Ibogaine as a treatment
Ibogaine is an alkaloid found in the root of the Tabernanthe Iboga plant. In the cultural context, Iboga is greatly valued by the Bwiti as a substance, used during rites of passage to commune with spirits and the ancestors. As a therapeutic substance, Iboga is unique in its properties to detox addictive substances. A single dose of Ibogaine can significantly reduce the withdrawal symptoms that occur when discontinuing a physically addictive substance. It also has persistent anti-craving and anti-depressant effects that can continue for weeks following the initial treatment. It works by providing a reset for the neurotransmitters of the brain, while providing insight into trauma and the psychological dynamics that lead to addiction and psychological issues.
In addition to Substance Use Disorders, Ibogaine has been successfully used in the treatment of Burn-out, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depersonalisation Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Mental and Emotional Abuse issues, Mood Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Severe Mental Blocks, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Childhood Emotional Trauma. There is also emerging evidence that it may be effective in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease.
Although each Ibogaine experience is unique, there are common aspects to each journey. The effects can last between 24 and 48 hours, and the physical effects vary. Some possible discomforts include ataxia (temporary loss of muscle coordination), mild tremors (shaking), photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), nausea, vomiting, slight changes in blood pressure and possible sleeplessness, particularly in opiate dependent individuals.
The potential for risk with the use of Ibogaine can be substantially minimised. This is achieved by avoiding contraindicated substances prior to and during therapy, proper medical screening for any pre-existing contraindicated conditions, careful monitoring of vital signs, adequate hydration prior to and during ibogaine therapy, and compassionate support before, during and after therapy. The physical side effects usually subside within hours after the treatment and can be greatly differentiated from the painful withdrawal symptoms from chemical dependence.
By taking time to explore your intentions for treatment, and focusing on where healing is needed, you can get the most out of the journey. Ibogaine produces a waking dream state, while also processing learning and memory. The Ibogaine state of consciousness is characterised by visual phenomena that resemble vivid dreams, reflections or memories. You may experience these visions from an objective perspective, allowing you to examine events without fear, shame, guilt and other feelings associated with trauma. Not everyone reports having visions or dreams, but rest assured that the healing potential of Iboga does not depend on whether or not you have visions.
Iboga does not cause a loss of consciousness or depersonalisation. The long-term effects include reduced anxiety, improved mood, reduced cravings, and increased energy. Some who undertake the journey report having difficulty with sleep for a short period of time, but sleep patterns usually return to normal. To date, no adverse long-term side effects associated with the use of Ibogaine have been reported.