Iboga / Ibogaine Aftercare – Staying Clean

freedomSo I talked about this last night at our Bwiti Iboga Fire Ceremony here at the Iboga Wellness Center. We talk about lots of things during ceremony, mostly just about life, thats what Bwiti is: The Study of Life. Bwiti is not a religion like you may read on the internet. Its just a way of life, its how we live here at our center and how they live back in Gabon, Africa.

So during ceremony I talked about my Golden Key to staying clean. This is the biggest one of them all, TRUST ME, I know. So after people come here and detox off drugs with Iboga, the battle is only half way done. The next step is to go inside yourself and find your underlying issues, we use Iboga to achieve this, to find your naked truth. This is how and when you can find your inner peace. Ok so thats great! but now how do you keep that, keep that inner peace? I will tell you, from here on out, anytime something comes up in life, something hard or something you don’t want to deal with, you can’t push it off until tomorrow. You have to deal with it THAT day before you go to sleep. You see, if you just say “ahh I’ll just deal with it tomorrow…” It never goes away…and then when you let another issue pile up on top of the last one, then another…it piles up until your FUCT. At that point there are just to many things going on in your mind and you will break, snap, say fuck it, I can’t deal with this shit no more…Then that little voice, that monkey on your back, Mr Brownstone, he’ll start calling you and calling you until you give in. Trust me, I know. So think easy and live easy. Life will be throwing challenges at you for the rest of your life, you can not escape that…You just need to know how to handle it…then its a piece a cake – Pura Vida by Jeff Cook

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) and Iboga / Ibogaine

Post Acute Withdrawal SyndromeMany people are aware of the first stage of withdrawal when detoxing from drugs and/or medications such as opiates. But doctors and rehabilitation centers may not educate patients on the second stage of withdrawals which is called Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS for short. During this stage you’ll have less intense physical symptoms, but more emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Post-acute withdrawal occurs because your brain’s receptor sites are repairing, your brain chemistry still isn’t at normal levels. When a person becomes addicted to opiates, their brain doesn’t make as many receptor sites that control pleasure. It does this due to the body’s defense mechanism since the brain was being flooded with opiates continuously. This lack of pleasure is also called dysphoria. As you heal, the levels of your brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium causing post-acute withdrawal symptoms.

The Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal

The most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms are:

• Mood swings

• Anxiety and/or panic attacks

• Irritability and feelings of hopelessness

• Physical and mental fatigue

• Variable energy

• Low enthusiasm and motivation

• Decreased concentration

• Disturbed sleep

Post-acute withdrawal can be challenging. In the beginning, your symptoms will change minute to minute and hour to hour. Later as you recover further they will disappear for a few weeks or months only to return again. There is no obvious trigger for most episodes and symptoms can come and go throughout the day. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last for 2 years depending on the individual and damage that was done to the body. It is important to know this because it is easy to get frustrated when symptoms linger, which increases relapse rates.

Treatment Option for Post-Acute Withdrawal

There is an option for treatment of PAWS with the use of Iboga, an herb that possesses powerful anti-addictive properties. Iboga can help a person physically by detoxing their body of residual chemicals. It also binds to receptor sites in the pleasure center of the brain, the same part of the brain that most addictive drugs affect. Iboga can help you mentally and spiritually by allowing you to work on underlying issues that is causing the addictive behavior. Iboga stays in an individual’s system for months, which is a critical time and when most relapses happen. Iboga can be a powerful tool to aid a person through these though times.

PAWS is also a reason why Iboga Wellness Center offers a 30 day program for people that have been on longer acting opiates or people that have many years of opiate abuse. Please see our protocol for Suboxone and Methadone iboga treatments.

