibogaine are not completely understood. The purported efficacy of ibogaine following single-dose administrations may be due to the formation of an active metabolite.2,3 Ibogaine is O-demethylated to 12-hydroxyibogamine (noribogaine) by the activity of liver enzymes. Noribogaine appears to have a slow clearance rate in humans, suggesting that some of the aftereffects of ibogaine may be due to the actions of the metabolite.3,4

Medications for the treatment of addictions are intended to reduce or eliminate drug use, reduce harm to the patient, and/or modify high risk behaviors.5 Potential drug candidates for the treatment of cocaine and opiate dependence have been considered based on pharmacological approaches. The neurobiological similarities between depression and drug dependence have led to a self-medication hypothesis.6 Based on this association, drug abusers may self-medicate with opioids or psychostimulants in an effort to improve their dysphoric mood. Chronic drug abuse leads to adaptations at neural systems that mediate drive, motivation, and affect.7 Discontinuation of drug use leads to alterations in these motivational systems, placing more incentive value to the abused drug than to nondrug stimuli, thus leading to a loss of control over drug use.8 This hypothesis is supported by clinical observation that drug dependence is characterized by an intense desire to administer the drug to the exclusion of other reinforcement. We report here that single-dose administrations of ibogaine to drug-dependent individuals resulted in fewer self-reports of craving for cocaine and opiates, and significantly improved depressive symptoms. These preliminary observations provide evidence for an improvement in clinical status following detoxification with ibogaine.


Subjects were self-referred for inpatient detoxification and met inclusion/exclusion criteria. All individuals were deemed fit and underwent treatment following a physician's review of the history and physical examination. Participants did not have histories of stroke, epilepsy or axis I psychotic disorders. Results of the electrocardiogram and clinical laboratory testing were within predetermined limits. All subjects signed an informed consent for ibogaine treatment. Participants included 27 treatment-seeking opioid- and cocaine-dependent men (n = 23) and women (n = 4). The mean age was 34.6 +/- 1.9 years old for the opiate group and 37.5 +/- 2.9 years old for the cocaine group. Mean education level was 14.0 +/- 0.5 years. All participants met DSM-IV criteria for cocaine or opioid dependence and had positive urine screens at entry to the study. Individuals participated in a 14-day inpatient study to determine the safety and effectiveness of ibogaine as a potential medication treatment for drug dependence. Participants were assigned to one of three fixed-dose (500, 600, or 800 mg) ibogaine HCl treatments under open-label conditions. Ibogaine and 12-hydroxyibogamine (noribogaine) were measured in whole blood specimens by full-scan electron impact gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) as described previously.2 Subjects were genotyped for the CYP2D6 alleles (3, 4, 5, and wildtype alleles) as described previously.9

On admission, participants were administered the Addiction Severity Index10 and received structured psychiatric evaluations before and after ibogaine treatment (SCID I and II). In cases where the participant's responses were deemed questionable due to intoxication or withdrawal signs, portions of all interviews were reconducted later, as necessary. Additional information about substance use history, as well as past and current medical condition(s), was gathered and later cross-referenced for accuracy through a separate comprehensive Psychosocial Assessment.

Participants were required to complete a series of standardized self-report instruments relating to mood and craving at three different time points during the study and at one month following discharge from the treatment program. Subjects were asked to provide ratings of their current level of craving for cocaine or opiates using questions from the Heroin (HCQN-29)11 and Cocaine (CCQN-45) Craving Questionnaires.12 Self-reported depressive symptoms were determined by the Beck Depression Inventory.13 Subjects' scores were subjected to repeated measures analyses of variance with primary drug of abuse (opiates versus cocaine) as the between-subjects factor and treatment phase (pre-ibogaine, post-ibogaine, and discharge) as the within-subjects factor for the total score from the Beck Depression Inventory and the HCQN-29 and CCQN-45 subscales.

Science Chart A
Science Chart B
Science Chart C

FIGURE 1. Pharmacokinetics of ibogaine and noribogaine over the first 24 h after oral doses of ibogaine. Data shown are from representative male (800 mg) and female (500 mg) subjects. Values for parent drug and desmethyl metabolite were measured in whole blood samples at the times indicated.

FIGURE 1 illustrates representative pharmacokinetic measures of the levels of parent drug and metabolite following oral doses of ibogaine. We have demonstrated previously that ibogaine is metabolized by cytochrome P4502D6 to an active metabolite noribogaine.14 In this study, the proportion of homozygous and heterozygous CYP2D6 extensive metabolizers (EM) were not significantly different between opioid- and cocaine-dependent groups (data not shown). None of the subjects was identified as a poor metabolizer (PM) genotype. The CYP-2D6-mediated metabolism of ibogaine resulted in significant levels of noribogaine in blood for male and female subjects. Ibogaine was well tolerated by both opiate- and cocaine-dependent subjects, in agreement with our previous findings.4

Table A
Table B
Table C

Subjects reported clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms (i.e., Beck depression score of 11 or more) at program entry.13 Opiate- and cocaine-dependent subjects did not differ significantly on the Beck depression scores. TABLE 1 summarizes the effects of ibogaine treatment on depressive symptoms following ibogaine detoxification from opiates and cocaine. The results demonstrated lower levels of self-reported depressive symptoms during inpatient ibogaine treatment. Beck depression scores were significantly lower at one month after program discharge as compared to those measured at program entry. This observation suggests a lasting effect of single-dose adminstration of ibogaine on mood and depressive symptoms.

TABLE 3 summarizes the results for selected categories from the HCNQ-29 and CCNQ-45 craving questionnaires. These instruments inquire about specific aspects of drug craving, including urges (category scale Desire to Use), as well as thoughts, about drug of choice or plans to use the drug (category scale, Intention to Use). The instruments incorporate questions about dynamics thought to be important for the reinstatement of drug-taking behavior by referencing the positive reinforcing effects of drugs or the expectation of the outcome from using a drug of choice (category scale, Anticipation of Positive Outcomes), or the alleviation of withdrawal states (category scale, Relief of Negative States). Perceived lack of control over drug use also was included (category scale, Lack of Control), because it is a common feature of substance abuse disorders and is most operative under conditions of active use, relapse, or for subjects at high risk.

