Iboga vs ayahuasca a comparative guide image

One of the most common questions we get asked here at Iboga Wellness Center is the differences of Iboga vs. Ayahuasca, and which one is right for me? We hold both medicines in the highest regard and have learned from both of these master plant teachers. With that said, there is some very clear differences in their experience, how they teach and the results that we take with us after working with them.


Some of the most transformational healing tools presented to us on Earth are the plant medicines.

Their purpose in being here is solely to help us remember who and what we are. They are guiding lights, illuminating a path that we can choose to walk — or not to walk.

The choice is ours, because they will never walk it for us.

Plant teachers are tools. We must do our own work while using them as the profoundly effective instruments they are. The gifts they bestow are those of empowerment.

This is why their gifts are lasting. They do not give us fish, rather they teach us to fish.

The medicine path is one of truth. Walking it allows us to live authentically, transmute our pain, and walk the way of beauty and fearlessness.

Within the cells of each of these plant teachers, there exists an encoded truth whose language is oneness. While this oneness truly extends to all things, both here on Earth and across the vast reaches of the Universe, different plant medicines allow us to tap different aspects of the oneness.

natures medicine image


Numerous plant medicines from around the globe are available to guide us in this healing journey of life. While each are profound in their own right, two are known as the Master Teachers.

They are Ayahuasca and Iboga.

While equally potent in the profundity of their teachings and limitless healing capacities, Iboga and Ayahuasca are very different in the way they teach.

When choosing which teacher to sit with, we must honor the fact that our current intentions for healing will lead us to whichever medicine can best assist us in the now.

Life is ever-changing, and we continue to shift with it. One medicine may call to us in the moment, and another may call to us much later.

As you work to deepen your relationship to yourself and to all things, it is important to learn about the differences between Ayahuasca and Iboga. This knowledge will be useful when choosing a medicine that can best support your healing at this time.

It is to be underscored that Ayahuasca and Iboga show up differently for every person. What is generally experienced by a large number of people may be very different for a certain individual. It is imperative to enter any ceremony — with Iboga, Ayahuasca or any other teacher — without expectation, surrendering to whatever may come, in whatever form.

The following guide has been created to assist in choosing which medicine is right for you now, by painting a general picture of both plants’ spirits.


ayahuasca vine and chacruna leaf test

An energy quite commonly experienced as feminine and motherly, Ayahuasca is a divine opener of the heart space, unlocking a pure connection to source love.

Hailing from South America, she is part vine, and works the same way in our bodies and spirits as the vine does in nature. She moves our experience upward and outward in a serpentine spiral of cosmic knowledge.

The movement is external. And so the journey is one of external awareness. We become attuned to cosmic, universal truths. To the connectedness of all things, beyond our egos and our physical bodies. Beyond Earth, beyond this lifetime. Beyond what has happened to us here. There is something much greater that we begin to flow with.

For many, the understanding of these large-scale cosmic truths — and how we are connected to them — creates peace in the heart, unconditional love for all things, and an acceptance of the life/death cycle.


iboga plant botanical drawing

Commonly experienced as a masculine energy, Iboga is actually made of both masculine and feminine energy. Iboga teachings have been referred to as that of a stern father due to their directness. Iboga’s primal African energy takes us to a simple truth that originated with humankind. Before the mind became overrun with the belief systems of others.

It is a reset to simplicity, to self.

When ingested, Iboga replicates its role in nature in our bodies and spirits. Its root energy burrows down to the core of our being, to the center of where we became disconnected. It takes us to the deepest roots of our troubles, our traumas, our depression, our anxieties, our addictions, our blockages.

We go to the origin because it is the only place where it’s possible to transmute the pain, objectively understand it without judgement or attachment, accept it, and release it for good.

The inward movement connects to our own personal truth as it relates to our experience here and now — as a human, journeying through this one life.

Yes, there are other dimensions, beings, and cosmic truths — which Ayahuasca very much enjoys guiding us to. But Iboga’s mission is to connect us to the truth within ourselves.

Who are we? What is our purpose here? What has happened to traumatize or condition us in our lives that is preventing us from reaching our highest potential? How do we heal those traumas and move forward without blocks?

Iboga is the ultimate guide and healer for our time here on Earth. It helps us to release the past (depression) and stop worrying about potential futures (anxiety) so that we can find peace in the present moment.

It weaves its way through the caverns of our mind, rewiring and resetting the patterns of thought and belief that manifest our reality. Through this powerful reset, we are able to reformat our brains, carving out new, self-serving neuropathways as we disengage the old, toxic ones.

The resulting peace of mind shifts us into a flow with — not a resistance to — life itself.

By resetting the mind and shifting our perception, we are able to reframe our reality and create a life founded in our deepest passions and fulfillment.


African South American
Alkaloid Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
Masculine & Feminine Feminine
Internal Journey External journey
Experience of going deeper Experience of going farther
Relates to truth in this life Relates to cosmic/preternatural truths
Earth-based energy Universal energy
Insights are integratable, relating to what has happened in our life and what we must do to heal Insights are sometimes more difficult to integrate, relating to cosmic truth and knowledge that does not easily translate into an Earth-based frequency or language
Supports groundedness Supports etherealness


Generally vomiting (50%) Generally vomiting and/or diarrhea (80%+)
Peak effects last 12-18 hours Peak Effects last around 6-8 hours
No required diet changes prior to ceremony Strict dieta to be followed prior to ceremony
Resets the brain/mind’s conditioned beliefs, patterns, addictions, self-sabotaging behaviors, views, judgements Reattunes the heart to universal love
Visuals sometimes do not occur; when they do, they are generally closed-eye, commonly appearing as a movie scenes and people we recognize being played in the mind’s eye, and may depict scenes and people we recognize and can relate to Visuals are both open-eye, and closed eye. extend beyond this world or dimension, involving vivid sacred geometry, other-worldly experiences and encounters
Physical reaction to the medicine Is introspective, meditative, silent, still & immobile Physical reaction to the medicine is expressive, vocal & mobile


Are you desiring to move past trauma, conditioning, belief systems, patterns, and ways of being that relate to this lifetime, and that are preventing you from living your purpose? Iboga

Are you desiring to connect to a greater source code, the connected web of all things, attune your unique gifts to their highest vibration and be a channel for this frequency? Ayahuasca

Are you desiring to live in the present moment, dissolve fear, and find peace with what is? Iboga

Are you desiring to explore past lives, other realities, and potential expressions of what might be? Ayahuasca


yin and yang

The existence of Ayahuasca and Iboga is in perfect balance. The nature of duality — which is a law of existence — is fully expressed through the Master Teachers.

Discovering the contrast of personal truth and cosmic truth is the ultimate reality. Taming the mind and living through the heart. Operating harmoniously in both the masculine and feminine. Holding the knowledge of our connection to all things Universal, while mastering the art of living here and now, on Earth.

The Masters are our gifts, available to everyone, just waiting to be opened.