Citation: Sam. "I Do Gain From Ibogaine: An Experience with Tabernanthe iboga (Total Alkaloid extract & root bark) (exp95558)". Erowid.org. Jan 21, 2013. erowid.org/exp/95558
This was my fourth flood dose, and my second time using TA extract. Two close friends joined me, and it was their first time with iboga. Dosage was 25g of root bark per person. 1.5g of this was ingested as unprocessed root bark alongside the TA, and another 1.5g was kept as post session booster doses per person. In addition I ingested 500mg on each of the two days before the flood, with the intention of introducing iboga to my system and get it resonating with it prior to ingesting the flood dose (the Bwiti dose gradually before taking the final flood dose).
The TA was prepared via the vinegar tek, so only distilled vinegar was used in creating the extract, keeping things au natural. The root bark chips were powdered in a coffee grinder prior to the extraction. The tek is very simple to perform, and if one is in a rush, they can have extract ready from scratch in a day. I wasnít however and opted for a longer term vinegar soak on a friendís advice, the first soak was 5 days, the second 2 days, the third a night. The first pull was by far the darkest, it seems like this gets the bulk of the alkaloids out. This tek is incredibly simple, low cost and stress free to perform, produces a potent and clean extract and makes things MUCH cheaper than buying your own extracts. So if people are interested in using TA or iboga alkaloid extracts I highly recommend they extract themselves.
On the day, we ate some fruit and had some fresh vegetable juice for breakfast, and then we drank water throughout the day. Early on we each ingested 500mg of root bark, to test for sensitivities or any allergic responses, and let people get a feel for iboga and get their systems resonating with it. A few hours later we had another 500mg. The day was spent outside in nature in the sun, walking and chilling. My friends were impressed with the feeling of the iboga at that level. They had made the effort to come up really late the night before so we could have the day to get settled in and ready for the experience ahead. Prior to the session we put the TA in capsules...it really helps to make sure it is completely dry. I oven dried mine at a low temperature, but only the top layer was dry, beneath that it was still gloopy and sticky. So it helps to expose this and make sure it is dry too, otherwise preparing capsules can become an exercise in patience and perseverance!
A room was all prepared with beds alongside each other. Iboga definitely isnít a social thing, Iím not sure we really talked much at all for the first 20 hours, but having companions there going through their own journeys is good for morale, and great for re-entry. The yield I got with the TA was lower than I had expected, I didnít weigh it but I could tell from the amount of capsules I used that it was lower than others were reporting for the equivalent amount of root bark with this tek. Two hours prior to dosing we stopped drinking water, and then took half of our TA dose (4 capsules) along with 500mg of root bark powder, to provide the essence of the whole plant.
The dosing part was very easy which I liked...my second experience was with 14g of root bark, which meant ingesting 28 capsules. Here I was only ingesting 9 capsules in total, which were being split between two dosings. An hour later we took the second half of our dose. We relaxed for a bit and when we started to feel the iboga we switched to candle light, put some Bwiti music on and climbed into bed. We did not have a full time sitter or guide on hand, I donít think one is necessary and feel that iboga is both the experience and the guide and knows exactly how to go to work on you, but my mum was around in case of any problems. She has been initiated with iboga herself so knows the ropes. While I donít think one needs a sitter, it is definitely a good idea to have someone trusted on hand just in case of any problems; better safe than sorry.
Dosing like this, the iboga got to work quickly which I liked. I do think from experience that oneís initiation flood is the special one in terms of visions. This experience took me deep, but the visions never reached the spectacular grandeur they did on my initiation, but they took me deep enough to the place where I could perceive thought as 3D images in front of me. I had mentioned this before to my friends, and one of them experienced it to a strong degree and had a great time playing around with this, itís a really special tool to possess for a while. While my third eye was open again and there were visions going on, my session was more focussed on the therapeutic as oppose to visionary aspects of iboga. It is funny the way iboga works, I almost feel these therapeutic insight happen almost when youíre not looking.