Subjects undergoing opiate detoxification reported significantly decreased drug craving for all of the HCQN-29 scales at 36 h post-treatment mark, and mean scores remained significantly decreased at program discharge (TABLE 2). Subjects undergoing cocaine detoxification also reported significantly decreased drug craving at post-treatment and at discharge for three of the five category scales of the CCQN-45. Similar to the results of the HCQN-29, the lower mean scores for Intention to Use at program entry may reflect participants' inpatient circumstances and motivation for treatment. These results demonstrate an immediate and lasting attenuation of craving while the subject remained in treatment. At one month following discharge from the program, subjects' responses indicated that they still experienced diminished craving for cocaine and opiates (data not shown).


The results of this study revealed that levels of self -reported depressive symptoms and craving were significantly decreased following ibogaine administration. A limitation of the study is that it is based on findings in only 27 subjects; thus, replication is needed in future studies to determine the stability of the findings. Furthermore, it is not known whether the symptoms experienced in the treatment setting are unique. However, subjects were evaluated at one month after program discharge, having returned to their normal environment or following entry to residential sober living in a community setting. Future research efforts will be aimed at determining an association between CYP2D6 metabolizer status, depressive symptoms, drug craving, and relapse rates.

The concept of drug craving is believed to playa crucial role in the dynamics of relapse, although it has proven to be an elusive and difficult construct to measure. In part, this is due to its transient nature and its variable expression in addicts' subjective reports. Tiffany and co-workers12 have suggested that many investigations involving objective measures of craving have utilized unidimensional instruments (consisting of only one or a few items) that have not been adequately tested for validity or reliability. Therefore, it has been proposed that craving might best be captured by asking sets of multidimensional questions with terms that may be more familiar to addicts and that represent distinct conceptualizations of processes that may lead to craving.12,15 To our knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to confirm ibogaine's purported therapeutic effects on drug craving in well-characterized cohorts of opiate- or cocaine-dependent subjects.

After treatment with ibogaine, opiate-dependent subjects were less likely to anticipate positive outcomes from heroin (or other opiate) use, less likely to believe that heroin (or opiate) use would relieve withdrawal/dysphoria, and more likely to believe in their control for abstaining or stopping their drug use. Ibogaine treatment also decreased participants' desire and intention to use heroin. Cocaine-dependent subjects were less likely to anticipate positive outcomes from cocaine use, less likely to believe that cocaine use would relieve withdrawal/dysphoria, and more likely to believe in their control in abstaining or stopping their drug use at post-ibogaine and discharge assessments than at the pre-ibogaine assessment. Treatment did not seem to affect participants' desire to use cocaine nor their intent to use cocaine, in part because of floor effects at pre-ibogaine assessments and because of the small sample size.

Drug dependence results from distinct but interrelated neurochemical adaptations, which underlie tolerance, sensitization, and withdrawal. The apparent ability of ibogaine to alter drug-taking behavior may be due to combined actions of either the parent drug and/or its active metabolite at key pharmacological targets that modulate the activity of drug-reward circuits.16 Noribogaine is longer lasting and has a unique spectrum of neurochemical activities as compared to the parent compound. Recent studies have suggested that noribogaine's efficacy as a full ű-opioid agonist may explain ibogaine's ability to block the acute signs of opiate withdrawal and its suppressive effects on morphine self-administration.17 Preclinical evaluation ofnoribogaine's anti-cocaine medication effects in a rat model of cocaine self-administration demonstrated that noribogaine antagonized cocaine-induced locomotor stimulation and reinforcement.18 Since ibogaine is cleared rapidly from the blood, the extended aftereffects on drug craving, mood, and cognition may be related to the actions of metabolite noribogaine. Medication development of a slow-release formulation of noribogaine for opiates and psycho stimulants dependence deserves further consideration.


This work was supported in part by the Addiction Research Fund. We extend our appreciation to the staff of the Healing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd., St. Kitts, W.I. and Holistic Counseling, Inc., Miami, Florida. We thank the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Ms. Ewa Hoffmann provided excellent technial assistance with the performance of the genotypying for CYP2D6 alleles.


1. SHEPARD, S.G. 1994. A preliminary investigation of ibogaine: case reports and recommendations for the further study. I. Subst. Abuse Treat. 11: 379-385.

2. HEARN, W. L., I. PABLO, G. HIME & D.C. MASH. 1995. Identificaion and quantitation of ibogaine and an O-demethylated metabolite in brain and biological fluids using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. I. Anal. Toxicol. 19: 427-434.

3. MASH, D.C., I.K. STALEY, M. BAuMANN, R.P. RoTHMAN & W.L. HEARN. 1995. Identification of a primary metabolite of ibogaine that targets serotonin transporters and elevates serotonin. Pharmacol. Lett. 57: 45-50.

4. MASH, D.C., C.A. KOVERA, B.E. BucK, M.E. NoRENBERG, P. SHAPSHAK, W.L. HEARN & J. SANCHEZ-RAMos. 1998. Medication development of ibogaine as a pharmacotherapy for drug dependence. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 844: 274-292.

5. KLEIN, M. 1998. Research issues related to development of medications for treatment of cocaine addiction. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 844: 75-91.

6. MARKOU, A., T.R. KOSTEN & G.F. KOOB. 1998. Neurobiological similarities in depression and drug dependence: a self-medication hypothesis. Neuropsychopharmacology 18(3): 136-174.

7. KOOB, G.F. & F.E. BLOOM. 1988. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of drug dependence. Science 242: 715-723.

8. MARKOU, A., F. WEISS, L.H. GOLD, S.B. CAINE, G. SCHULTEIS & G.F. KOOB. 1993. Animal models of drug craving. Psychopharmacology 1l2: 163-182.

9. HElM, M.H. & U.A. MEYER. 1990. Genotyping of poor metabolizers of debrisoquine by allele specific PCR amplification. Lancet 336: 529-532.

10. McLELLAN, A.T., H. KUSHNER, D. METZGER, R. PETERS, I. SMITH, G. GRISSOM, H. PETTINATI & M. ARTGERIOU. 1992. The fifth edition of the Addiction Severity Index. I. Subst. Abuse Treat. 9: 199-213.