Iboga / Ibogaine for PTSD

Iboga for PTSD

Iboga for PTSD

How can iboga / ibogaine help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? People that have gone through the iboga process to work on their PTSD describe the experience as comparable to 10 years of therapy compacted into a week. Iboga gives you a chance to go deep. It not only helps with detoxing the body, but the mind as well. As long as the person is open and willing to work on themselves, iboga is a powerful tool. Many people have said that it gave them a chance to relive a traumatic event from an observer’s point of view. During a retreat they were able to forgive and move on, experiencing closure for the first time. Also, it gave their body a chance to detox from anti-depressants that they have tried with no success. Every person has a unique life, therefore every person has a unique journey.

Trust and the Iboga Journey

Iboga Wellness Center

The amazing Iboga Journey

Trust is a very important component to having an amazing, life-changing iboga retreat. When you trust your provider and feel like your are in a safe and comfortable environment, you will calm your mind and focus on the “task at hand”. The task is connecting to your soul and finding out your true life path. It is to de-program from past beliefs and learned behavior and re-program yourself into a new, positive way of life.

It is important to research iboga and ibogaine facilities with that in mind. You should ask yourself, “Where would I be most comfortable?” and “Which facility do I resonate the best with?” and go with your heart. A good iboga or ibogaine retreat center will take the time to answer all of your questions and concerns. The more questions you ask and the more research you do, will help ensure yourself that you are making the correct choice. Some people may feel more comfortable with a medical facility, others may feel more comfortable with a shamanic center, or a mix of both. Trusting the provider that will guide you, will help with unblocking your mind from fear. Being guided through an iboga journey can be a priceless self adventure and should always be done in a positive, tranquil environment.

Activating the Pineal Gland / Third Eye with Iboga / Ibogaine

Third Eye

Pineal Gland

The pineal gland, also known as the Third Eye or the Seat of the Soul, is a small gland inside your brain that secretes hormones like melatonin, serotonin and DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). It also contains rods and cones similar to the human eye. Melatonin and serotonin are responsible for sleep and meditative states, emotional states of well-being such as pleasure and euphoria. DMT effects range from time dilation and spiritual travel or journeying.

Cleaning up the pineal gland is useful for those wishing to develop their multidimensional perception, for further spiritual exploration. Although there have not been any studies proving that iboga can de-calcify the pineal gland, Iboga is used as a tool to detoxify the body and mind. Iboga is a visionary plant medicine. An awakened third eye brings the ability to consciously speak with your soul for those that are ready to listen.

It is said that when the pineal gland or third eye is awakened, one is able to see beyond space time into time space….even go to the beginning of time. You can see the truth for yourself, with your own eyes. It raises the frequency on which one operates and moves one into a higher consciousness. When you experience iboga, you will actually feel your vibration increasing. You will feel the “iboga buzz” in your body and hear it in your ears.

While the physiological function of the pineal gland has been unknown until recent times, many traditions and shamans have long known this area to be the connecting link between the physical and spiritual worlds. The Bwiti from Gabon, Africa have used Iboga for hundreds of years to do just that. During an iboga journey, a person is given Iboga to enter the spiritual world where they can connect with ancestors, explore their own soul and see the beginning of time itself.

Iboga / Ibogaine for Depression and Anxiety

Iboga for Depression
Research studies regarding the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental disorders and conditions are making a comeback, and the results thus far are more than promising. Shamans and indigenous tribes have known of the healing properties of their sacred herbs for centuries, now science may be catching up with what has always been known by shamans. The difference in the schools of thought between science and shamanism may never mesh, but the more studies that are conducted and published is a step in the right direction to help spread awareness and in turn, enable many more people to get the help they need. At Iboga Wellness Center, we view iboga as more of a visionary herb instead of a “psychedelic”. We treat people on a mental, physical and spiritual level. We feel that all three are important and necessary.

