This article covers some familiar ground, but also has some information myself and fellow wood-lovers have gleaned that doesn’t seem to be in any of the other online sources.
Everyone’s relationship with any power plant is an individual therefore highly variable affair, although there are trends and patterns that do seem to repeat themselves in the majority. Feel free to pick and choose from the information that resonates with you in this article, and disregard anything that does not.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Iboga microdosing with raw root bark is very safe but if you are planning to be taking constant amounts of it over a longer period of time and you are worried at all, it is worth checking your heart health for peace of mind. A simple ECG is reccommended to make sure that your heart is healthy and specifically that your QT intervals are regular.
Iboga gets a bit of a bad rap because there have been a few deaths from Iboga flood doses. These are much higher doses than microdoses — roughly around 25–70 grams for standard Western ceremonies and 40–1000g reportedly for traditional Bwiti tribal initiations, so the chances for any health issues during microdoses is extremely low. Most of these flood dose deaths have been attributed to lethal interactions between Iboga and other drugs the person was on at the time, or because the person was trying to break a serious drug addiction and their physical systems were not strong enough to handle the experience, having already severely compromised systems after years of serious addiction. Often these incidents also involve using ibogaine HCL and Total Alkaloid extract, which are the highly concentrated active ingredients of the plant. Other deaths are because the user had undiagnosed heart issues, things that can easily be detected through having the aforementioned heart tests. The deaths that reportedly occur in the traditional settings are presumably because the initiation doses in Gabon are comparatively high, although it’s hard to really know what went on with these situations and who the people involved were and what their deal was. There’s not even any real hard numbers of how often this happens. I’ve also heard shamanic explanations that detail how when an exorcism happens in an Iboga ceremony — especially during an addiction detox where addiction can be seen as a possession — the demonic entity is sometimes so tightly bonded with it’s host that it would rather take it’s host down with it, rather than leave peacefully.
While microdosing is very safe, the issue with Iboga is that during longer microdoses schedules the alkaloids build up in your system, so there is a very small chance that if you try to take other drugs or medications you could have an adverse reaction.
The especially problematic drugs to combine with Iboga are MDMA, amphetamines, prescription stimulants, cocaine, opiates, MAOI’s, steroids, beta blockers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and other psychiatric medications. So if you want to play it safe, these are all best avoided during your microdosing schedule and ideally as long as the Iboga is in your system.
I do feel to get the most of Iboga it is good to work with him exclusively, as he seems to value your monogamy with him and as with all the medicines, the more you put in, the more you get out.
It’s best to keep your wood in an airtight box out of direct sunlight, in a dry, dark and cool place. If you can get those silica gel dessicant packs, that will help immensely, especially if you are living in a damp area or during prolonged wet weather. If your wood happens to get wet or gets mouldy, throw it away. Do not eat wet or mouldy wood, as it is potentially highly toxic.
You can keep it in the freezer, but once removed, it can become mouldy in humid conditions.
The wood is best ground up in a blender, coffee grinder or a nutriblast. Short sharp blitzes seem to do the trick, rather than just keeping it on the same dial for a long time. If you really can’t stand the taste you can capsule it up. Sparkling fizzy water can help kill the aftertaste as well.
I think it’s a good idea to first take around 1–2 grams on a day when you don’t have much to do. A dose this size tends to be quite manageable, although if the wood is very strong and the person is very sensitive, 2 grams can on a rare occasion send them into a mild process that may involve lying down in a room for a few hours and doing nothing else. If the wood isn’t that strong you could even take up to 3–4grams. You can break this dose up if you wish, the amount depends on the strength of the wood. Doing this 1–2 gram dose upfront will help you feel what the wood feels like on a more noticeable level than a microdose. This will then help you tune into what you are looking for in a microdose. I found this initial first dose is good taken in nature, alone, in silence and with no distractions so you can really tune into the medicine, but if you can’t do this, around the home is fine too.
You should be able to execute most tasks in this dose range but if you feel disassociated and distant, it’s best to avoid driving. Otherwise you will most likely feel very grounded, in control and with less mental chatter. You may feel very stimulated. It’s best done in the morning, as dosing in the afternoon may disrupt your normal sleeping hours.
After this initial orientation dose, it’s up to you to find your sweet spot, but if you are microdosing regularly your sweet spot may change as the effects increase cumulatively over your time of regularly taking it. Keep tabs as you progress into your microdosing schedule as you may actually need to lessen the dose. Sometimes all I take is 0.1 grams and that’s more than enough for what I’m after.
After the initial orientation dose, try taking 0.2–0.5 grams and see how you feel. You should still be able to go about your day no problem. If anything you should be even more effective. Everyone reacts differently, so some people even go up to 1–2 grams a day and deal with it just fine.