11. SINGLETON, E.G. 1996. The HCQN-29: a short version of the Heroin Craving Questionnaire. Unpublished research. Available from the Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Research Branch, Intramural Research Program NIDA, 55 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

12. TIFFANY, S.T., E. SINGLETON, C.A. HAERTZEN & I.E. HENNINGFIELD. 1993. The development of a cocaine craving questionnaire. Drug Alcohol Depend. 34: 19-28.

13. BECK, A.T., C.H. WARD, M. MENDELSON, I. MOCK & I. ERBAUGH. 1961. An interview for measuring depression. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 4: 561-571.

14. OBACH, R.S., I. PABLO & D.C. MASH. 1998. Cytochrome P4502D6 catalyzes the 0-demethylation of the psychoactive alkaloid ibogaine to 12-hydroxyibogamine. Drug Metab. Dispos. 25(12): 1359-1369.

15. CARTER, B.L. & S. T. nFFANY. 1999. Meta-analysis of cue-reactivity in addiction research. Addiction 94(3): 327-340.

16. STALEY, I.K., Q. OUYANG, I. PABLO, W.L. HEARN, D.D. FLYNN, R.B. ROTHMAN, K.C. RICE & D.C. MASH. 1996. Pharmacological screen for activities of 12-hydroxyibogamine: a primary metabolite of the indole alkaloid ibogaine. Psychopharmacology 127: 10-18.

17. PABLO, I. & D.C. MASH. 1998. Noribogaine stimulates naloxone-sensitive (35S]GTPyS binding. Neuroreport 9:109-114.

18. MASH, D.C. & S. SCHENK. 1996. Preclinical screening of an ibogaine metabolite (noribogaine) on cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion and cocaine self-administration. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 22: 1929.

By Eyebooger (Eyebooger) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 04:41 pm: The Nook

I've been looking too SV. I found a site that sells seeds in Canada but I have no northern friends. I'm thinking I'll try and get some next time someone I know, or myself, vacations outside of the States...kinda like my dwindling Havana Club Rum supply.

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 04:43 pm: The Nook

Haha - Every time I'm up north, I grab a box of Cohibas.

If you get seeds, please share. I'd like to try my hand at it.

By Eyebooger (Eyebooger) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 04:45 pm: The Nook

I'd be more than happy to

By 4hodmtagireturns (Agiahuasca) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 06:20 pm: The Nook

maybe you should check out

and voacanga

i understand you can easily get a liquid concentrate Of tabernaemontana

and voacanga is readily available

in fact My new years plan is

shrooms+voacanga after the peak

all part of my plan to quit smoking on 12/31/.

the mushroom has already showed me it does not like ciggarettes

(once when smoking one in my hand i felt like i was carrying a bloody stick and every drag tasted Like Blood)

and im hoping
the mushrooms guidance plus the voacanga will be enough to SHOW me what i obviously have not seen yet

i plan on stockpiling anti smoking data into my head the whole week

cheers to vocangine

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 06:25 pm: The Nook

Yeah, its funny, but I was actually interested partly because I'd like to quit the cigs.

By 4hodmtagireturns (Agiahuasca) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 06:47 pm: The Nook

dirtiest habit one could possibly have

if that one was me

cus i Never did like crack and heroin you see

so it couldnt get much dirtier for me


By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 06:55 pm: The Nook

Yeah, the only drugs I'll use are those I grow myself or pot. I've shunned all synthetic drugs.

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 01:55 am: The Nook

This topic is very interesting to me, so I wanted to share a couple more things I've found.

From Salon.com Magazine...

Tripping on iboga

In Gabon, a disenchanted journalist embarks on a hallucinogenic tribal rite.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Daniel Pinchbeck

Tabernanthe iboga is an ordinary-looking shrub found in a small area of West Africa. The bush produces simple yellow blossoms and edible orange-colored citrus fruit that is tasteless and oddly sticky. Under optimum conditions, iboga can grow into a tree rising as high as 35 feet.

Despite iboga's common appearance, in those few nations that know of it, the plant is worshipped as the source of spiritual knowledge and as a tool for accessing the wisdom of the ancestors. The root bark -- scraped off, ground into powder and eaten -- contains one of the world's most powerful, long-lasting and mysterious psychedelic agents. The tribal religion associated with iboga is called Bwiti and exists in only two equatorial countries, Gabon and Cameroon. When Bwiti shamans eat iboga, they believe they are granted the power to see the future, to heal the sick and to speak with the dead.

"The Bwiti believe that before the initiation, the neophyte is nothing," my guide, Daniel Lieberman, told me on my first morning in Gabon, as we took a cab through Libreville, the nation's capital. "Through the ceremony, you become something."

"What do you become?" I asked.

"You become a baanzi, one who knows the other world, because you have seen it with your own eyes."

"How do the Bwiti think of iboga?" I asked

"The Bwiti believe that iboga is a superconscious spiritual entity that guides mankind," he said.

I had found Lieberman, a botanist from South Africa, on the Internet, where he offered to bring Westerners to a shaman's tribal village, for a fee. "I have spent time in the rain forests of Africa east and west, Madagascar and the Amazon working with shamans, brujos, witch doctors, healers," Lieberman e-mailed me beforehand. "Iboga I feel to be the one plant that needs to be introduced to the world, and urgently."

In person, the botanist was thin and pallid, in Teva sandals and safari clothes, and quite a bit younger then I expected. He said that his ghost-white complexion was due to a nearly fatal bout of cerebral malaria. "I caught it during a Bwiti ceremony a year ago," he told me. "It took me months to recover."

This was worrisome. I had expected my guide to be robust and adventurous. Instead, he turned out to be younger then me, and shakier.

Libreville was a hot and stagnant city. Sunlight reflected off gleaming glass corporate towers, the headquarters of oil companies. Because of its oil deposits, Gabon is richer and more secure than other countries in the region. Iboga is another natural resource, but one that has yet to be exploited by the Gabonese.

"Why would the Bwiti allow me to join their sect?" I asked my guide.

"Bwiti is like Buddhism," he replied. "Anyone can join. The word 'Bwiti' simply means the experience of iboga, which is the essence of love."

Over the last decades, iboga has developed a cult following in the United States and in Europe, where it is known as ibogaine. In the West, the psychedelic is being promoted as a potential one-shot cure for treating addiction to heroin and other drugs. Some researchers believe that ibogaine has the ability to "reset the switches" of addiction, freeing addicts from withdrawal symptoms and all drug cravings for up to six months. Animal tests seem to have reinforced these claims.

