Ayahuasca and Iboga may have a few similarities, but these two plant medicines are very different. We actually do not like to compare the two because the sacred herbs of the earth were provided for us to use and every plant spirit has a different energy. However, so many people ask the question, “What is the difference between Ayahuasca and Iboga?” The best answer to that question is…try them both and see for yourself. Afterall, it is best to verify things for yourself instead taking other peoples’ experiences for it. At the same time, we understand why people are curious to get this question answered, so below we listed a few similarities and a few differences that most people agree upon.
Ayahuasca and Iboga are from two different continents and have two different shamanistic traditions behind them. They are both plant medicines for healing and wisdom in one way or antoher. Most people that have experienced the two say that Iboga is more of an inward experience with mostly masculine and some feminine energy and ayahuasca is more of an outward experience with feminine energy. Many say that Iboga is a more direct and a clear path to the truth and your own soul, and ayahuasca may be a bit more abstract and may involve some interpretation. Ayahuasca has benefits including removing layers, detoxifying, and beautiful insights. Iboga has benefits including connecting with your soul and detoxifying from chemicals and bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Some of the more technical differences is that Iboga lasts longer than ayahuasca. You feel the effects of Iboga for 24-36 hours where you experience deep introspection and you do not sleep. For this reason, Iboga is usually given twice in an 8 day retreat. Ayahuasca can be taken multiple times during a retreat since people typically feel the effects for 6-12 hours. When comparing how retreats are conducted at The Iboga Wellness Center to the average ayahuasca retreat, we only treat 4-6 guests at a time and our shamanic iboga providers are involved in the counseling process. Some ayahuasca retreats can treat up to 20 people or more at a time and the shaman may have more of a ceremonial roll instead of an interpersonal roll (although there may be some exceptions). Also, because the best Iboga comes from Gabon, Africa where it is native to, iboga is not as abundant here in the West compared to ayahuasca.
As said before, plant medicines are here for our benefit and can help many people that are searching for an alternative way to help themselves.