Iboga Wellness vs. Ibogaine Clinic

When researching this incredible root medicine, we frequently find the words ‘Iboga,’ and ‘Ibogaine.’ Or ‘Iboga Retreat,’ and ‘Ibogaine Clinic.’ And often, they’re used interchangeably.

But attaching the same meaning to these words is simply not accurate.

There are stark differences between the clinical administration of Ibogaine, and the spiritual, retreat-based care offered in an Iboga ceremony.


Depending on your needs, you can easily identify which type of experience is better suited to you




Focused mainly on substance detox, or for those with severe or advanced physical illness

Clinical atmosphere: nurses, medical equipment, monitoring devices

Patient progress is charted in analytical terms, guests generally receive individually-monitored care




Focused on treating those seeking to heal from trauma, depression, anxieties, patterning from childhood/parents, negative behaviours, loss of control over the mind, inability to find purpose in life

Spiritual setting: Bwiti-trained Iboga providers act as spiritual guides during journeys and as mentors in integration care, traditional wisdoms and healing practices are imparted, ceremony space is protected, spiritual showers are offered post-journey to facilitate deeper healing, guests are encouraged to interact with one another and share 




If you or someone you know is currently heavily addicted to pharmaceutical/street drugs or alcohol, the best form of treatment is to seek out an Ibogaine clinic. Certain substances and the severity of usage are considered high-risk when undergoing treatment, and these cases are best handled by medical staff in an Ibogaine clinic. 


When a person’s physical body is so unclean from using substance, it is unable to connect to the soul and spiritual body. A heavy detoxification needs to happen first. We are grateful that clinical, Ibogaine detox centers exist, to prepare a person for a true spiritual dive. Often, without the medical care and supervision of an Ibogaine detox, a person would be unable to become sober enough to then have a spiritual experience, and finally access why they are using drugs or alcohol to tap-out from reality. 


Our highest recommendation for people in this position is to visit an Ibogaine clinic first, undergo detox, and then attend one of our psycho-spiritual Iboga retreats to address the core reasons for addiction and to heal the deeper energetic bodies that continue to live underneath a physical detoxification. Without addressing the deeper traumas and simply cleaning up the body, old wounds will begin to fester again, and self-sabotaging patterns will repeat.


While we are far from an Ibogaine clinic, Iboga Wellness Center does employ an on-site doctor, and requires that all guests clear an ECG prior to treatment. However, we are not an acute detox treatment facility, and all guests who attend our retreats must be free of substances for a minimum of two weeks. But this does not mean we can treat all cases of substance abuse, even with two weeks of sobriety. Specific substances and length of abuse require more intense medical supervision, in a clinical setting. Please contact us to learn whether or not an Iboga retreat at Iboga Wellness Center is the best fit for you. 




We recognize that, to truly heal any wound — whether emotional, mental or physical — we need to first access the root cause of the disturbance. 


Which is why Iboga is so profound. A root itself, it works within our beings to mimic its own pattern in nature. It immediately moves deeper within us — into our pasts, our psychoses about potential futures, the experiences we’ve been through — in order to identify the initial cause of separation from self. When we identify the fracture and can view it objectively, without judgement or story attached to it, we understand it, can see its purpose in leading us down our perfect path, and we become free of it. In this freedom, we can move forward in our lives, operating from the true place of our purpose — our heart, not our mind. 


This is the reason we have chosen to use Iboga in a spiritual, traditional context at Iboga Wellness Center. We honour and allow the plant to use its own natural intelligence in working with each guest. We simply facilitate this natural movement and offer support and guidance during the deep spiritual dive.


Our providers have all been initiated in Gabon, Africa, and have spent many years training under a 10th generation Bwiti shaman, to learn and practice the traditional ways in which to support and bolster the already-potent healing capacity of Iboga. 


There is a reason this centuries-old, Central-West African Bwiti tradition and Iboga go hand-in-hand. The Art of Living, and the Mastery of Life Itself, are lessons learned by the Bwiti — and the Pygmies before them — and were taught by the Master Teacher, Iboga. We are humbled to be able to use this plant in a traditional context, in order to access the deepest healing possible for those we serve. 


During a retreat, all of our guests receive traditional Bwiti knowledge and wisdom practices — gifts that they will be able to reflect on and put into practice upon leaving our care, in order to help them navigate the rebirth and rewriting of their lives. 


We use Gabonese herbs and plants throughout the duration of our retreats, to cleanse, protect and help guide our guests on the spiritual journey. Many of these same plants grow in Costa Rica. The properties and assistance of these plants have been taught to us by African shamans, and the lessons come from the heart of the jungles. 


During the Iboga ceremony itself, our providers have been trained to facilitate guidance for guests, to help them navigate the space of the medicine more clearly and effectively. We are always here beside you to assist and help direct the movement of energy. Often, guests are able to receive answers to powerful, previously-unanswered questions about their lives during a journey, and return to the physical body feeling clarity and closure surrounding pieces of their lives that once caused turmoil. For other guests, the medicine works potently after the active ceremony ends, once they reenter their lives. For these guests, Iboga continues to slowly, but clearly, offer synchronicities, opportunities for change, and experiences in which a person can choose behavior or thought patterns different from previously-patterned choices. 


However Iboga chooses to work with you, it knows exactly what you need to receive — and how you need to receive it. This is often vastly different from what we think we need, and how we think we need to receive it


The key is to release expectation, and surrender to trust — in the medicine, in the spiritual care of providers, and, most importantly, in yourself.