Iboga is a shrub. It is used for ritual and ceremonial purposes in some African cultures. The root bark of the plant is also used as medicine. Ibogaine is a chemical in iboga which is illegal in the United States.
People take iboga for fever, influenza (the flu), high blood pressure, opioid withdrawal, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses
Iboga has been used ritually as a hallucinogen. Studies suggest that ibogaine, one of the iboga alkaloids, has potential in the treatment of addiction to several substances. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has placed ibogaine into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Strict medical supervision is necessary. Ibogaine has been used in single doses of 500 to 800 mg in a clinical study, and 17 mg/kg in a drug dependency treatment center.
Fatalities have been associated with the use of ibogaine; concomitant opioid use and comorbidities (eg, cardiovascular disease, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia, epilepsy, or other imbalances in the autonomic nervous system) increase the risk of life-threatening complications including sudden cardiac death. Ibogaine should only be used under the supervision of an experienced health care provider.
Avoid use. Information regarding the safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.
None well documented.
Mild acute effects occur frequently and include nausea, vomiting, ataxia, tremors, headaches, and mental confusion. Manic episodes lasting 1 to 2 weeks have also been reported and manifested as sleeplessness, irritability, impulsivity, emotional lability, grandiose delusions, rapid tangential speech, aggressive behavior, and suicidal ideation.
Large doses of iboga can induce agitation, hallucinations, vomiting, ataxia, muscle spasms, weakness, seizures, paralysis, arrhythmias, urinary retention, respiratory insufficiency, and cardiac arrest.
Uses & Effectiveness
- Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early reports suggests that ibogaine, a chemical in iboga, can help relieve withdrawal symptoms in people abusing drugs such as heroin, codeine, cocaine, and other substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. But the existing research is unreliable.
When taken by mouth: Ibogaine, a chemical in iboga, is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in small doses under the supervision of a health care professional. Due to potentially dangerous side effects, it should not be used without medical supervision. Ibogaine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large doses and without medical supervision. Ibogaine might cause an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, seizures, paralysis, difficulty breathing, anxiety, hallucinations, heart attack, and death.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if iboga is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
The appropriate dose of iboga depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for iboga. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.