Medicinal Plants

Tabernanthe Iboga

Tabernanthe Iboga is an herbal remedy used for neurological diseases and drug de-addiction in Folk medicines of Gabon and Central Africa. It contains Ibogaine, which is a psychoactive alkaloid and central nervous system stimulant.

The stimulation effect of Tabernanthe Iboga plant in crude or powdered form is mild, but the potential stimulation and hallucination is reported with its alkaloid or extract.

About Herb

Botanical NameTabernanthe iboga
Plant FamilyApocynacae
English NameIboga tree
Active constituentsIBOGAINE
Extract NameIndra extract

Ibogaine is a principle alkaloid of Tabernanthe iboga. The safest form is Ibogaine hydrochloride, which is used for drug addiction. There are several deaths are still reported with its use.

Ibogaine chemical formula


Ibogaine is a cyclic organic compound and Indole alkaloid.

Facts about Tabernanthe iboga

  1. Iboga extract contains 50% amount of ibogaine.
  2. The root bark of Tabernanthe iboga plant contains about 1% to 4% of alkaloid content. Thus, it contains 0.5% to 2% Ibogaine.
  3. Ibogaine hydrochloride is commonly used for de-addiction.

Medicinal parts

  • Root bark
  • Stem bark

Root bark and stem bark contains maximum active constituents.

Medicinal Properties

Tabernanthe iboga has following healing properties.

Psychedelic agentTabernanthe iboga is psychoactive herb, which alters perception and cognition.
Anti-depressantIt is used in the treatment of depression and mental stress
De-addictionIt is used for de-addiction of modern drugs.
Mild HallucinogenIt can alter sensory experiences.

Therapeutic Indications

Tabernanthe iboga is helpful in following health conditions.

  1. Mental stress
  2. Depression
  3. Opiate addiction
  4. Drug de-addiction

Tabernanthe Iboga Benefits & Uses

The therapeutic use of Tabernanthe iboga plant is generally for depression, drug addiction and other mental diseases. Here are some beneficial effects of Iboga tree.

Mental stress and Depression

However, the use of Tabernanthe iboga in mental stress and depression is not common, but it can increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can result in feeling good and getting rid of depression and negative thoughts. However, there are possible chances of developing dependence on Tabernanthe iboga for this purpose, so it should be used with caution and under medical supervision. (1)

Opiate addiction

Tabernanthe iboga in crude form, extract and its alkaloid is used in the treatment of opiate addiction. The de-addiction therapy can continue for a few days to reduce the physical dependence of person on opiate compounds. (2)

Alcohol Addiction

Studies show that Tabernanthe iboga is also effective for interrupting addiction to alcohol. It can suppress habit of alcohol intake. It might have modulating effects on neuronal system, which is involved in drinking behavior. Thus, it can reduce alcohol consumption. (3, 4, 5)

Nicotine addiction

Studies also concluded that Iboga tree and its extract could give relief from nicotine addiction. The alkaloid of Iboga plant has effects on serotonin levels in the brain, which might help reducing urge to take nicotine or other drugs. (6, 7)

Drug Addiction

Some people are using Iboga tree for getting rid of drug addiction. Iboga has anti-addiction effects. These effects have analyzed in many animal studies and reported in human. However, the pharmacological action of its extract or alkaloid is quite complex and might affect different neurotransmitters in the brain. It might have modulating effects, which helps suppressing urge to take drugs. (8, 9)

Banned In United States

Tabernanthe iboga or its compounds are banned in the United States. The use of Iboga tree is illegal in the U.S. In the United States, Ibogaine is scheduled I Drug due to its possible use as a recreational drug. It is also banned in Switzerland and Belgium. (10)

Caution & Side Effects

The ibogaine, an alkaloid of Tabernanthe iboga can cause death in about 0.33% people using it for the treatment of drug addiction. The following side effects can occur with ibogaine.

  1. Reduced heart rate or bradycardia
  2. Liver disorders
  3. Tremors (High dosages)

Many deaths of people using it for de-addiction have been associated with ibogaine use. It can cause cardiac arrhythmia. Therefore, its use without medical supervision is prohibited. (11)

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Tabernanthe iboga use in pregnancy and breastfeeding is POSSIBLY UNSAFE.


Tabernanthe iboga or its compound or alkaloids are contraindicated in all conditions without the medical supervision.

Drug Interactions

It can interact with modern drugs and other substances.

Subscribe to Ayur Times

Get notification for new articles in your inbox

Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh is a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist with B.A.M.S. and M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants. He has a wealth of experience in using Ayurveda to treat patients, including the use of herbal medicine and personalized Ayurvedic diets. His passion for spreading accurate and scientific information about Ayurveda and Medicinal Plants led him to create Ayur Times, a trusted resource for those seeking reliable information on the topic. Through his dedicated work, Dr. Singh has helped thousands of patients find relief and improve their health with Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine.

Related Articles

Back to top button