In America, scientists at Harvard, New York University and elsewhere are studying the ibogaine molecule, seeking to unlock its mechanism. Later this week, on Nov. 5 and 6, the NYU School of Medicine is hosting a conference on ibogaine's potential as a treatment for drug addiction. Papers will be presented by various scientists, including Kenneth Alper, the conference director and a professor of psychiatry and neurology at NYU; Stanley Glick, chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at Albany Medical College; and Zbigniew Binienda, a senior research scientist in the Department of Neurotoxicology at the FDA. James Fernandez, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, will talk on the Bwiti's ritual use of ibogaine. The NYU conference symbolizes the growing worldwide interest in the healing powers of the sacred plant.

Because of this growing interest, a music magazine had agreed to pay my expenses to Africa. The trip was not without its dangers -- malaria being one of them, the intense tropical heat throughout most of the year another. It was in the jungles of Gabon that the deadly ebola virus first appeared. Then there were the hazards of trying a little-known, long-acting hallucinogen far from the nearest hospital. After iboga is in your system for a while, it must be vomited out -- producing what one study euphemistically described as "tremendous cleansings." In rare cases, Bwiti initiates have overdosed and died during the initiation.

But none of this mattered to me. I was eager to try iboga for myself. I had reached a point in my New York life where I felt spiritually stunted, morally anesthetized, psychically detached. I was losing interest -- not in anything in particular, but in everything. I sometimes felt like I could float off the surface of the planet. Sick of my own culture, my own self, I yearned for access to a different dimension. But could I be guided into the African spirit world?

Lieberman and I stopped at a hotel to pick up his other client for this journey. I was expecting a young anthropologist, psychedelic explorer or beautiful quote heiress. Instead, a short gray-haired woman greeted us wearing a "Free Tibet" T-shirt.

"I just came from Bhutan, where I got a terrible bladder infection," she announced immediately, in a familiar accent. We were introduced. "You're from New York also? What a surprise! I'm a psychoanalyst in the West Village. Maybe you know my friend who works for the New York Times? Or my sister, the novelist?"

I nodded at the familiar names, trying to recover from the shock of unwanted familiarity. I had dreamt of some pristine experience of the exotic, the "other" that I had read about in the novels of Joseph Conrad and Paul Bowles. Instead, I had traveled 7,000 miles to share my tribal adventure with a woman I might have tried to avoid at a Manhattan cocktail party.

The botanist took us to the Libreville house of our shaman. Tsanga Jean Moutamba wore a purple robe that showed off a broad stomach and a necklace of lion's teeth. "Le Roi du Gabon Bwiti," as he called himself, had eight wives and 14 children, and members of his family kept passing through the sitting room as we spoke. His manner with us was a bit gruff but friendly. The tribe packed our bags into his jeep, and the king drove us down Gabon's single highway, four hours into the dense jungle foliage that unfolded monotonously around us. Moutamba's village was located 40 kilometers outside of Lambourene, the riverside town where Albert Schweitzer built his hospital.

Over the next days I tried to learn what Moutamba's status as "king of the Bwiti" meant. I received different answers; in Gabon, it was often difficult to separate truth from fantasy. Alain Borgia Dukaga, an English-speaking Gabonese who acted as our translator, told me: "Moutamba is like Jesus to us. Most of the people now are like lacking roots, they got tied to the Christian ways and forgot their culture. Moutamba is helping to bring back our culture. We hope soon they will start teaching Bwiti again in the schools." A few days later, when relations soured between us and our shaman, Borgia (as he asked us to call him) reversed himself. "Moutamba?" he scoffed. "He's not the king of anything. He just calls himself that."

The king's homestead consisted of a complex of wooden buildings in a jungle clearing where children, hens and roosters meandered about. One roofless structure decorated with palm fronds, the "Pygmy House," honored the region's natives for discovering "le bois sacre," the sacred wood, another name for iboga. The Pygmies still live in small bands in Gabon's interior jungles, and it is theoretically possible to have a Pygmy initiation. But I will have to save that experience for another trip. Or more likely a future life.

The temple's stone walls were decorated with crude portraits of the tribal ancestors. A large wooden statue of the first Bwiti couple stood at the entryway. I stared at that statue for a while. I had read about junkies who took ibogaine without knowing anything about Bwiti. On the drug, some of them had described meeting an original African mother and father similar to the tribe's mythical founders.

Not much is definitively known about the Bwiti. James Fernandez, a Princeton anthropologist who studied the sect, concluded that the Bwiti religion worked by "indirection and suggestion and other kinds of puzzlements," leaving "many loose ends and inconsistencies." Throughout his long book on the Bwiti, Fernandez was frustrated by his failure to grasp the belief system behind it. In the end, he threw up his hands, writing that "any attempt to demonstrate the coherence of the Bwiti cosmos founders upon the paradoxes with which it plays."

The night before the ceremony, the analyst, the botanist, the king and I slept in his temple, along with various members of the tribe. When we awoke, the king gave us what the Bwiti call La Liste, a long, traditional roster of things neophytes contribute to the ritual. La Liste includes a mirror, a tin bucket, a red parrot's feather, yards of fabric, a machete, a woven mat and supplies for the next day's feast for the tribe -- a live coq du village and a large quantity of sweet liquors such as rum and cassis. Lieberman, the analyst and I spent the morning driving around Lambourene with a few of Moutamba's sons, whose gravity as they assisted us made me aware of the serious nature of the ceremony. Everywhere we went in the virtually all-black township people peered into our car with curiosity, and Moutamba's clan seemed proud to parade "les blancs" -- the whites -- around like exotic trophies.

Back at the village, the king called us into the temple. "It was good you stayed here last night," he said. "Last night, I dreamt that le journaliste" -- he pointed at me - "will have many wonderful visions. Now you must give us the rest of the money."

This was a surprise. We had already paid the agreed-upon $600 for the ceremony, double the fee for the average Gabonese. We reminded him of this, but the king started to shout. "You want to cheat me?" he screamed.

He demanded another $600 from each of us. Lieberman tried to bargain with him. The argument raged on for hours. The young men of the tribe stared at us stonily, as if they were shocked we would challenge the king's authority. Although Lieberman assured us the Bwiti were pacifists, the situation did not feel safe.

"I'm not sure I like the power dynamics I see here," the analyst commented.

