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How Ibogaine Works

How Ibogaine Influences Mental Health and Addiction


Ibogaine, a potent compound derived from the root bark of the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub found in equatorial West Africa, has, since the 1960s, gained significant attention for its remarkable impact mental health and, more famously, addiction.


Ibogaine's Psychotropic Benefits

A remarkable feature of ibogaine is its capacity to unlock suppressed memories. Individuals undergoing ibogaine treatment often navigate these memories, which are commonly experienced as visions, providing profound introspection and clarity. This state, termed “oneirophrenic”, resembles a lucid dream where individuals remain nonetheless grounded in their environment. Typically, these visions span 7 to 12 hours.


Once the visions recede, a period of introspection takes over, which might extend for up to 24 hours. This phase enables individuals to evaluate their experiences, forging a renewed understanding of themselves and the world around them. Notably, the therapeutic effects of this introspection might resonate for months post-treatment.


Ibogaine Treatment for Mental Health

Beyond addiction treatment, ibogaine has shown promise in addressing various mental health issues. Some users report profound introspective experiences during ibogaine sessions, which can lead to improved self-awareness and understanding of personal traumas.


Its potential to allow individuals to objectively re-experience and reassess their emotional traumas has proven groundbreaking for conditions such as PTSD, depression, anhedonia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, eating disorders, and various behavioral addictions, including gambling, sex addiction, and workaholism, among others.


This introspective quality means that, under appropriate therapeutic guidance, ibogaine is an invaluable tool for profound psychological exploration and healing.


Additionally, the compound's ability to modulate neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin offers relief from mood disorders and anxiety, giving individuals a rejuvenated sense of purpose and well-being.


The fact that the liver metabolizes ibogaine into the non-psychoactive noribogaine, which remains in the body for up to three months post-treatment, indicates that those treated experience a period where they are clearer-headed, more motivated, and less influenced by previous negative thought patterns and behaviours. In the ongoing process of recovery from mental health conditions, this window of opportunity is key in implementing life changes.



The Profound Impact of Ibogaine on Addiction

Only after understanding its effects on mental health can one truly grasp ibogaine's transformative potential for addiction. This compound is especially adept at restoring the neural pathways that addiction erodes. By recalibrating the brain's production of dopamine and serotonin to their pre-addiction baseline levels, ibogaine offers a promising solution, especially for those battling drug and alcohol addictions.


Specifically, for opioid addiction, ibogaine frequently facilitates a nearly withdrawal-free detox. This is noteworthy, considering opioids are among the most challenging substances to quit.


Furthermore, ibogaine isn't only reserved for opioid addictions; it has shown efficacy in treating dependencies on substances like cocaine, crack, heroin, oxycontin, and methamphetamines.


While ibogaine doesn't directly mitigate alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, there's evidence of its efficacy in reducing alcohol and benzodiazepine consumption post-treatment.


At its core, ibogaine operates through a “multi-target” mechanism. Its interaction with various neurotransmitters in the brain distinguishes it as a non-typical entheogen. It's this symphony of interactions that likely diminishes the inclination to abuse specific substances, paving the way for healthier behavioural patterns. Although a single dose can be transformative for some, the extent of one's addiction may necessitate two or three separate treatments.


Extracts and Their Potency

To realize its therapeutic potential, extracting ibogaine in effective concentrations is key. There are three predominant extraction tiers:


1. Total Alkaloid (TA): This extraction retains all the plant’s alkaloids, enabling a comprehensive experience without having to consume substantial quantities of raw root-bark.


2. Purified Total Alkaloid (P.T.A.): This process yields a concentrate comprising three primary Iboga alkaloids: ibogaine, ibogaline, and ibogamine. The resulting mixture consists of about 96% ibogaine.


3. Ibogaine Hydrochloride (HCL): Used mainly for controlled medical experiments, this isolates the ibogaine molecule, devoid of the synergistic effects of ibogaline and ibogamine.


Ibogaine's Journey in Western Society

In 1962, Howard Lotsof, a heroin addict in New York, spearheaded a self-experiment involving ibogaine. To his astonishment, most of his participating friends, also addicts, managed to stay clean post-treatment, with no withdrawal symptoms. Despite this pioneering effort, the American pharmaceutical sector remained largely indifferent. Still, independent entities continued to advocate and even distribute ibogaine outside clinical settings.


For those considering treatment, or seeking more information, contact us here at Quinta da Fé. We're here to assist on your journey towards transformation and well-being.

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