Exactly What Is The Iboga Plant?
The plant that produces the chemical substance known as ibogaine is called Tabernanthe iboga. It is a large-leafed, small tree that grows in Africa. There are several other plants in the family that also produce the same substance. But, the main plant is basically simply called the iboga plant.
The iboga plant would make a fine ornamental plant, if it were legal to have such a thing in the United States. As it is, possession of the tree or even its seeds is illegal. The tree produces flowers and fruit, but strangely, the substance, ibogaine, is found in the roots, not the fruit. The reason that the tree is illegal is that the alkaloid, ibogaine, is a hallucinogenic. This is a strange dichotomy for the United States. Plants like oleander and milkweed are common, and yet, they are deadly poisonous if ingested. But ibogaine is not deadly. Just the alkaloid from the roots is a slight hallucinogen. There are plants at your local nursery, such as angel trumpets, that produce hallucinogenic effects. But they are legal. That is difficult to understand. There is no appropriate reason for it.
However, it must be said that the pharmaceutical companies in the United States refuse to test ibogaine for the treatment of addiction, for which the drug has become well known. Pharmaceutical companies will lose a lot of money on substances such as Suboxeon and Methadone if ibogaine was legal. For, Ibogaine produces a permanent cessation of the abuse of the drugs, while those manufactured by American pharmaceutical companies only replace the drug, and its use must be continued. In effect, it is replacing one addiction with another. And this makes a lot of money for drug companies. Ibogaine would destroy that income. The pharmaceutical companies know this. They are in no hurry to produce a substance that can cure addiction. That is why ibogaine is illegal in the United States, not because it is a hallucinogen.
There are underground ibogaine clinics in the United States, but the DEA and the FDA hunt for such clinics, and arrest the doctors and the patients. That is why the safest thing to do is to make an appointment with an ibogaine clinic in Canada. They are regulated by the government, and are staffed by medical professionals. Ibogaine and its use for the cure of addiction is legal in Canada.
The plant and its substance is used in a religious practice called Bwiti, active in Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon. Indeed, the government of Cameroon actually declared Tabernanthe iboga a national treasure. Ibogaine is used in some of these African countries as a mild stimulant to keep hunters awake on a hunting trip, or as an aid to work longer hours during harvest time. It is used as a recreational hallucinogen, also.
The most interesting use of the plant, though is its ability to mimic other drugs in the brain of an addicted person. It takes the place of, and quells the desire for, heroin, alcohol, and even nicotine. There are no withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens or the “Joneses” with heroin addiction. There is little pain of withdrawal while using ibogaine to treat addiction.