Finally, it was announced that the initiation would proceed even though we had cheated them. However, at the end of the ritual, the king would not give us the special oil bestowing a deeper understanding of our visions through the year. "He himself will not walk with you into the forest and explain to you the myth of the Bwiti," our guide translated. Moutamba's tribe now seemed to regard us with contempt. Bwiti no longer suggested quite the "essence of love" our guide had referred to.

At dusk, the ceremony began. The women took the analyst away and then the men came for me. The Bwiti had changed to full tribal dress -- animal skins, body painting, feathers -- and they played drums and rattles and horns. In single file, we marched from the village over a path through the jungle to the banks of a small stream. The younger men of the tribe had the sleek and muscular bodies of hunters, and the white patterns on their dark skin glowed like neon. Stumbling along with them, I felt like a tall blancmange.

I was directed to undress completely and step into the ice-cold stream. The young man assigned to be my "Bwiti father" poured a soapy liquid over me -- some kind of spirit-medicine -- and smeared a red paste across my face and torso. The Bwiti chanted while I put on the initiate's outfit -- straps of tanned animal skins and shells looped across my chest and upper arms, a short garment of red fabric and the red feather twirled in my hair. For the Bwiti, the color red is like a mystical traffic light, signaling the crossing zone between this reality and the other world.

Woozy with anxiety, I looked up at the group assembled on the slope above me as they sang and drummed a dirge-like melody. By casting off my clothes, I had symbolically died; after taking iboga, I would be reborn. Moutamba produced a plaintain that had been sliced open and filled with white powder. My Bwiti father carried this sacrament to me gingerly while the others watched with serious, expectant faces. He held it up to my lips.

Even now, whenever I think of the taste, I start to shudder. The iboga was like sawdust laced with battery acid. When I finished chewing the dry fruit, I was fed a few more spoonfuls of the drug mixed with honey. Moutamba nodded encouragingly. I struggled to hold the stuff down.

"Le journaliste a mangé beaucoup, beaucoup," he said.

I was worried as we returned to the village. Had I eaten too much?

Walking was more difficult now, as my legs had become rubbery. In a courtyard, the men sat down around me and continued playing music. One of them strummed the M'congo, a one-stringed mouth harp resembling a bow, with an eerie, almost humorous tonality. The M'congo is the essential Bwiti instrument; the voices of the ancestors are channeled through it. My Bwiti father put a bundle of leaves in my right hand and a tight whisk of dry thistles in my left and instructed me to keep shaking both in time to the music. As with many of the rules surrounding the ritual, this one was strictly enforced -- whenever I lowered the rattles, my Bwiti father would rush over to have me shake them again.

"Seeing anything yet?" the botanist asked.

"Not really." I asked him how the analyst was doing.

"She is having lots of visions -- members of her family appearing to talk to her and other things. She is in the temple, describing them to Borgia."

They fed me more iboga and brought me into the torch-lit temple. I was placed alone at the center, facing a mirror decorated with fern leaves and carved figurines. Moutamba and the tribal elders sat to my left, and the rest of the tribe on my right, about 25 people in all. Even in my stoned state, I felt acutely self-conscious. The atmosphere was tense. The king had decreed I would have "wonderful visions," and I began to realize that not satisfying him was not an option.

The analyst lay along a wall of the temple surrounded supportively by the women as she recounted her visions. "There's Buddha," she called out, staring at the ceiling. She turned around. "And I see my dead grandma over there," she said, waving at the wall. "Hello, grandma."

It was a long, awkward time before I began to see anything at all. Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I watched a large wooden statue, faceless and made of rough logs, walk across the room and sit in front of me. Then, in the scratched surface of the mirror, a small screen lit up. Pictures from New York City -- a window of my apartment, street scenes -- flashed with brief, hyperreal clarity.

"I see my apartment in New York," I said. "But nothing seems to be happening there."

"If you see a window, you must try to go through it," the king instructed me, "and if you meet somebody there, you must try to talk to them. Perhaps they have a message for you, some information."

The Bwiti insisted I should relate my visions out loud. I was not prepared for that. I had expected whatever I saw to be my own concern. But the Bwiti didn't sympathize with my ideas about privacy. "Everything you see must be shared," the king urged. "You might have a message for the tribe." But in my stoned state I was tongue-tied, and I sensed the Bwitis' rigid disapproval.

Other hallucinations passed before my eyes -- burning skulls and goblin faces, the figures of women in black dresses stretching out long white arms toward me from the edges of my vision -- but when I tried to speak of them, they disappeared. Meanwhile, the iboga was making me sick. I fought against waves of nausea. I wanted to reach the deeper visionary state, but I was also afraid of the drug. If iboga was indeed a "superconscious spiritual entity," I wasn't sure whether this entity liked or hated me. I suspected the latter was more likely. I started to perspire. My head seemed several times its normal size. I wondered if I was going to die. I vomited into my pail.

"Can I go to the hotel now?" I heard the analyst ask. The Bwiti laughed in response. "Oh, les pauvres, les pauvres," the king said, mocking us. The ceremony had many hours left to go.

I lay on a mat on the hard-packed earth, looking up at the unsympathetic faces of the tribesmen. I scorned my own foolishness: Who was I to try entering the African spirit world? In the future, I promised myself in a moment of insight, I would seek some easier assignments.

Closing my eyes, I saw Technicolor patterns. I fell into a trance, floating to the Bwiti music. Aspects of my past life flared up in my mind, like gleaming facets of a larger whole. I reviewed my childhood -- my parents' separation, my mother's loneliness, my own unhappiness. I felt myself as the product of all the forces that had acted upon me. Henry James once described human consciousness as "a helpless jelly poured into a mold." It seemed as if iboga compelled me to perceive the exact shape of that mold. It was dizzying and liberating.

Then the iboga trip became a cinematic cyclone, whirling images and ideas at me at high speed. A series of unknown houses appeared and I drifted down into them before they faded. Images of ex-lovers came and went, dancing away into the ether. I saw the sign of the now-defunct Manhattan restaurant, Teacher's Too, where I had met my first girlfriend. The letters of this sign spun around in space and reassembled, rebus-like, to spell the phrase, "Touchers Teach Too," which seemed to contain a message about my own future relationships. But what did it mean?

