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is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in a number of plants, principally in a member of the Apocynaceae family known as iboga (Tabernanthe iboga).


-containing preparations are used in medicinal and ritual purposes within African spiritual traditions of the Bwiti, who claim to have learned it from the Pygmy. In recent times, it has been identified as having anti-addictive properties. Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid that is obtained either by extraction from the iboga plant or by semi-synthesis from the precursor compound voacangine, another plant alkaloid. A full organic synthesis of



has been achieved but is too expensive and challenging to produce any commercially significant yield.

In the early 1960s, anecdotal reports appeared concerning ibogaine’s effects. Since that time, it has been the subject of investigation into its abilities to interrupt addictions to methadone, heroin, alcohol, and cocaine. It is thought that ibogaine may have potential to facilitate introspection, helping to elucidate the psychological issues and behavior patterns that drive addictions or other problems. However, ibogaine therapy for drug addiction is the subject of some controversy. Due to safety concerns, it has been placed in the strictest drug prohibition schedules in the United States and a handful of other countries. Canada and Mexico both allow


therapy facilities to operate and openly contribute to further understanding of the detoxification and therapeutic process that ibogaine has the potential to facilitate.

While iboga prohibition in the U.S. has slowed scientific research into its anti-addictive properties, the use of ibogaine for drug treatment has grown in the form of a large worldwide medical subculture. Ibogaine is now used by treatment clinics in 12 countries on six continents to faciltate detoxification and chemical dependence to substances such as methadone, heroin, alcohol, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine, as well as to facilitate psychological introspection and spiritual exploration.

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Ibogaine – Recreational use

Casual use of ibogaine in a social or entertainment context is nearly unknown due to its high cost, constrained availability, long duration of effects, and uncomfortable short-term side effects. In the clandestine markets, ibogaine is typically sought as a drug addiction treatment, for ritual spiritual purposes, or psychological introspection.

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History of Ibogaine

The History of Ibogaine

: It is uncertain exactly how long iboga has been used in African spiritual practice, but its activity was first observed by French and Belgian explorers in the 19th century. The first botanical description of the Tabernanthe iboga plant was made in 1889. Ibogaine was first isolated from T. iboga in 1901 by Dybowski and Landrin and independently by Haller and Heckel in the same year using T. iboga samples from Gabon. In the 1930s, ibogaine was sold in France in 8 mg tablets under the name “Lambarene”. The total synthesis of ibogaine was accomplished by G. Büchi in 1966. Since then, several further totally synthetic routes have been developed.[15] The use of ibogaine in treating substance use disorders in human subjects was first observed by Howard Lotsof in 1962, for which he was later awarded U.S. Patent 4,499,096 in 1985. In 1969, Claudio Naranjo was granted a French patent for the use of ibogaine in psychotherapy.

Ibogaine was placed in US Schedule 1 in 1967 as part of the US government’s strong response to the upswing in popularity of psychedelic substances, though iboga itself was scarcely known at the time. Ibogaine’s ability to attenuate opioid withdrawal confirmed in the rat was first published by Dzoljic et al. (1988). Ibogaine’s use in diminishing morphine self-administration in preclinical studies was shown by Glick et al. (1991) and ibogaine’s capacity to reduce cocaine self-administration in the rat was shown by Cappendijk et al. (1993).[18] Animal model support for ibogaine claims to treat alcohol dependence were established by Rezvani (1995).

The name “Indra extract”, in strict terms, refers to 44 kg of an iboga extract manufactured by an unnamed European industrial manufacturer in 1981. This stock was later purchased by Carl Waltenburg, who distributed it under the name “Indra extract”. Waltenburg used this extract to treat heroin addicts in Christiania, Denmark, a squatter village where heroin addiction was widespread in 1982. Indra extract was offered for sale over the Internet until 2006, when the Indra web presence disappeared. It is unclear whether the extracts currently sold as “Indra extract” are actually from Waltenburg’s original stock, or whether any of that stock is even viable or in existence. history of Ibogaine Ibogaine and related indole compounds are susceptible to oxidation when exposed to oxygen as opposed to their salt form, which is stable. The exact methods and quality of the original Indra extraction was never documented, so the real composition of the product remains uncertain.

