What it feels like to take ibogaine
What does it feel like to take ibogaine or iboga? I can only answer with regards to iboga as I have never had ibogaine but from what I understand there are some slight differences. Ibogaine is typically used for addiction purposes because it is a little easier on the stomach. For opiate addicts this makes it easier to keep down as one of the symptoms of opiate detox is vomiting.
If you are doing iboga(ine) for a drug detox both iboga and ibogaine will do the job. If you are looking for a psycho-spiritual experience then iboga root bark or iboga total alkaloid (TA) extract is definitely recommended.
When you take iboga(ine) typically you will start to feel the medicine kicking in from 30–90 minutes after taking it. Some of the initial symptoms include;
– hearing buzzing or electricity-type noises
– heightened audio perception
– a faster or slower heartbeat
– a spinning sensation (you can typically make this stop, by telling the medicine to “stop spinning.”
After about 2.5–4 hours you will enter the most intense part of the journey. Many times you go so deep that you are not aware of the initial symptoms above besides nausea. During the journey you may have;
– closed or open eye visions. These are very different than other plant medicine visions are from my perspective are real. They are not part of our subconscious mind, but actually, the way things are playing out in the spirit world. Sometimes they can be unpleasant, but we have to go through this stage to release old thought patterns, negative emotions & energy, and let go of past experiences that may be affecting our day to day life.
– you may experience millions of random thoughts coming from all different directions and many of them won’t make sense. This is akin to iboga going through your minds filing cabinet or hard drive and defragging your hard drive. I recommend to iboganauts that they do not need to follow these thoughts or try and make sense of them, but rather to lay back and just “be” and let the experience happen. If you try and guide this part of the journey and are a person that has problems letting go, you could be in for a very long night. You will not win trying to guide this process, just “be.”
-You may go through a life review process in which you see yourself as a young child and moving through the years of your life and realize the impact certain experiences had on your life. This is a very valuable time and when people realize why they have certain tendencies or “ticks” they never quite understood. For addicts, they may realize the reason they looked to drugs is to mask an experience from earlier in their life.
After about 8–12 hours from taking the last dose of medicine, you will enter an introspective phase of the journey. At our center then is when we move everyone from the ceremony area and take them back to their rooms lay in peace and quite. This introspective phase is typically the most valuable time of the journey. This is when many realizations will come to you.
You may also experience your mind shutting off and realizing you are not having any thoughts. This is very valuable and for some people, this may be the first time they have ever had a quite mind. You can also explore any questions or thoughts you may have at this stage and get truthful real answers.
The medicine is working on you until you sleep late that night, or possibly the next day/night. Until you sleep the medicine is still working on you and helping you heal.
We remind people that the experience is still happening just not as intense and it is important to be with themselves during this time and not distract themselves with the internet, videos, books or phone calls.
The first sleep after iboga won’t be a long 8-hour sleep for about 75% of people. They may sleep 3 or 4 hours but wake up feeling great and with a clear head/clear body. You will experience a “cleanliness” feeling that feels really great… you just feel pure.
Some people get emotional the following days which is totally normal and welcome.
*At our center we do a lot of counseling around the “Bwiti” tradition from Africa. The Bwiti use iboga as a way to study life itself. We share this knowledge with our clients.
Some people may think it “didn’t’ work” and it can take a few days for them to come around. In my experience, the medicine always works, but maybe not in the way we expected it to work. In 100% of cases, I have been involved in there was always improvements in the person’s life. It is then up to them to integrate the information they learned.
People will typically experience an afterglow effect from the iboga that will last from 1–6 months. During this time the medicine is still very much in their system and helping to guide them. This is the time to integrate new habits and ways of life to make them happy.
We all come to iboga from different paths but we all have on thing in common, we want to be happy. Iboga is a tool unlike any other to bring meaning into our lives, contentment and to help us live happy lives. Iboga with the knowledge of the Bwiti tradition is very powerful. For myself, there is no separation. Even for people that don’t do iboga in a spiritual context still receive the same truths that the Bwiti have discovered with iboga.
After iboga, it is important to not drink alcohol. Iboga and alcohol are not friends. If you do drink alcohol you will feel that iboga afterglow leaving you, even after just a few beers. It is important to not drink alcohol for some months afterward if you want to get the most out of the experience. If you do drink you will wake up the next morning physically feeling the iboga leaving your body.
Hope this helps someone wanting to understand the experience. Thanks for asking Scott Thomas Brewster (Scott Thomas Brewster)