The Congo basin is located in the world’s second-largest and Africa’s largest rainforest. These tropical rainforests are the natural habitat of millions of useful plants, including Iboga which is widely known for its therapeutically active component ibogaine. Where does ibogaine grow is one of the major concerns of people looking for medications to treat addiction. Ibogaine is basically a chemical constituent abundantly found in many species of Apocynaceae.
Tabernanthe iboga, Voacanga Africana, and Tabernaemontana undulata are among the most popular shrubs used for ibogaine extraction. The former one is the most valued, being the largest source of ibogaine as 80% of its alkaloids consist of ibogaine.
Source of Ibogaine
Though ibogaine is present in various species of Apocynaceae, Tabernanthe iboga is the one with rich quantities of ibogaine. The root bark is the authentic source for the extraction of this alkaloid. It is extracted as a dried powder and used in different forms.
Iboga holds critical importance among the African tribes and is recognized as a way to communicate with their ancestors. Do you know where does iboga grow? Or when do the locals harvest it? Well, it has never been harvested by the natives. It is a shrub that extensively grows and is distributed throughout the tropical rainforests of Central Africa. Because of its natural abundance in these forests, people have neither cultivated it nor did they care for it despite its increasingly used. However, recently the concerned authorities took some principal measures such as halting its export for the sake of bio-sustainability.
Though Gabonese are known for their traditional use of ibogaine, they aren’t the ones who discovered it. Pygmies who resided in these rainforests were the first to discover and use ibogaine for its psychoactive properties. Later on, the tradition was passed on to the former tribe.
Ibogaine and Its Connection With Spiritual Practices:
Punu, Mitsogo, and Fang, the ethnicities of Gabon and Cameroon, respectively, since that time, have been using ibogaine the way that it’s an integral part of their culture. A small iboga shrub is believed to help them connect with the spirit world so they can communicate with their ancestors. A popular ritual known as the Bwiti practice is followed by more than 45 other tribes, where they embark on a journey of spiritual growth. It starts by eating a small portion of the shrub (both men and women). The purpose is to seek assistance from the ancestors’ spirits to help them cleanse and purify their souls.
Ibogaine and Modern Medicinal System:
As you know, where does ibogaine grow? It has remained popular among the natives for treating various ailments, including fever, cough, influenza, stomachache, hypertension, mental disorders, and sex drive.
In modern Western medicine, they used to combine it with ibogaine for healing purposes.
Even though ibogaine’s use was intensified, it was banned in the mid of 20thcentury for some valid reasons. However, it has recently been observed that it’s again rising in demand among the masses. People are claiming that they’re finding it useful for treating their addictions. However, it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet, so its status as a legal drug of choice is still questionable.