Whereas scientists tend to focus more on synthetic psychedelics and observe changes in the brain regarding neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin and document various physiological and behavioral changes, shamans offer a spiritual approach regarding working with the “spirit of the plant” and “breaking open one’s mind” to help the individual. Spirituality is commonly left out of any scientific study, but shamans know there is a direct connection between the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of a person as a whole. There are many psychedelic substances that science has researched to treat conditions such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, schizophrenia and more. Some recently published studies have tested the use of LSD to treat alcoholism and the use of MDMA to treat post traumatic stress. One substance in particular that has been studied in a wide range of areas is Ibogaine, which is one isolated alkaloid within the iboga TA or iboga rootbark.

Psycho-Spiritual Therapy to treat the Western World for Treating Depression and Anxiety

Iboga and Ibogaine are not “magic bullets”, it is not as simple as ingesting a pill and all symptoms are gone. It definitely takes work and an individual has to be committed to trusting the process and listen to their soul without distractions. Every single person is unique, no two journeys are the same. When you hear people say that their iboga experience was like 10 years of therapy in one night, some people do experience that. Some people have life reviews and identify negative thought and behavioral patterns, where those patterns started and why. Some people have a slower “de-programming” process, and that is okay too. Iboga is an herb that was put on this earth to help anyone that is ready. The best way to describe iboga is a “tool” for helping yourself.

Opiate Addiction and Iboga / Ibogaine

opiate addiction

opiate addiction

Overdose deaths from OxyContin and other opioid prescription pain relievers have quadrupled in the last decade within the United States. Currently, these deaths now exceed the number of overdose deaths of heroin and cocaine combined, according to the CDC. Did you ever think you would live to see a day when annual auto accident deaths almost equal prescription pain reliever deaths? Welcome to 2012, the age of self-medicating and addiction that is literally taking over whole communities and generations…it truly is an epidemic. The statisitics are shocking and the scary part is that they are grossly under-reported due to autopsy reports not listing accurate causes of death on death certificates.

The Problem

OxyContin is Purdue Pharma’s brand for time released, oral oxycodone. It is basically pharmaceutical grade heroin and also know as “hillbilly heroin”. OxyContin is just as addictive as heroin but even deadlier since it is more pure, as the statistics show. Even when taken as prescribed by a person that has never before had addictive behavior, it will turn you into an “addict”. Not only that, but if taken for pain, studies have shown that the actual pain will end up getting worse due to a condition called opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Other side effects include kidney and liver damage, crippling addiction and the potential for lethal overdose. Also, just one pill can kill an individual that is not opioid tolerant. It really makes you wonder why this medication was released in the first place. Purdue Pharma actually pled guilty to a felony in 2007 and paid a $680 million fine for saying OxyContin was safer than other analgesic alternatives. Think about how many doctors bought into this idea before it came out that the statement was totally false. How many people did this company kill in the name of corporate greed?

People addicted to OxyContin will do just about anything to get the drug. There have been huge problems within states such as Florida, allowing pain clinics to prescribe OxyContin to just about anyone that says they are in pain. In some cases no x-rays or MRIs are required. Right now there are over 700 pain clinics operating in Florida, also known as “pill mills”. This has attracted many addicts from Kentucky and Tennessee to travel down the “pain pill pipeline” which is I-75, into Florida once a month to get their scripts. In fact, 60% of Kentucky’s OxyContin prescriptions come from Florida. This is making the epidemic even worse despite the fact that many of these clinics are getting raided by the DEA and shut down.

Time for Change

Florida is trying to change its laws to get these pill mills shut down. In March 2012, Ontario, Canada passed a law banning OxyContin. Cold-turkey started April 3, 2012 for those Canadians unlucky enough to be addicted to the drug, which is pretty much everyone that holds a prescription for it. The countdown begins to a very rude awakening once OxyContin bans go through. We believe it is just a matter of time before the United States follows suit, the statistics are just too staggering. It is pretty obvious that we have reached a turning point that needs to take place.