I did look into events from my past, but not to the same extent as on my initiation. More recent events were looked at in more detail. Interestingly, I think I found a group of filing cabinets I cleaned out on my initiation...I had a look in these but they were still empty which was cool. We listened to Bwiti music for around 15 hours. Even when it was off, for many hours afterwards I could hear it in other music we played and other noises, and I could tune into it with my mind despite it not being played anymore. Interesting how the patterning of the sound stays with you like this, I got this profoundly on my initiation also, where the sound of the rain outside kept the Bwiti music playing in my head long after it was turned off.
I really got a strong sense this time, as did my friends, that iboga is a master healer and you are its patient. It puts me in this state of limbo...all desire for intoxicants, food, water, sleep and movement are gone, and I believe iboga deactivates these important drives in the brain, while incapacitating me with ataxia and numbing me, to give it the time to do its work and me the time and space I need to reflect. It is rare to be liberated of all these primal survival drives at one time. But I'm not bored either...I'm content to lie in bed for a day and a half, something which would be hard to do while sober.
Around 20 hours after dosing, we went for a little wander. One of my friends wanted to get out of bed before night fell for the second time. We went for a little walk but all soon realised we not yet ready for the world of the vertical. It took a little effort and energy to maintain balance and walk, and nausea began to creep back, and we felt apathetic and numb. So after a brief stint outside, we admitted we were far from ready to be up and about, and headed back and got into bed. An interesting thing about dosing around the same time rather than staggering over a longer period is that one is sooner able to move without much difficulty much sooner which I liked. This day crawled along at a snailís pace...not in a bad way but I donít think Iíve ever known such a long day.
Neither of my friends purged, or felt much in the way of nausea with the TA which I didnít expect. My nausea was off and on. We had buckets by the bed just in case. It was walking to the toilet long after dosing which prompted my purge, and it was a great deep cleansing release, despite some acid bile getting in my nostrils. I felt a little hot at times, but this passed and cannot compare to the feverish heat I experienced on my session with root bark, which reminded me a bit of Dengue fever I caught in Vietnam.
My friends seemed to have more powerful visions than I, which is interesting as we were all on the same dose, I definitely feel my first time was my most special in terms of visions. Both friends experienced being able to see the outline of the room around them with their eyes closed vividly, and they both experienced scenes of death and sex, and acts of sexual violence. These seem to be pretty common with iboga, but I canít say Iíve experienced them really. It does seem to affect the primal part of the brain dealing with this. Sex and death are the two key driving forces behind evolution, and are a very important component of our humanity and history as a species.
My friends witnessed some pretty graphic scenes, but they felt they were witnessing the horror in a detached stance, so it didnít really affect them emotionally. It is interesting, as for me, I have never felt any fear or anxiety on iboga. I really seem numb to these kind of feelings while on it, itís like that part of the brain is anaesthetised. It makes me wonder whether iboga could assist people with PTSD. My friends were expecting iboga to be a much more intense experience in some ways and were surprised at just how soft a touch it had, and so would be interested to one day use it again, knowing the ropes as it were. My mum felt the same way when she was initiated. I really feel that the traditional psychedelics have the potential to be much more emotionally unpredictable and volatile than iboga, at least in my experience.
Both of my friends encountered African imagery and African people strongly. I did on my initiation too. One of my friendsí most treasured experiences was encountering a group of very ancient humans. He felt like he was looking at the most ancient human beings, the early, ancestral Homo sapiens. He thought that it may have been his knowledge he had ingested an African plant that were affecting these visions. So he made sure to scrutinise and study these people. He said the detail on their faces was utterly clear and incredibly detailed and realistic, and that heís never had an experience like this. It was like he was in a well and was looking up towards them. Each time one of them passed, as well as fully seeing the detail in their faces, they would maintain direct eye contact with him. This was a passive experience in that there was no interaction or communication beyond this, but he felt the experience was very deep and very special.
