Ibogaine is Schedule I in the United States. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute (sell, trade or give) without a DEA license. Not available by prescription.

Addictive Potential: None

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Unknown

Mechanism of Action: Noncompetitive antagonist at α3β4 nicotinic receptors; NMDA antagonist; the major metabolite, Noribogaine, is most potent as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and acts as moderate κ- and weak µ-opioid receptor full agonist


Ibogaine is a psychoactive indole alkaloid from root bark of the rain forest shrub Tabernanthe iboga. Like other hallucinogens, it can be made synthetically. Natives of western Africa cultivate and use iboga as a stimulant, aphrodisiac, hunting aid, and in higher doses as a sacrament in religious rituals.

The researchers identified ibogaine as the bark’s main psychoactive agent in 1901, then studied its central nervous system effects and cardiovascular pharmacology through the early twentieth century. In the nineteen fifties, CIBA Geigy Pharmaceutical Co. investigated ibogaine’s ability to lower blood pressure. At the same time, some French mountaineers used it on long expeditions to fight hunger and fatigue.

In 1962-63 Howard Lotsof, now head of a company called NDA International, held a series of group experiments to show ibogaine’s effect on cocaine and heroin addiction. In 1969 and 1973, psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo was first to report using ibogaine as a hallucinogen in experimental psychotherapy. Then in 1985, Lotsof applied for utility patents on ibogaine for the treatment of opiate-narcotics addiction, cocaine addiction, and as a treatment for polydrug dependence disorders.

While ibogaine's prohibition has slowed scientific research into ibogaine's anti-addictive properties, the use of ibogaine for drug treatment has grown in the form of a large worldwide harm reduction medical subculture. Ibogaine is now used by treatment clinics in 12 countries on 6 continents to treat addictions to heroin, alcohol, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine as well as to facilitate psychological introspection and spiritual exploration.



Treatment of acute opioid withdrawal with ibogaine

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

NMDA antagonist properties of the putative antiaddictive drug, ibogaine

Ibogaine and Noribogaine: Comparing Parent Compound to Metabolite



Interview about Ibogaine Treatment with Moughenda - Moughenda Mikala is a tenth generation nganga of the Missoko Bwiti sect from southern Gabon. At the Iboga House in Costa Rica, Moughenda offers Bwiti iboga root healing and initiation. Bwiti, originating among the forest Pygmies, is a traditional African spiritual practice whose essence is ancestor worship and direct connection to God. The Iboga House is the only facility outside Africa that performs traditional Bwiti ceremonies including using psychoactive pygmy paste, whole root and T.A. (total alkaloid) Iboga, and more.



Ibogaine for Substance Abuse Treatment

Krystle Talks with David Graham Scott about Heroin, Methadone, and Ibogaine

A Bwiti Shaman, Ibogaine, and the Iboga House



The NeuroSoup Trip Guide - The free e-book version of The Neurosoup Trip Guide is now available online. It contains chapters on Choosing the Right Hallucinogen; Set, Setting, and Preparation for a Trip; Tips for Tripsitters; Aspects of the Entheogenic Experience; Working with Difficult Experiences; Integration; and References and Recommended Reading.


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List of Ibogaine Treatment Centers