The Solution

So, what do these people do once an OxyContin ban goes through? Many will turn to heroin or other drugs, some will go to traditional rehabs, but the lucky ones will find Iboga. How can we make a statement like this you wonder? First of all, look at the statistics. Most people that go through a drug rehabilitation program end up relapsing. You can find different figures all over the internet, but sucesss rate range from 3% – 20%, depending on the demographic and website you look at. That is not a good figure. And although there aren’t many studies available yet showing Iboga/Ibogaine relapse rates, so far the results are promising…as long as a person is 100% ready to get clean for themselves and nobody else.

What is Iboga?

The Iboga root comes from the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub native to western Central Africa. Tribes in the area practice a tradition called Bwiti, in which they use the iboga root for rites of passage, initiations and for healings. The Bwiti have used iboga for the past 1,000 years and Bwiti Shamans are considered experts on the subject. The use of iboga and ibogaine (one of the alkaloids in the root) to treat opiate addiction was only recently discovered in the 1960s by a former drug addict that just happened to cure his heroin addiction by using iboga for recreational purposes. Iboga does cause some hallucinogenic symptoms in which the user may experience powerful visions. For example, many people that have used iboga have said that they experienced a life review where they were able to identify the point in time and the cause of negative thought or behavioral patterns and in turn, correct them.

What is Iboga Used For?

Iboga and Ibogaine are mostly used to treat and cure addictions of all kinds and to detoxify the body and mind. Opiate addiction is not the only addiction that is treated. Iboga has been shown to be successful in treating alcohol, nicotine and methamphetamine addictions as well. However, other U.S. patents exist to treat many other illnesses and conditions. Some of those conditions include: neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzhiemer’s, Parkinsons disease and dementia, depression, OCD, post traumatic stress disorder and criminal behavior. Many people have also reported on the successful relief of chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Iboga also has powerful antifungal and antiviral properties as well. The Bwiti have used iboga to treat infertility. We know what you are thinking, it sounds too good to be true. Or, if the iboga root can do all of that, why isn’t it used all of the world within the medical profession?

Ibogaine vs. Total Alkaloid Iboga (TA)

IBOGAThe Iboga Wellness Center is a shamanic healing facility that also has a medical doctor on staff. We administer the highest quality iboga in the TA (total alkaloid) form that has been grown naturally in the jungle. We do the extraction on the fresh rootbark ourselves to ensure the process is done correctly. After the extraction we take the TA powder and fill clear capsules so guests can swallow them without tasting the bitterness. The iboga shrubs we use are not harmed in the process and the harvesting involves a Bwiti Ceremony. Many people ask the question, “Why don’t you use Ibogaine?” Ibogaine is just one chemically isolated alkaloid from the second layer of the iboga root. 65% of the TA (total alkaloid) that we use consists of Ibogaine. However, there are at least 11 other alkaloids that have been identified, and many have healing properties. For example, there are two indole alkaloids within the iboga root that have been studied for treating pain. The two alkaloids that have shown the highest analgesic effects are Tabernanthine and Ibogaine. This is a reason why the use of the iboga root total alkaloid extract (TA) can be more useful than Ibogaine alone. Iboga TA for treating pain can be an alternative to morphine and other narcotics that have the potential to cause respiratory depression as well as addiction. In fact, iboga is considered an “anti-addictive” substance.

Iboga for Treating Candida Overgrowth

Iboga for treating candida infections

Iboga for treating candida infections

Iboga has been shown to kill Candida and kill chronic viral and bacterial infections. Sometimes Candida can be the main cause of depression, chronic fatigue, or an overall sluggish body and mind that is not performing its highest. Many times Candida or other parasites can be a secondary factor in many conditions. Most people who come to the Iboga Wellness Center feel a significant and greater sense of energy as well as a lightness to their body upon leaving our retreat center. Flushing your body with Iboga is an ideal way for a rapid and deep detox available from a natural source.

Candida infections, also known as Candidiasis, yeast infections or thrush are extremely common fungal infections. Candida can live on our mucosal membranes including the lining of our digestive tracts, mouth, vaginal walls, nasal passages and within our sinuses. There is also another form which is called Acute Disseminated Candidiasis, or Invasive Candidiasis which progresses to our organs. It is most common in individuals that are immuno-compromised. Some Candida in an individual’s body is normal, but when there is Candida overgrowth it can cause many problems.

