Iboga as therapy?

topic posted Wed, November 22, 2006 - 4:23 PM by  Unsubscribed
I have post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. None of the treatments I have tried (therapy, psycho-theraputic drugs, herbal alternatives) has done much to help me. A huge part of my problem lies in repressed memories, and the fact that although I remember my secondary traumas fairly clearly, my primary trauma is mostly a blur and I often question whether I really remember it at all.

Has anyone here used Iboga as a treatment for trauma not related to drug use? (I have other addictions, self injury and other self-destructive behaviours, but don't take drugs)

Is there any research about the use of Iboga in the treatment of ptsd or related conditions?

I've tried to do my own research, but just keep finding more and more about its ability to break addictions.
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  • Hello, and thanks for your question.

    I'll offer some perspective on some substances with which I've had personal experience.

    MDMA is currently being used with a high degree of success in treating PTSS. What you describe seems rather complex, so it's challenging to address your case without knowing more. Do you have any experience with anti depressants? Have you ever gone through any type of therapy? Are there things which you feel work or don't work for you? It would be helpful if you could provide more background info.

    5-MeO DMT is very interesting as well. In my case, it pulled me back through time, all the way past the point of incarnation. I'm referring to my subjective experience with this compound of course. I saw everything in one instant, my whole life. I saw things which had never occurred to me before. Connections between seemingly unrelated events suddenly stood out crystal clear. My whole life actually seemed to make sense in one instant. I had acquired from that moment forward a strong belief that everything is literally connected; multi-dimensionally interconnected even. On a therapeutic level, 5-MeO DMT was invaluable to me personally as it cleared the fog of confusion which had allowed me to persist in semi self destructive behaviour up to that point. Now I knew why certain things had to happen for me to have been able to grow and to be able to reflect back upon my own past as a necessary progression of events. Oddly, I had no interest in dabbling around with hard drugs any more. What had driven me to do so in the first place, which was based in confusion actually, had perished. A friend of mine at the time who was a heroin addict and partook in the experience was a real drug-depot, let me tell you. It woke him up as well, but unfortunately he went back to chasing the dragon some time later.

    I should also state that other compounds such as MDMA and LSD were thrown into the mix before hitting the big one (5-MeO DMT). Not all together though but in succession. It sure did something to me. One experience by itself won't do it though, no matter how rich or special or good. There's no quick-fix. This also seems valid for Ibogaine therapy. Iboga may have the interesting ability of resetting one's neuronal pathways to a degree, but latent energetic patterns can only be adjusted on a more permanent basis through persistent behavioral reinforcements; power of will. The things which you pick up from an entheogenic experience have to be reinforced with some form of continued practice and personal day-to-day reminding. Otherwise, whatever you pick up will eventually move on, just like everything else.

    Psilocybin and LSD have strong therapeutic value as well. I'm naturally speaking of strictly legal therapeutic and professionally monitored settings of course. Change of environment, engaging in positive sensory input such as music and changes in lifestyle, more particularly in one's diet, implementing brain 'boosters' such as 5-HTP and so on and so forth can all each in their own limiting way contribute to a tipping of the scales if you will.

