Certain chemical compounds are found in Voacanga Africana in varying percentages including ibogaine. These alkaloids present in Voacanga Africana will include voacamine (7.2%), voacangine (5.6%), voacristine (4.0%), voacorine (3.7%), vobtusin (0.4%), tabersonine (3.5%), ibogaine (0.4%) and vobasine (1.6%).
In particular, Voacamine is a powerful cardiotonic stimulant while Voacangine is also a well-known psychoactive agent. The chemical structures of both alkaloids resemble another spectacular substance present in the voacanga Africana plant known to be ibogaine. Although the action is not yet fully understood, ibogaine is believed to be effective in modulating neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission, and in acting as a natural stimulant against fatigue. In large doses, ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic that gives rise to a dreamlike and introspective experience. Of the overall alkaloid mix, 5–10% is contained in the root bark (the so-called root epidermis), 4–5% is contained in the bark of the trunk, 1.5% is in the seeds, and 0.30–0.45% is in the leaves.
Uses and effects of Voacanga Africana?
Voacanga Africana also known commonly as Voacanga or “Kakapenpen” is a medicinal plant held in high esteem in most West African countries like Cameroon and Gabon. The plant is used in treating diseases like
- fungal infection,
- heartaches, etc.
The seeds of the voacanga Africana plant are rich in fats and oils. Oils extracted from the seeds are very nutritious and are used in the cosmetic industry. At present, the Voacanga Africana has both industrial (production of latex) and medicinal applications. Shamans from West Africa used the bark of this tree as a brain stimulant, the roots were used as a stimulant during long hunts, while the seeds were used for visionary purposes.
The seeds of the Voacanga Africana contain some indole alkaloids, including voacangine (carbomethoxy-ibogaine), voacamina, and related substances.