Citation: Northwestdc9. "What a Plant!: An Experience with Tabernanthe iboga (Iboga) (exp81053)". Erowid.org. Oct 20, 2009. erowid.org/exp/81053
Iboga root bark. A plant teacher, the cure for addiction, the ultimate high. There are many descriptions that could apply to this outstanding plant. I'm guessing they're all true, to some extent. Either way, Iboga, and the alkaloids contained within are a true gateway to another world.
While on vacation in my native country, I decided to look for substances that were easier to come by there than in the US. Salvia was the first one. Nothing else interesting showed up on local markets. However, through the internet I found a reliable vendor of ethnobotanicals in the Netherlands, through which I purchased 25 grams of Iboga root bark of (supposedly) the finest quality. In a week, the postman brought the magical root bark to my door, and I opened the package as soon as he left to see Iboga. 25 grams were there, just waiting to 'break open the head'. I did not ingest the root bark as of yet. I tried to find a proper dosage for a hallucinogenic trip, and concluded 6 grams was enough for a first time Iboga user.
The next day, I ingested about one gram, just to make sure of the potency of the substance and to see if there were any problems I had to attend to regarding it. Nothing really happened, not even the 'alert' feeling I was expecting from a not unusual dose for stimulatory purposes. I thought the taste was not that unpleasant.
A few days later, upon reflection, I decided to attempt a larger dose, 2 grams, so I could be alert on a 30 hour journey around the country, to see a concert and enjoy riding the train. All is well, and at 6 am, I ingest the aforementioned quantity of Iboga. Again, this is not the primary 'trip', if you will, I only expected stimulation, so any descriptions might not be accurate, as I did not record anything. I did not expect a hallucinogenic experience on public transportation. The taste was mildly unpleasant this time around, for some reason.
Nonetheless, around 8 am, 2 hours after ingestion, something odd happened. While playing cards, I realized I couldn't concentrate, and couldn't really understand what was going on. I knew I was tripping once I looked down and saw the queen of spades. This was particularly harrowing because I only had the queen of clubs in my hand. This shocked me, and I abandoned the game claiming I was tired.
I had read that if the visions of Iboga present a doorway or a window or a mirror, it is important to attempt to figure out their meaning, by looking at the mirror, or walking through the doorway. This was not, however, an oneirophrenic high. I was a 'fuzzy' feeling, with some bizarre thought patterns. Nevertheless, all I could do was look out the window, staring out at the landscape, while my brain was processing what was happening. At first, I believed I would get transported to the fantasy world Iboga has to offer, the compound being so powerful. Luckily, it did not happen this time. However, the short trip was very interesting. It reminded me of marijuana (substance which I do not feel attracted to--the paranoia gets too intense for me), but I had no paranoid thoughts. Also, it was slightly reminiscent of MDMA, although not as intense. Those who claim it is 'natural ecstasy' are not far off. An interesting effect was, higher cognition was left unaltered. As long as I only thought (speaking was fine) and not moved around, all was quite pleasant.
After about two hours, the high subsided, bringing out the nausea Iboga gives. It was quite persistent, and eight hours in, I still could not eat. Eventually, about 11 hours after ingestion, I had developed a headache, and took a caffeine pill. Caffeine intensely synergizes with Iboga. It brought back the fuzzy feelings for 15-30 minutes. At T+13, I could finally eat. Then, I enjoyed the concert and headed back to the train station. At about 3 am, that is T+21, sleep came uninhibited.
Alright. Having experienced the above, I decide that one week after said experience I would try somewhere between 6 and 10 grams of Iboga. Unfortunately I am unsure of the amount consumed. I do believe it was 6 grams because I took two tablespoons of root bark and previous ingestions would indicate about 3 grams per tablespoon. Around 10PM, I was feeling good, said 'good night' to everyone, ready to begin what I hoped to be a good introduction to Iboga. I was quite happy, and not distressed. My planning was not perfect, as I had 7 days to try the substance before departing. Everything was prepared, a plastic vessel set up for any potential vomiting (which did not happen), so I ate the root bark.
Note: no other medication or drug use occurred.
T+0:00. I eat the first tablespoon of root bark; takes a couple of minutes to ingest. I washed it down with some liquid. I recommend against this if possible, to avoid further nausea.
T+0:15. I consume the second tablespoon, with some difficulty. Tastes just nasty this time around unfortunately, and is hard to get down.
T+1:00. First indication of this intoxication is a buzzing sound in the ears. Most trippers probably had the same feeling on a certain class of psychedelics. While my eyes stayed open it wasn't much different from normal, but once I closed my eyes, I got lost in another world; I'm not sure what that world looked like, but I was within my thoughts. This might make sense to some. I do know that when I opened my eyes, I wanted to say 'but that was so real'.
What I found truly amazing about this substance was that it mimicked all classes of drugs. I had the weed high I described earlier, euphoria as felt on MDMA, numbing properties and euphoria as with cocaine, the 'cloudy uncertainty' of DXM, as well as a disconnection from reality as with salvia. The trip continued and proceded to get more visual. I did not think that the trip was overly visual; it's not the 'pretty patterns' type of substance in my opinion. I saw what I was thinking out, in barely shadowy detail. I got the image of a blue, ovaloid headed alien with a mustache, among other images. I felt reclined within a mass of people looking down at me, with a cone-shaped shadow drawing me up.
Anyway, I might have slept or might have not. I'm not sure, to be honest. The next day, when I actually woke up to move around, I felt an intense, unpleasant hangover. It was very similar to a DXM hangover, except somehow less debilitating.
Would I do it again? Yes. I just wish I could avoid the taste; the nausea somehow seems essential to the experience. The plant is telling me 'don't move around'. I did not find Iboga truly insightful. Nevertheless, I need to mention the second mind phenomenon. While I have a strong internal monologue, Iboga seemed to augment this significantly, in such a way that the second consciousness was more rational than the first, giving good advice and indicating a strong rational link to the world. With low hallucinogenic doses, I did not feel the need for a trip sitter.
A last thought: Iboga took care of me. While not generally the type to go on about how the plant is there in spirit (never having felt the actual plant's image--Sally for salvia, for example), I never felt unsafe. Scared, yes, of my own mind and what I could find, but the plant took care of me, calmed me down. I would say Iboga can truly be beneficial to me. I would say that Iboga is a difficult, harrowing trip, but one worth the while. Iboga is probably the most interesting mind-altering substances I have done.
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