    Many blessings,
    • Unsu...
      I've been on at least 20 different kinds of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and a few anti-psychotics. Nothing ever took away my desire for death, and in most cases the side-effects were bad, in a few kept me from being able to function at all (effexor and clanazopam were the worst). I've been in idividual therapy with about five or six different psychiatrists and psychologists, ranging from a couple of weeks of treatement to just over two years -- I found none of them helpful, but I also didn't like or trust any of my therapists, so I probably wasn't a very good patient (I never told a single one of them that I suspect I was molested -- then again, none of them ever asked.) I was doing cognitive behavioural therapy on my own for a while; it seemed to be working, finding alternate explanations for the behaviours of others that my negative emotions were responding to --- until I found out that my initial suspicions of their behaviours were actually correct, and I'd been thinking up reasons why I should feel bad for them. That experience kind of soured me against the whole cbt thing. I've never done any "recreational" drugs other than pot. there's an ibogain clinic near me, but they only treat drug users, and besides, I don't have the money for clinical treatment, nor any way to get it because first I would have to pay off my student debts, and that may take a number of years. I have taken 5HTP as a sleep aid -- it pretty much just knocks me out and puts me into a dreamless sleep; but I've been warned against taking it by someone whose opinion on these things I usually turst, so now I only take it if I've had a string of sleepless nights and see no other alternative. Any other information that would be helpful?
      • I'm sorry to hear about your string of 'bad luck.' It doesn't sound like you've seen any "good" therapists. I mean, a "good" therapist asks many questions and ought to project a deep and sincere interest in your well being and not pump you full of chemicals with side effects. You can feel it when you're in 'good hands' I'm sure. When was the last time you took an anti depressant or any other prescription chemicals? Sounds to me like you were put on way too many of them actually. This may in fact represent more of a compounded burden than anything constructive... it sure sounds like it. You may want to consider detoxing for a while and reviewing your dietary habits and general lifestyle. You yourself can have a far greater impact on your own health than any doctor can. You better believe it. Little things add up. Having confidence in yourself is a must though. Don't lose hope. You're still alive and kicking, aren't you? Be proud that you are taking an initiative.

        I don't think Iboga is for you to tell you the truth. Not now at least. But please do tell me more. Tell me what you think works and what not. Anything else you can think off. Have you ever consulted a naturopath? A Chinese herbs/medicine woman in conjunction with acupuncture might make a significant difference. It did for me. So did becoming a vegetarian.

        I can't promise that I'll convey anything practically useful but I'll try. Hopefully others will chime in too.

        • Unsu...
          The last time I took a chemical anti depressant was when my former physician put me back on effexor about two and a half years ago --- I took it for only three days before taking myself back off due to the side effects. Other than that I've been off them since the spring of 2002. I was on chemical meds from the age of 17 until I was 20, zoloft for the first 18 months or so, and different ones, none for more than six or eight months (some as little as 2 weeks), after that. The most at once was 8 kinds while in the hospital in september 2001, and six after that, until I decided to come off of everything and try a product called Empower Plus ( for more information) ---- I've been taking that ever since, and although it's never made me happy or gotten rid of the passive "I wish I'd died when I overdosed" feelings, until last spring it seemed to keep me somewhat "stable" and eliminate the active desire to do something to end my life.

          I go to a chiropractor, and I always feel better for at least an hour or so after an adjustment. I've tried massage therapy, but find that it makes me feel worse. I go rock climbing, and I feel good while I'm doing that, and for an hour or two afterward. I've been mostly vegetarian all my life, and completely since I was twelve (I don't metabolize meat properly). I recently started taking omega 3-6-9s, and that seems to be helping a little bit with my concentration, which had gotten really terrible. I try really hard to eat properly (I keep track of how many servigns I've had from each food group, and make myself have at least the minimum from each) most of the time, but when I get depressed I become nausious, and it's hard to force myself to eat anything at all, and even then I will often be sick when I eat. Lately I have not been eating much, and my weight is concerning me because it has been dropping since the beginning of summer. It will go down a few pounds, and then I'll start eating properly again, but I can't seem to bring it back up -- I've lost over 15 lbs since may, which may not seem like much, but my weight was already one the low end of healthy.

          Since spring my ptsd symptoms have been an issue off and on, with flashbacks and nightmares probably worse than they have ever been. My ability to cope with them is at its worst anyway. I found out last night about an experimental treatment for ptsd using propranolol, and I'm going to try to find out if I can be a part of the study.

          Thank you so much for your advice, and even for just listening.