Symptoms of Candida overgrowth include the following:

The Way you feel:

Inability to focus, Poor memory, Brain fog, Irritability, Anger, Dizziness, Depression, Crying spells, Panic attacks, Low libido, Persistent extreme fatigue, Hyperactivity, Cravings for sweets and alcohol, Insomnia and Poor coordination.

Your Digestive System:

Acid reflux, Bloating, Flatulence, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Stomach cramps, Indigestion, Burping after meals, Mucus in stool, Hemorrhoids and Itching anus.

Your Skin:

Acne, Cysts, Hives, Night sweats, Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis, Fungal infections of the nails & skin, Athlete’s foot, Dandruff and Body odor.

Your Mouth:

Thrush (white coating on tongue), Swollen lower lip, Halitosis, Metallic taste in mouth, Bad breath, Canker sores, Bleeding gums and Cracked tongue.

Your Respiratory System:

Persistent cough, Mucus in throat, Sore throat, Sinus congestion, Chronic post-nasal drip, Flu-like symptoms, Hay fever symptoms, Sinusitis and Asthma.

Your Eyes and Ears:

Eye pain, Itchy eyes, Sensitivity to light, Blurred vision, Floaters in the eyes, Bags under the eyes, Ringing in the ears and Chronic ear infections.

Your Genito-Urinary System:

Recurring yeast infections, Recurring UTI’s (urinary tract infections), Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), PMS & menstrual irregularities and Fungal rash.

Your Immune System:

Frequent colds and flu, Allergies, Chronic Sinusitis and Sensitivities to food, fragrances and chemicals.

Your Weight:

Inability to lose weight, Water retention and sometimes Weight loss.

Other Symptoms:

Headaches, Heart palpitations, Chronic body pain and joint pain, Muscle aches and stiffness, Blood sugar issues like Insulin Resistance (which can cause other hormonal imbalances).

Traditional western medicine is starting to catch up to this idea and more studies are being published. Did you know that the Mayo Clinic published a study in September 1999 linking almost all sinus infections to fungus such as Candida?

The use of antibiotics also causes an imbalance in our bodies. When the good bacteria that is used to keep the Candida in check is killed, Candida overgrowth persists. Some Candida isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it devours the extra glucose in our bodies that our insulin may not be able to handle on its own. This is also why diet is so important though. Our food supply today is full of high fructose corn syrup and high carbohydrate, processed foods. Many of these sugary options are low in cost making it an easy option when choosing what to eat. But making an investment in your health is key.

Many people are aware of the use of Ibogaine, an alkaloid of Iboga, for the use of addiction interruption… but there are other healing properties of Iboga such as antifungal activity. At the Iboga Wellness Center we use Iboga to detox people from Chronic Candida Infections frequently and have had much success in doing so. There are two studies in particular that stand out regarding Ibogaine for the treatment of Candida Infections. The first being an in vitro study that has shown Ibogaine to suppress symptoms of cutaneous Candida albicans. The same study demonstrated the ability of ibogaine to accelerate the elimination of these yeast cells.

In the second study, Ibogaine was administered to mice that had disseminated (candida that has spread to other parts of the body in a different fungal form) and gastrointestinal Candida infections. Not only did the ibogaine interfere with the early stages of the infection, but it significantly decreased mortality of the mice as well as decreasing the volume of Candida albicans from the kidney, liver and spleen.

More human studies are needed on iboga and Candida in order for the word to spread to the Western World. However, the Bwiti in Gabon, Africa have known about the healing properties of iboga for hundreds of years. Iboga can help you detox from Candida and jump start your healing. After a cleansing iboga treatment, it is important to make lifestyle choices to continue your renewed health.

Iboga and Ayahuasca

plant spirit medicine

plant spirit medicine

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.