My other friend experienced more African imagery, and more images or violence and war. She felt detached from this though, and felt she was witnessing scenes representing our past. A past we may not wish to acknowledge at times, but an important component of our past nonetheless. On oneís initiation, there seems to be a defining moment when the experience commences. For myself it was my third eye opening, and beneath that a tunnel opening, taking me to the iboga realm. For my mum it was encountering an African girl around a fire in a village who smiled and waved at her. For this friend it was some flowers blossoming in different vibrant beautiful colours...I thought this was interesting as she is very green fingered and loves her plants, it seems iboga feels out and makes itself compatible with oneís individual psychology. She also said she had a very positive and very special experience where she strongly felt she encountered the spirit of her dead grandmother. She was looking over a scene in an African village and strongly felt, rather than saw, her grandmotherís spirit over her left shoulder. The emotional feeling that accompanied this she felt was just like how she felt with her grandmother when she was alive. Really interesting this encountering of ancestors, both recent and very ancient.
I know the Bwiti use iboga in flood doses as part of the initiation to go to the land of the dead and speak with the ancestors. I wonder what exactly people are encountering in this realm, and whether iboga allows one to tune into genetic memories. My friends and I are both pretty sure that there is something really deep and significant going on here; and that to attempt to explain it away as simple projections of African imagery from the knowledge that this is an African plant would be tantamount to scientific or psychological reductionism that would miss out on the full story. Iím sure this could explain some of the imagery, just not all of it.
We dosed on the Friday night around 9. Visions lasted much of the night, and then we were in a reflective state from then until late on Saturday night where we fell asleep. By Saturday night, noribogaine levels were getting much higher so we were getting amazing visual trails and flashes of bright white light with movement of the eyes, what the Bwiti refer to as Ďwhite birdsí. We awoke late Sunday morning feeling great. It was a beautiful sunny day so we spent it outside in the sun, walking and chilling and smoking a few joints. We were in really high spirits, prone to laughing, and it was great to have people there for this stage of the experience. At night we made a fire outside, had a mug each of strong hot cocoa and smoked a few more joints. It was a great end to a really great day. The combination of cannabis with iboga worked well...I know it is one of the few things used alongside iboga in central Africa at times. The noribogaine kept things lucid, clear and upbeat, it was a nice combination. We all felt very content throughout the day, so content we didnít talk much at times.
We all slept very deeply on Sunday night and awoke feeling great on Monday. After a nice breakfast my friends parted ways. A number of different people have remarked how great I look following the iboga, and I could see this in my friends. I mean I have been gardening lots in the sun, in fresh air and nature, and have been eating healthily before hand, but people were adamant that I had a really healthy glow about me and were looking really clear in my complexion. I certainly feel really good...grounded, content, at peace, serene, calm, clear, focussed. I still feel this strongly. The feeling after iboga, and the fact that it remains with you sometime, is alone almost enough to warrant taking iboga I feel. It seems you get the hangover part out of the way during the experience itself, and this powerful boost it gives you afterwards is almost a reward for going through the experience; a shining light at the end of the tunnel.
Iím a big fan of the TA extract. Unlike pure ibogaine, you get all the other alkaloids playing their part, and I think they augment, deepen and prolong the healing and the visions one receives. However I also feel that TA is much smoother on oneís system than the root bark. I think also that TA will allow one to venture much deeper into the iboga realm than eating root bark would allow, due to purging on it, and oneís system only being able to handle so much wood at any one time. I found my much lower dose of root bark I experienced to be much harder physically and psychologically, and I got feverishly hot from it for a time, the experience seemed slightly foggier and the dizziness and ataxia were MUCH worse than Iíve experienced with TA or ibogaine. Iíve also heard reports of headaches and such with the bark. So it seems to me that there are other nasties in the wood, or it may just be the wood itself. So I strongly feel that TA is both more user friendly and effective than root bark or ibogaine for flood doses in some respects, root bark I feel is great for booster or micro dosing. And for people who like to ingest their plants au natural with minimal chemical tampering, I think a simple vinegar tek ticks that box too.
Iboga is very special stuff indeed. While Iím in no rush to ingest a flood dose again, I know I will again one day, and am tempted to make it an annual or biannual event. Next time around I would have no qualms either about increasing the dosage of TA ingested, and fully intend to. Of all the shamanic plants and fungi and the one animal venom (kambo) I have experienced, I think both the depth of the healing from iboga, coupled with the long term nature of this healing, really puts iboga into a league of its own.
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