What is Iboga? And some Iboga / Ibogaine Treatment Centers

Have you ever heard of iboga? If you’re into exploring different forms of spirituality, alternative therapies, or simply interested in expanding your consciousness and inner development, then an iboga retreat may be worth looking into. Right after coming out of my last Ayahuasca experience, I found an email from Ryan at Root Healing inviting me to visit their facility and experience the plant firsthand and I thought, “what a great coincidence”. Or not? I do believe these powerful healing plants have a way to find you at exactly the right time on your path to spiritual growth. And although I’ve yet to make my way to an iboga wellness center to experience iboga for myself, I have fallen deep into a rabbit hole of iboga research and thought it was worth writing down my findings here.

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Iboga is a plant medicine that has been utilized for millennia in ancient spiritual and medical traditions, especially in West Africa, much like ayahuasca in Amazonia. Ibogaine, a hallucinogenic substance found in iboga, has drawn attention for its possible therapeutic uses in the treatment of opioid and other drug addictions. There are now ibogaine treatment facilities that provide supervised addiction treatment as a result.

But iboga isn’t just for treating addiction — many people also seek out an iboga retreat or ceremonies to explore the spiritual and personal growth potential of the substance. The my last Ayahuasca experienceexperience of an iboga journey can be intense and profound, with many people reporting powerful visions, deep introspection, and a sense of connection to the divine or to nature.

What is Iboga?

The plant known as iboga is indigenous to West African rainforests, particularly those in Gabon and Cameroon. It has a long history of use in Gabonese Bwiti religious traditions’ traditional spiritual and medical rituals.

Ibogaine, a psychoactive alkaloid that is the main component of iboga, is well-known for its capacity to produce powerful and extended psychedelic experiences. The therapeutic effects of ibogaine for other disorders like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder have also been examined, as well as its potential use in treating opioid and other drug addiction (PTSD).

The iboga plant or its root bark, which is prepared in a certain method to make it ready for consumption, are the most common forms of iboga that are taken. Once the bark has been collected and prepared, it is often boiled in water to make a decoction or tea that has a bitter flavor. The water in the tea can be evaporated to turn it into a resin or powder, or it can be taken as-is. Once more, highly reminiscent of ayahuasca.

Ibogaine, the drug’s main active alkaloid, can sometimes be produced by further processing iboga bark. This entails a difficult chemical extraction procedure that often calls for specific tools and knowledge.

Why do people take iboga?

The sacred medicine iboga is used for a variety of purposes, including spiritual and personal growth, as well as potential therapeutic benefits.

Iboga has been used for centuries as a sacrament in the Bwiti religion of Gabon to facilitate communication with the divine, connect with ancestors, and gain deeper insight into oneself and the world in the context of spiritual and religious practices. Iboga is viewed as a potent tool for personal growth, healing, and transformation in this context.

Iboga has recently been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits, particularly in the treatment of opioid and other drug addictions. Ibogaine, the primary active compound in iboga, may help reduce withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings while also addressing underlying psychological and emotional issues that may be contributing to addiction, according to research.

Ibogaine has also been studied for its potential therapeutic uses in treating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What does an ibogaine treatment look like?

An iboga retreat center is a traditional spiritual and healing practice that is often conducted by practitioners of the Bwiti religion in Gabon and other parts of West Africa.

During an iboga ceremony, the participants consume the iboga plant or a derivative such as iboga root bark or ibogaine. The entire experience of the iboga treatments may take place in a ceremonial hut or other designated space and is often led by a shaman or other experienced practitioner.

The effects of iboga can last for up to 24 hours or more, during which time the participants may experience intense physical and psychological effects. These may include vivid hallucinations, deep introspection and reflection, and a sense of connection to the divine or to nature. Participants may also experience physical effects such as tremors, sweating, and nausea.

It’s important to note that traditional iboga ceremonies are led by experienced practitioners in a carefully supervised safe environment, and that using iboga outside of this context and sacred space can be dangerous and potentially harmful. It is critical to proceed with caution when using iboga and to seek out reputable, licensed providers who are experienced in administering the substance safely and effectively in a small group setting with a master healer. Make sure that the retreat you are selecting performs comprehensive medical screenings ahead of plant-assisted spiritual ceremonies.

Vetted Iboga retreat centers

Ibogaine treatment centers in Europe

Root Healing

Root Healing Iboga

Root Healing offers Iboga Detox Retreats rooted in the Bwiti tradition of the Bwiti people. The team at Root Healing is committed to supporting you in your healing process, letting go of the past, and finding your true self. Let Iboga heal you so you can focus on enjoying life and being more present. The retreats, held in beautiful Sintra, Portugal, combine the profound, ancient method of Bwiti ceremonies with modern medical procedures to ensure a safe and transformative experience. RetreatsPsychospiritualga ceremonies, integration day trips, orientation, spiritual baths, counseling, healthy meals, lodging, airport transfers, fireside chats, and integration talks.

Style: Psycho spiritual Iboga Retreat, Iboga Assisted Detox
Duration: 8 – 28 days
Price: €3,000 +
Closest Airport: Lisbon
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

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Beong came up multiple times while I was researching Iboga Mexico options. ​Beond’s medical team has decades of experience successfully treating thousands of people (and their families) who are trying to end their addiction with ibogaine treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction, along with other self-destructive behaviors and underlying mood disorders, including severe depression, anxiety, and trauma.

In addition to top-notch addiction medicine experts, the therapy team has a comprehensive understanding of and can effectively treat mood disorders in many clients and families. Beond’s physicians, board-certified addiction medicine physicians, emergency medicine physicians, licensed psychologists, and therapeutic preparation and integration coaches use a proprietary safety protocol to provide fast and painless detoxification and guide their clients on the path to lasting recovery and transformation.

Style: Insight-Oriented Ibogaine
Duration: 10 days
Price: USD $8,500+
Closest Airport: Cancun International Airport
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Languages: English, Spanish,
Vegan Friendly? Yes

Related: My yoga retreat Mexico recommendations

I’m seeking out more options for responsible providers, such as Iboga retreats in Costa Rica or Canada (I’ve received questions about those specific ones) as I’m able to vet more centers — so stay tuned! I’ll also of course report back on my first time experience should I decide to take the plunge on my own deep healing journey and become my own healer. Much love beautiful people!