          • i for one think iboga is the most loving plant spirit i've ever encountered and that it could help anyone with anything provided you're physically able.
            but what do i know... i think the whole world should be exposed to other realms and spirits.
            i can give you the phone number of someone who owns an iboga clinic and she could provide much more informed info than me.
            love special
            • Special, I pretty much agree with you. However, a concoction of antidepressants can seriously mess up one's brain chemistry. Some of them may take a long time to clear one's system. Ibogaine can be potentially dangerous, even fatal in certain brain-chem states. It works on more planes than one, and it is the biochemical (brain) plane which concerns me here. From the reports I read in this forum, it doesn't seem advisable to consult this plant spirit when one exhibits suicidal tendencies. I figure this would go for severe cases of depression as well, but that's just my guess. It may be a different ball-game with low dose therapy... I just don't feel comfortable recommending anything to anyone which involves numerous health-critical variables. Ibogaine therapy is not without risk.

              More questions (feel free to ignore the ones you don't care to answer):

              - How long has it been since your last doctor's visit?
              - Have you had your blood analysed? Any deficiencies?
              - Mind telling me your height, weight and age?
              - What's your blood type?
              - Are you allergic to anything?
              - Hypersensitive to anything?
              - Any supplements in your diet except the occasional 5-HTP?

              Pending your answers, I may have more questions :)

              Macadamia nut oil has the best omegas money can buy. Super blue-green algae has everything your body could wish. Chlorella is an excellent 'super food' product in an easy to absorb form. A bit pricey maybe, but with many healing potentials. There's more.

  • Unsu...
    - How long has it been since your last doctor's visit?
    I've been to the dr fairly recently -- but the last time I candidly told a dr the full extent of how badly I was feeling I was given teh "choice" between taking effexor willingly and being involuntarily admitted to the hospital. Since then I've had a tendency to downplay the severity of my mood.

    - Have you had your blood analysed? Any deficiencies?
    Last year they ran zillions of blood tests on me because they thought I had chronic fatigue. It was actually intestinal candida overgrowth, but at that time all of my blood tests were normal. I believe the most recent one was March or April.

    - Mind telling me your height, weight and age?
    I'm 25, 5'8", currently about 116lbs (I was 135 back in April)

    - What's your blood type?
    A something

    - Are you allergic to anything?
    Morphine, mildly to fur, calomine lotion, solarcane (that sunburn treatment stuff)

    - Hypersensitive to anything?
    refined white flour generally does bad things to my stomach

    - Any supplements in your diet except the occasional 5-HTP?
    Only the Empower Plus, omega, inositol & I plan to go back on choline

    My supplement people say it sounds like my body is cleansing itself of zoloft at the moment because I have all of the withdrawl symptoms of that particular drug. They have me taking ungodly amounts of whey protein isolates to shield my system from it somewhat.
    • Weeeeeerd. My lengthy reply to you somehow went missing! I swear I saw it posted and now, poof!

      Ok, here's a quote from an email from a scientist friend of mine. I think it will offer some insight.

      "I had just started
      coming down with what I thought was asthma, and indeed it was asthma
      but it was more than that: it was MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities)
      and a flu-triggered case of CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune dysfunction
      syndrome). Working in a biochemistry lab, eating/drinking/using/putting
      all kinds of crap in my body and living in a humid, industrialised city
      all added up to that. This turned out to be so bad that I was forced to
      resign my job and move back home for good. It took me a full 6 months
      to convalesce. A very dark time in my life. *The darkest*. During that
      time I got the chance to experience first-hand how helpful alternative
      medicine can be. The only three things that helped me get back on my
      feet were: homeopathy, a strict detoxification program, and Reiki.

      Most people who go through such things (if they're lucky to come out
      the other side intact) will tell you that what happened to them was "a
      blessing in disguise". For me it certainly was, because it put
      everything in perspective and brought me back in touch with myself.
      Even little things like walking to the shops can feel like a wonderful
      experience if you've spent the past six months too tired to go out the

      I'll try to recap some of what I wrote previously. It doesn't seem that your weight is an issue for concern at the moment. Do keep track of it however. If you continue to lose weight... The following represents only an opinion and is not to be taken as medical advice.