Sometimes the percussive music became deafening in the low-ceilinged temple. At other times the Bwiti's songs seemed awesome in their beauty. The rhythms seemed organic, as if the music was itself an emanation of the plant's essence. In my altered state, I understood the tribe's deep relationship with this plant that showed them things. I felt how complete their culture was in itself -- so complete that no outsider could disturb it.

Late at night, the Bwiti made us rise and dance with them. Then we watched as each tribesman danced around the temple, whirling a torch, scattering shadows across the walls like living forms. "After you take iboga you will know what Bwiti is," the king had told me the day before. I felt that iboga activated an ancient symbiosis between plant and human. Perhaps what Lieberman had suggested was true, that in Bwiti, like Buddhism, there is no single deity, just a play of forms and spirits spinning across the Void.

At dawn, the Bwiti led us outside to watch the sunrise. We sang with them. We were still woozy as the ritual ended, but the king started shouting again. "Now you have been initiated, you give me presents of money!" he screamed. "I demand more money!"

We decided to check into a hotel. This required another long and tense negotiation.

"I have had visions of terrible ruin!" Moutamba shouted. Because I had not seen and spoken all my visions, the king explained, we would be in mortal danger if we did not stay another night. As Lieberman insisted we were leaving anyway, the king tried to make a bargain. Introducing the analyst to the father of a 9-year-old girl, he suggested that, instead of paying more, she should take the man's daughter and raise her in America.

We convinced one of Moutamba's sons to drive us to the Ogobue Palace, a placid hotel overlooking the river. At the hotel, I discovered that the iboga trip was continuing. I was wide awake and without hunger, despite the fact that I had not slept or eaten in more than 30 hours. Lying in bed, I watched a fleeting phantasm that drifted across cracks in the white wall. Strange men in funny hats and coats marched away, melting into the plaster. I realized these were "ancestor shades," ghost-impressions of my forefathers, a vision that the iboga trance often produced, in accounts I had read. So faint, so quickly, they melted away.

We did not see the king again. After a night's rest, Lieberman and I searched Lambourene for other Bwiti Ngongo. Our guide was eager to buy iboga seeds and powder to bring to South Africa. Off the main streets, the town's back alleys formed mazes of little houses and shacks, and each separate maze seemed its own community. Many of these communities had built their own Bwiti sanctuary from wooden boards and palm fronds, rudimentary compared to Moutamba's temple.

In one of these shrines we found Papa Simone, a young, bearded shaman, with an ascetic, intellectual appearance. I described my visions, scant though they were, to Papa Simone, and he interpreted them for me. The wooden statue, he said, was the spirit of le bois sacre itself, "which comes out and engages you in conversation." The pictures of my apartment and the city streets were a telepathic check-in, showing me that everything was calm at home. The beckoning female figures, he said, indicated what paths to take. I was sorry I hadn't known better how to follow them.

Papa Simone organized another all-night ceremony for us with his Bwiti village, a closing ritual to give us the oil that Moutamba had withheld. During this ceremony, which also involved dancing, drumming and singing, I saw what Lieberman had described as "the essence of love" in the community around Papa Simone. At the end of the night, each of the Bwiti in turn embraced the analyst, then me, and danced us around the temple fire, as violently and quickly as possible. The embraces told us -- more directly than words could -- that despite our alien language and culture and pale skin, we had been accepted among them.

The second ceremony also required eating iboga, but I could not bring myself to swallow enough to hallucinate. Papa Simone's tribe included a large, laughing man wearing a red loin cloth, his sleek black body daubed with white paint. One of the older members of the tribe, he ate iboga throughout the ceremony. He kept pointing at the bowl of shavings, then at his own eyes and then at me, trying to convince me to eat more so I would see things.

Towards morning, he announced that he was having a vision, which Lieberman translated. He said he saw the spirit of my dead grandmother, of my mother's mother, hovering over me where I sat by the yellow flames of the bonfire. "You had a very close relationship with your grandmother," he told me. "She loved you very much, but now she is dead, and she doesn't want to let you go. Her spirit is hanging over you, and she is stopping you from seeing visions, and from visiting the other world."

The tribesman's vision surprised me. My mother's mother was the only grandparent I had known -- the others had died before I was born. If the tribesman was guessing, he had only a one-in-four chance of getting that right. And I did have a close relationship with my grandmother, in a way. She had often taken care of me when I was young. As I got older, I found her a repressed and gloomy presence, and I even tried to avoid her. My grandmother had lived through a sad story of immigrant America -- her father came from Poland, but when he could not find a job in New York, he killed himself, leaving his family in desperate straits. Later on, in revenge, the family destroyed his papers and all traces of him. They never spoke of him again. This repressive act had shaped my grandmother's mental life. It was not difficult to imagine my grandma as a possessive spirit, lingering above me, protecting - preventing -- me from having revelations. After I returned to New York, the tribesman's vision stayed with me as something uncanny and intuitively wise.

Scientists don't know exactly how iboga affects the brain. One speculative theory is that the alkaloid restores a balance between the brain's two halves. Carl Anderson of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital in Virginia believes that people prone to addiction suffer from an imbalance between the left and right hemispheres. This disparity disrupts REM sleep, which, according to Anderson, is "essential for emotional regulation, learning and memory consolidation." Iboga, or ibogaine, accesses REM cycling in a powerful way -- after having taken a large dose, many people report their need for sleep is reduced by several hours, for weeks or even months. By this theory, ibogaine returns to psychically damaged people the healing power of their sleep and dreams.

When I returned to New York, I needed less sleep for a while. I mulled over the Bwiti initiation. The psychedelic had given me such strange figments, such glancing views. For a few hours, I was granted a powerful lens through which I could view my life -- that fragile assemblage of habits, moods, past events and relationships -- like an object seen through a magnifying glass. More memorable than the greed of my shaman, the emotional power of my insights stayed with me as an indelible lesson. I am still waiting to learn what touchers can teach.

By Son of the Jaguar Mother (Melchior) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:33 am: The Nook

there's a company in denmark that sells root concentrate online. the obvious difficulty is still getting someone to pick the stuff up. From what I've read, it seems that as aya is to shrooms, so iboga is again to aya. to be more clear: less "fun" and gentle more powerful (in the humbling sense, not dose/g). I dunno... maybe we need that sort of gentleness, but on the other hand, can the dead ancestors of african shamen be wrong?

