In the book, Bwiti: an Ethnography of the religious imagination in Africa, the author describes Ibogaine and its uses:
“Ibogaine, is a psychoactive alkaloid derived from the roots of the rainforest shrub Tabernanthe Iboga. The native population of Western Africa uses ibogaine in low doses to combat fatigue, hunger and thirst and in higher doses as a sacrament in religious rituals (Fernandez 1982).”
The history of ibogaine and its application for addiction treatment was actually accidental. It was 1962, Howard Lotsof took ibogaine as a recreational drug for his heroin addiction. He described the experience as “an intense and challenging journey” and as the plant worked in his body, a new chapter in his life began. Howard noticed that his withdrawal symptoms were completely gone and more importantly his cravings for heroin and cocaine were gone. He knew this was not just another plant but plant medicine that could help others start anew. This event led to a new a journey to commercialize ibogaine for addiction treatment.
Fast forward to today, hundreds if not thousands of people with a wide range of conditions, from addiction to eating disorders or even depression have found a way to get their lives back.