Data demonstrating History of Ibogaine  ibogaine’s efficacy in attenuating opioid withdrawal in drug-dependent human subjects was published by Alper et al. (1999) and Mash et al. (2000).

In 1972, journalist Hunter S. Thompson accused democratic candidate Edmund Muskie of being addicted to ibogaine in a satirical piece. Many readers, and even other journalists, did not realize that Thompson was being facetious. The claim, of course, was completely unfounded, and Thompson himself is documented in the movie Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson discussing the self-fabricated joke of Muskie’s alleged ibogaine use and his surprise that anyone actually believed the claim.

History of Ibogaine

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Ibogaine – Therapeutic uses

Treatment for opiate addiction

The most-studied therapeutic effect of ibogaine is the reduction or elimination of addiction to opioids. An integral effect is the alleviation of symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Research also suggests that ibogaine may be useful in treating dependence on other substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine, and nicotine and may affect compulsive behavioral patterns not involving substance abuse or chemical dependence.

Proponents of ibogaine treatment for drug addiction have established formal and informal clinics or self-help groups in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, France, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where ibogaine is administered as an experimental compound. There also exist clandestine drug-treatment facilities in the countries where it is illegal. Many users of ibogaine report experiencing visual phenomena during a waking dream state, such as instructive replays of life events that led to their addiction, while others report therapeutic shamanic visions that help them conquer the fears and negative emotions that might drive their addiction. It is proposed that intensive counseling, therapy and aftercare during the interruption period following treatment is of significant value. Some individuals require a second or third treatment session with ibogaine over the course of the next 12 to 18 months. A minority of individuals relapse completely into opiate addiction within days or weeks. A comprehensive article (Lotsof 1995) on the subject of ibogaine therapy detailing the procedure, effects and aftereffects is found in “Ibogaine in the Treatment of Chemical Dependence Disorders: Clinical Perspectives”. Ibogaine has also been reported in multiple small-study cohorts to reduce cravings for methamphetamine.

Chronic pain management

In 1957, Jurg Schneider, a pharmacologist at CIBA, found that ibogaine potentiates morphine analgesia.[10] Further research was abandoned, and no additional data was ever published by Ciba researchers on ibogaine–opioid interactions. Almost 50 years later, Patrick Kroupa and Hattie Wells released the first treatment protocol for concomitant administration of ibogaine with opioids in human subjects, indicating ibogaine reduced tolerance to opioid drugs.Kroupa et al. published their research in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Journal demonstrating that administration of low-“maintenance” doses of ibogaine HCl with opioids decreases tolerance. It should be noted however, that the potentiation action of ibogaine may make this a very risky procedure.


Ibogaine has been used as an adjunct to psychotherapy by Claudio Naranjo, documented in his book The Healing Journey.

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Ibogaine – Side effects and safety

One of the first noticeable effects of large-dose ibogaine ingestion is ataxia, a difficulty in coordinating muscle motion which makes standing and walking difficult without assistance. Xerostomia (dry mouth), nausea, and vomiting may follow. These symptoms may be long in duration, ranging from 4 to 24 hours in some cases. Ibogaine is sometimes administered by enema to help the subject avoid vomiting up the dose. Psychiatric medications are strongly contraindicated in ibogaine therapy due to adverse interactions. Some studies also suggest the possibility of adverse interaction with heart conditions. In one study of canine subjects, ibogaine was observed to increase sinus arrhythmia (the normal change in heart rate during respiration). Ventricular ectopy has been observed in a minority of patients during ibogaine therapy.[4] It has been proposed that there is a risk of QT-interval prolongation following ibogaine administration. This risk was further demonstrated by a case reported in the New England Journal of Medicine documenting prolonged QT interval and ventricular tachycardia after initial use.

There are 12 documented fatalities that have been loosely associated with ibogaine ingestion. Exact determinations of the cause of death have proven elusive due to the quasi-legal status of ibogaine and the unfamiliarity of medical professionals with this relatively rare substance. No autopsy to date has implicated ibogaine as the sole cause of death. Causes given range from significant pre-existing medical problems to the surreptitious consumption of other drugs in conjunction with ibogaine. Many legal and illegal psychoactive drugs and even foods or supplements such as grapefruit juice and goldenseal are strongly contraindicated immediately before, during or immediately after ibogaine treatment, which presents a risk in undersupervised or self-treating persons.

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