By Son of the Jaguar Mother (Melchior) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:38 am: The Nook

totally random question: I'm sure we're all familiar with burroughs/thompson ibogaine references, but I think the man in black uses ibogaine to poison the short kidnapper in Princess Bride.

ok, fine, that was random, but I needed to contribute.

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:58 am: The Nook

hehe...very odd... did he use ibogaine powder? that sounds familiar.

I found some cultivation stuff on this.

Tabernanthe iboga
family: Apocynaceae


Tabernanthe iboga, is a plant that 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

It has been used throughout the ages in rituals and ceromonies of the forests people. Interest has grown all over the world as this plant can cure addicts of their physical and mental addictions to Heroin and just about any addictive habit, and do it sometimes with 1 treatment!

Psycologists in Europe especially in the Netherlands have been using Ibogaine to treat many forms of mental illness as well.

The yellowish root is the hallucinogen, iboga, an African narcotic of growing social importance, especially in Gabon and vicinity.

Germination- criteria for germination.

A suggested method is to germinate in cottonwool and water (keeping this warm), then transplant to a warm dappled light environment. The seed generally incubates in a womb like cottonwooly fruit which putrifies after which the seeds start to take. Takes a while to germinate, about 2 months apparently. Rich black soil is best with maybe a little claymix? in both substrates -clay and loam. They use a chicken guano fertilizer but I am sure any fertilizar will work. Always keep warm and humid - out of direct light until older and at no stage let the plant get too cold - remember it's never even a little cool in Gabon, Africa. Basically try and emulate an equatorial rainforest environment. Dont drown it but keep it watered. A fine mist spray to soak the soil when it is still young. Someone mentioned letting it get a bit of air i think he was telling me not to stifle it. Well watered when beyond a yearling.

Be sure to heat sterilise all soils involved, to prevent incubating seeds from rotting in the ground.


Ibogaine: (C20H28N2O)

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.

Reported to be apertif, aphrodisiac, CNS-stimulant, hallucinogenic, stimulant, and tonic, iboga is a folk remedy for convalescence, debility, fever, hypertension, neurasthenia.

Indole alkaloids comprise up to 6% of the dried root. Ibogaine (C20H26N2O), the main one, is a cholinesterase inhibitor, stimulating appetite and digestion, as well as hypotension. It is also a strong CNS-stimulant.

Not intended for illegal use.

Please consult your local laws before ordering.

Federal law DEA schedule I

Sec. 1308.11-(D)-17

Definition: 'Ibogaine...'

7-Ethyl-6,6,7,8,9,10,12,13-octahydro-2-methoxy-6,9-methano-5H-pyrido [1', 2':1,2] azepino [5,4-b] indole; Tabernanthe iboga



State code 58-37-2

definition: (e) (i) "Controlled substance" means a drug or substance included in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of Section 58-37-4, and also includes a drug or substance included in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of the federal Controlled Substances Act, Title II, P.L. 91-513, or any controlled substance analog.

Note: Of more than 200 species of hallucinogenic plants only five legally prohibited from alkaloid extraction in the United States by Federal Law. Erythroxylum coca, Tabernanthe Iboga, Papaver somniferum 'Linnaeus', Cannabis sativa/indica 'viable', Lophophora williamsii 'Lemaire'


Family: Apocynaceae


Most species have complex mixtures of alkaloids in the leaves, and not so complex mixtures in the bark and root bark, with Voacangine, Vobtusine and Voacamine types predominating. The seeds of many species however display amazing uniformity of alkaloid type across most of the genus.

In Voacanga africana, the alkaloid content has been reported as 5-10% in root bark, 4-5% in trunk bark, 0.3-0.45% in leaves and 1.5% in seeds.

Voacangine is a Ibogaine methyl-formate ester.

Family: Apocynaceae
Tabernanthe afrighana

Tabernanthe afrighana is a tree specimen which grows wild in the tropical Ghana forests in Africa. This specimen was discovered by the Dutch in the Netherlands and confirmed by a botanist in Ghana. This specimen was officially botanically classified by Lambo Seeds. This specimen is a previously unknown and rare type of Tabernanthe grown below the jungles and tropical Ghana forest.


Ibogaine: (C20H28N2O)

The alkaloids are related to Ibogaine and as well as Tabernanthe iboga, and have the same psychopharmacology. The specimen seed is unknown in Ghana as a whole. Alkaloids may be contained in the root and tree bark of this specimen, however, the identity of these alkaloids has not been confirmed.

Tabernanthe afrighana plants and seeds are legal to cultivate and posess everywhere in the United States. There are no State or Federal laws or regulations anywhere on planet Earth, regarding this species.

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 03:02 am: The Nook

From Shaman-Australis

Tabernanthe iboga propagation

Light & temperature requirements
Tabernanthe iboga is at home in the rainforests of West Africa. Temperatures here are always above 20deg C and frequently above 40 deg C. In fcat, iboga stops growing at about 15 deg C and looses it's leaves at about 10 deg C. The tips start dying back if exposed to 5 deg C. Repeated exposure to 4 deg C will cause severe dieback from which the plant may not recover. A sinlge frost or a couple of nights at 1 or 2 deg C will certainly kill most plants.
The rainforest provides a very moist and humid environment. Iboga plant will adapt to dry air, but will shed their leavs first. The new leaves will be smaller and tougher, but will withstand very dry conditions as long as the plant is watered frequently. Hardened iboga plants can be grown under HPS or other artificial lights. Being rainforest plants they prefer light at levels of less than 70%. Iboga ideally likes about 50% until it is a couple of years old and can then tolerate more. having such low minimum light requirements means that this species can easily be grown along the perimeter of artificial light rigs, where other plants will not be happy. It is also well suited as an indoor pot plant, but should be kept away from windowsills during winter.

Soil, water and nutrient requirements
Rainforests produce water by causing condensation of moist air in the lower strata of the forest. This keeps the rainforest floor damp at all times. The constant flushing of condensed water means that nutrients are constantly washed away. Most rainforest plants are well adapted to efficiently capture these nutrients in the upper layers of the forest litter and soil. When cultivating plant we should try to emulate this soil by using a light mix of leafmould or composted bark shreddings. Rainforest soils have perfect drainage and this can be a problem in commercial potting mixes. To avoid waterlogging it is wise to add at least 1/3rd coarse sand to the mix. Iboga quickly gets rootbound and needs plenty of space. The efficient rootsystem is also very vigorous and needs rooms to spread. Iboga is a heavy feeder and responds quickly to fertilising. Soluble fertilisers are a waste here due to high water requirement. Composted manures are perfect.

