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Ibogaine, which has been translated as “to care for” or “to heal,” is the common name of a group of perennial shrubs that belong to the Apocynaceae family, which are typically found in the understory of tropical forests in the Congo Basin. The name usually refers to Tabernanthe iboga, but can also include Tabernanthe manii, or other varieties, which are not always botanically distinguished. There are reported to be a total of seven commonly identified varieties of iboga found throughout Gabon, where it is most prolific. some data suggests that there could be as many as 650 recorded variations in the Tabernanthe genus.


Iboga is an herb. It is used for ritual and ceremonial purposes in some African cultures. The root of the plant is also used as medicine.

People take iboga for fever, influenza (the flu), swine flu, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, and nerve disorders. They also take it for preventing fatigue and drowsiness, for increasing sex drive, for fighting substance abuse and addictions, and as a general tonic.


Iboga contains chemicals that can cause brain stimulation.


Iboga is native to tropical forests, preferring moist soil in partial shade. It bears dark green, narrow leaves, and clusters of white tubular flowers on an erect and branching stem, with yellow-orange fruits resembling an olive.


Anecdotal reports of self-treated opioid addicts indicated a reduced desire to sustain opiate abuse following iboga ingestion. Since 1970, iboga has been legally prohibited in the United States following several fatalities. Preliminary research for the potential use of ibogaine in the treatment of opioid dependence is ongoing in the 21st century, with several clinics using ibogaine in Western countries, Panama, and Caribbean islands. Iboga extracts, as well as the purified alkaloid ibogaine, have attracted attention because of their purported ability to reverse addiction to drugs such as alcohol and opiates. Ibogaine is a k-opioid agonist which may be the mechanism for how it affects opiate withdrawal symptoms