      I understand why you'd want to downplay your state... Sounds to me you'd want to explore "alternative" routes, which BTW ought to be renamed as "main" routes since they've been around far longer. Anyways, I urge you to consult a naturopath/homeopath and/or a Chinese herbs healer. It sounds to me that your sensitivity and allergy issues are a direct result from years of chemical pollution (anti depressants etc). To put it simply, an allergy or state of hypersensitivity is a precursor to a state of shock. You can interpret it as a warning of some sort. The only way that I know of to reverse such situations is through detoxification. There are many ways to cleanse the body; fasting, colonics (enemas) etc. is a valuable resource. Check it out. They list many articles on how to rebuild one's system. I'm not sure what Empower Plus is, but you definitely want to add a 'super food' to your diet. The additional benefits of some super food products is that they easily absorb into one's system... Search the website I mentioned for more on that. I cannot emphasize the benefits of pure macadamia nut oil. Taking several spoon fulls a day may not only help stabilise your weight, it's got the best omega 3s and 6s and a bunch of other health benefits. Walnuts are particularly good for your brain (note: they resemble a brain). Almonds are loaded with valuable nutrients as well. Consider munching on trail mix to get all of your basic daily nutrients. Pomegranate and blueberry juice are loaded with anti oxidants which is important in your case. All of these add up to valuable and potent health-care alternatives. Note that detoxification isn't without risk either since your body purges certain compounds. Fasting or detoxification/cleansing in your particular case ought to go paired with the intake of carefully selected nutrients. Sounds like you're with the program already.

      Also, do you receive enough sun light? You need at least 15 minutes of full sunlight exposure per day for your body to be able to synthesise vitamin D. You cannot take it in pill form. You need direct sunlight for this. Vitamin D deficiency is quite common and is the root cause of depression for many, particularly in countries such as Canada where there are four distinct seasonal weather changes. As an alternative, they do sell full spectrum lamps which are not only better on the eyes but allow vitamin D synthesis to occur indoors. But force yourself out the door anyways. A walk in the park or through a forest or across the beach does wonders to your mood. It is also very cleansing on a multi dimensional level. Do you live near a coastal region by the chance?

      There's always more of course.

      Browse through the following site as well whenever you've got some extra time.
      (dig until you find the brain-chem pages)

  • Unsu...
    First before I post this, let me say that if you're on any medication for any psychological condition, this stuff does not mix well with ibogaine at all, and you'll need to get this stuff cleared from your system before you even think about ibogaine.

    I sought iboga treatment for anxiety and depression-related issues. Iboga shrunk those problems down to the size of a bug that I could step on. Although the core emptiness and fear were gone overnight, afterward, I still felt it necessary to sort through all the issues that led to those problems so I could better handle these things in the future. Frankly it was nothing less than a miracle and I am still amazed to this very day that it was possible to change my life like that.

    I didn't have nearly the difficult issues that it sounds like you have. My result was very dramatic and I feel obligated to say that not everyone gets an outcome like that. But it's worth trying for issues other than drug addiction.

    I would suggest contacting the Ibogane therapy House in Vancouver. I spoke with a Harvard professor who says that there is evidence that Ibogaine helps rebuild an area of the brain that is related to depression/anxiety...and it's development can be hindered by abuse/deprevation early on in life. In my opinion I think it would help but in a clinical setting with full support...only my opinion and i'd love to see some reports showing success.

    Another treatment called Chi Nei Tsang ( might also help...i've read several stories where it has helped release past trauma...i'm currently receiving treatments and am going through a huge spritual awakening as a result.

    hope this helps a bit,

  • Unsu...
    Hi, iboga can help with this but as the little white rabit mentioned MDMA was first used on ww2 vets who suffered from shell shock the only thing is where do you get pure MDMA, The one and only time I had it was in Amsterdam and it was nothing like the pills they are pushing today. I just felt really great and realised that I had been depressed and in a destructive relationship and that my girlfriend at the time was smothering me. It was a great awakenng and a great reference to see what it feels like compared to the way you feel if you are depressed but have accepted it and become used to it. Iboga is easier to get in terms of purity but I can vouch for MDMA to a point