Natural propagation and germinating seed
There was a fair bit of seed available until the end of 1999. Most of this was supplied to retailers by Dan Lieberman (South Africa) who tragically died in a car accident mid 2000. Most seed sold around the world since then has been from old stock. Shaman Australis has now sourced a new supplier and is making seed available on a seasonal basis. Iboga seed is VERY perishable. In poor storage conditions it can loose it's viability within a few weeks. If kept at optimum conditions it will last about 4 months. To store seed properly it needs to be stored in a moist environment at about 10 degC. This prevents the seedcoat from drying out. Very fresh and moist iboga seed germinates easily and without problems. As soon as the coat dries somewhat the seedling will struggle to emerge from the seedcoat and may rot. The seedling can be assisted by keeping the seedcoat very moist and soft, or by using a scalpel to carefully remove sections of seedcoat on a day by day basis. A piece of wet cotton or fabric can be used to keep the seedcoat moist by draping it over the emerging seedling. A high humidity environment (humidity dome or tropical hothouse) is essential. If using a scalpel to help the seed it is important never to injure the cotyledons that are folded into the tiny folds of the seedcoat. Accessing 1mm per day is all that is needed and prevents excessive damage. As you ease the constriction with the scalpel, the seedling will slowly push itself out a little further, thus revealing the next safe place to cut another 1mm. trying to remove the whole seedcoat at once is almost guaranteed to fail. You should aim to remove the seedcoat within about a week of the seedling emerging from the growing medium, as any longer may weaken the seedling beyond recovery. Under normal circumstances the seedling will shed the seedcoat within 2 days and this is the minimum it should be allowed to try without interference.

To germinate the seed you will need to prepare a tray, pot or punnet with coarse sharp sand (please look up the exact preparation, as most other media and plain sand are entirely unsuitable). The punnet, pot or tray has to be perfectly free draining, which can be achieved by placing plastic shadecloth in the bottom to prevent the sand from escaping. The sand has to be at least 5cm deep. Place the seed in the coarse sharp sand about 10mm deep and water well. Never let the sand dry out, as if the seedling is about to emerge at this time it will dry up and die. Also, if the medium dries, the seedcoat may dry and prolong germination. Keep seed at a minimum 25 deg C air temp. However, to achieve good germination the air temp should be about 30-35 deg C. Lowering the temperature will delay germination and increase likelyhood of fungal attack. Germination may occur within a few days, but may take up to several months, so be prepared to keep looking after the seeds throughout their full germination phase. Never expose seedlings to dry air until they have at least 3 sets of leaves. This is also the best age to transplant the first time. Their first new growing medium should be mostly sand (90% coarse sand + 10% good potting mix) and should not contain ANY manure or other strong fertiliser. Osmocote is a good option here, but should be applied at minimal rate. Once the plants get to 5 pairs of leaves they are ready for strong growth and normal fertilising and should be potted into a mix as described in the section above.

Striking cuttings
Iboga cuttings are fairly easy to root. Take a stem section with two nodes. Remove the leaves from the lower node and cut off 2/3rds of each remaining leaf. Now insert the lower end into a tray or pot of coarse sharp sand. Rooting hormone makes no difference in this process. Put the pot or tray in a hothouse or humidity dome and keep moist, humid and very warm. Callus forms after about 10 days and roots emerge after another few days. Pot into a sandy potting mix after 4-6 weeks or when the plant has grown by another node.


A cheap and easy hothouse can be made from a softdrink bottle. This is possibly the most perfect way to establish your cuttings. The bottle used should be at least 500ml. If it is larger than 1l, then the air might be a little too dry for the cutting, but it will still work. Choose a pot with a diameter a little larger than the diameter of your bottle. Fill the pot with coarse sharp sand, and place the single node cutting at least 3 cm into the medium (note: plant shown here is NOT iboga - this method can be applied to may different plants. Growing medium shown is not sand.). Cut the bottom off the CLEAN plastic bottle and push it about 2-3 cm into the medium. The plastic cap can be used to adjust the humidity and temperature inside this min-hothouse. It is advisable to never close the vent completely, but for the first couple of weeks it is best to cover the hole partially to increase humidity. Place only one cutting per unit to avoid overcrowding. Watering can be done throught hole, or the bottle removed for maintainance.


Looking after potted plants
Most collectors will start their plants in pots as these can be placed into appropriate conditions without disturbing the roots. Iboga likes a lot of nutrients and will need plenty of root space. Make sure that the soil never dries out as rainforest plants have no protection from excessive transpiration. Plants can also be hardened off to survive in non-humid conditions. To do this without stressing the plant too much, remove all the leaves from the well established plant, leaving only the tiny growing tips. Now place this plant into a dry but shady spot and always water it well. As the new leaves grow they will be much harder and smaller. Fertilise only when it is hot enough for the plant to actively grow. Composted manures are preferable to liquid fertilisers, but both will achieve results. Regular repotting into larger pots allow the addition of manure to the new potting mix.

By ShroomVator (Shroomvator) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 03:59 pm: The Nook

BTW, Eyebooger..

This topic has become a great obsession for me. It's really tough to get these seeds. I've emailed a couple European Suppliers about getting them since they don't sell 'em in the US. Apparantly, there is a guy in Canada (with partners in Cameroon) that sells the things, but he is a con artist and sells Voacanga seeds, not Tabernanthe Iboga seeds. I found a French company online (a couple actually) that sells and the website seems to imply that they will send them to the U.S., which is suposedly legal (seeds, not plants).

Check here for the Fraud Alert

This guy also sells them (I emailed him), but his website is hard to figure out.

One of the French websites that claims to sell the stuff.

Another French Company that claims to sell T. Iboga seeds.

By Eyebooger (Eyebooger) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 04:30 pm: The Nook

Hmmm...nix that Canadian website...

Thanks for the info SV

Did you get a response from the other one? The only places they don't ship are Utah and Afghanistan according to the site.

Let me know if you get anything back and maybe I'll fire off an order when I get paid