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The Difference Between Iboga & Ibogaine

Exploring the Difference Between Iboga & Ibogaine | Origins, Uses, and Therapeutic Contrasts | Awaken Your SoulExploring the Difference Between Iboga & Ibogaine | Origins, Uses, and Therapeutic Contrasts | Awaken Your Soul

Iboga is a very powerful medicine that hails from equatorial Africa and has been used in traditional spiritual practices and for personal development for hundreds if not thousands of years. Ibogaine, one of Iboga’s derivatives is more well known for its support in the addiction and detox communities. In recent years, these substances have gained more and more attention for their widely therapeutic applications, particularly addressing mental health. In this article, we will delve into the origins, uses, and key contrasts between iboga and ibogaine.


Originating from the root bark of the Tabernan the Iboga plant, Iboga has been traditionally used by the Bwiti tribes in spiritual practices and ceremonies across central west African countries such as Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo. It contains various alkaloids, with the most notable being Ibogaine. The psychoactive properties of Iboga make it a potent element in rituals intended for personal and spiritual growth.

Uses of Iboga:

1.      Spiritualand Ceremonial Practices:

   • Iboga is often used in sacred group rituals, both traditional and more modern approaches to experience altered states of consciousness, often inducing spiritual experiences and insights as well as aiding physical healing and improving neuroplasticity.

2.      Healing and Divination:

   • The Bwiti use Iboga to provide guidance in decision-making and healing by connecting individuals with their ancestral spirits.

3.      Psychotherapeutic Applications:

   • Iboga  is also used as a tool in therapeutic ways, where its psychedelic properties aid in addressing trauma, PTSD, ADHD and can greatly promote emotional healing.

4.      Personal Development:

   • Iboga  is a powerful tool for tapping into creativity, and personal power and for reaching ones higher potential.

5.      Physical healing:

   • Iboga  is said to address elements of an imbalanced central nervous system (potentially the Vagus Nerve) helping to calm it as a whole, as well as other physical conditions because it can help heal emotional and spiritual fractures greatly impact the heath of the body.

Uses of Ibogaine:

Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid derived from Iboga and has gained attention for its capacity in treating addiction and well as detoxifying substances from the body. Unlike Iboga, which is mostly used in traditional ceremonies, Ibogaine is often administered in more stark clinical settings due to its specific therapeutic properties.

Uses of Ibogaine:

1.      Addiction Treatment:

   • Ibogaine is used for its ability to reduce cravings associated with substance abuse, particularly opioids because it is said to block the opiate receptors therefore drastically reducing if not fully eliminating the withdrawal symptoms.

   • Many report that ibogaine provides insight for individuals to address the underlying psychological factors (traumas) contributing to addiction.

2.      Psychotherapeutic Applications:

   • Iboga is also used as a tool in therapeutic ways, where its psychedelic properties aid in addressing trauma and can greatly promote emotional healing and is currently being explored by American Veterans for the treatment of PTSD.

Differences between and Ibogaine:

1.      Form and administration:

   • Iboga typically refers to the bark of the root used in traditional ceremonies. This bark (also referred to as “wood”) is most often served ground up or made into a tea. Some practitioners make an extraction called “TA” (total alkaloid). Quantity is assessed more according to the energy field of the participant.

   • Ibogaine is the isolated alkaloid extracted from iboga and is mostly administered in a clinical setting, in capsules and quantity is assessed by body weight.

2.      Cultural vs. Clinical Use:

   • Iboga is deeply rooted in cultural and spiritual practices in Bwiti communities in central west Africa, as well as in shamanic settings in more modern environments for spiritual and therapeutic uses.

   • Ibogaine is primarily utilized in clinical settings, particularly for its treatment of addiction.

Iboga and Ibogaine represent a fascinating intersection of traditional practices and modern therapeutic approaches as well as extremely powerful healing tools. While iboga continues to play a vital role in the spiritual and cultural fabric of certain communities, ibogaine is gaining recognition for its potential in addressing addiction and promoting psychological healing. These experiences, while having the capacity for deep transformation, are not for everyone. A responsible provider or center should screen the participants judiciously as well are participate in ethical practices in how the medicines are administered as well as where/how the medicine is sourced.

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