If you end up doing a flood dose, microdosing effects change and are much more noticeable at smaller amounts then pre-flood dose microdoses.
WHY DON’T I FEEL ANYTHING?
Occasionally, some people will report not feeling anything when taking the Iboga. They might even take up to several grams and still not feel much. There are a few reasons for this.
1. The person has a system that is just not compatible with Iboga. I have heard on rare occasions someone might even take a full flood dose and it won’t have any effect on them whatsoever. It is also reported that people with serious drug addictions can often need a lot more Iboga to reach the desired effect, as if more Iboga is needed to physically clear and reset the effects of their drug use in their brain first, before the more psychological effects begin.
2. Something is happening, but on a more subconcious level of awareness that the person cannot yet percieve. I have witnessed quite a few people even during a flood dose say that nothing is happening, even though they are drooling all over themselves, can’t walk, and keep repeating the same thing. Clearly something is happening but they can’t see it. What I find is that people who are very stuck in the mind/intellect are less likely to see what is happening, whilst people who are a bit more in their bodies will report much more. It’s as if Iboga works on the mind behind the mind, the subconscious/unconscious mind, so people used to percieving the world from a very cerebral or neo-cortical position may have trouble discerning the changes in their perception. So it’s not so much what is front of you that you should be staring at, but your actual perceptual apparatus that’s doing the percieving that needs to be observed.
Even people who have done loads of different psychedelics, expecting to experience something in some way related to the more popular tryptamines and phenylethylamines, will claim that nothing is happening, when really it’s like they are trying to look through a microscope like it’s a pair of binoculars. Iboga is in a class of it’s own and so the standard rules do not apply, although you can try steadily upping the dose until you register some level of effect, just be aware of where you do this and what you may have to do for the rest of the day in case it suddenly hits you all at once.
3. People are looking for the mental effects of Iboga microdosing, when really it may be happening on a more kinaesthetic level. Iboga rootbark is a body medicine as much as it is a mind medicine. I find sometimes the way Iboga works is very much in the intuitive/feeling realm. Iboga in it’s rootbark form, seems to put people back in their bodies, redistributing your energy and consciousness to be more evenly spread through the rest of your body. People find the ataxia in the higher doses unpleasant, but I actually think it’s a vital healing mechanism of the medicine because it helps put people back in their body, as so many of us are stuck in our minds.
4. No energetic relationship. This rule goes for many things in life. If you have not invested anything into the process then you may not receive any dividends. I have heard stories of people who were given a free treatment and it either didn’t work at all or it didn’t have lasting effects. This is not a hard and fast rule for everyone, but I have observed from my own experience that sometimes when people are given free medicine, they might not value it as much and they won’t have very powerful experiences, or they can’t own what comes up and will project their issues onto whoever gave them it.
5. You may not be ready to work with Iboga. Sometimes it’s just not someone’s time to begin working with Iboga and you won’t get anything from it at this point in time.
There are a few different microdosing schedules for Iboga. One is 3 days on, 3 days off. Another is 5 days on, 2 days off. From my experience, it’s better to go on a schedule for a month or two in order to get the full benefits as the medicine and it’s actions accumulate in your system over time. Otherwise if you keep stopping and starting the flow can be interrupted. In many ways I see microdosing over 1–2 months much like doing a very subtle flood dose over a much longer period of time, the only difference being is that you are integrating and processing everything at the same time.
When I first started microdosing I would measure out fairly specific amounts but nowadays I prefer to go on feel and instinct, taking a break when I feel it’s needed. It varies immensely due to people’s variable reactions to it and also what your exact intention is. The more I work with Iboga the more I’m becoming attuned to my intuition and instinct and part of his lesson for me is learning to trust that. Sometimes I will wake up and get a clear intuition to take a specific amount, while other days I will get a clear intuition to take a break. If I need to, I will determine my dose size and schedule with kinesiology body testing (https://youtu.be/tSj-hP_WA2s). As stated previously, your schedule may change the further into your course due to the cumulative effects of Iboga, this is why I now find the schedules a bit too hard edged to allow for a more fluid process. Often people need to take less towards the end of their course, other times people will keep needing to regularly dose to really shake certain addictions and stubborn patterns off.
The main thing is to be aware of your mental state during your process. If you are finding yourself spaced out and disassociated, find it difficult to execute tasks, suffer from insomnia, begin to feel erratic, manic or emotionally volatile, it is best to take a few days to weeks break at times unless you have time and space to continue to go through the process.
Just as in taking larger doses, it is also useful to try taking each microdose with an intention. It could be just me, but I found it really effective, so give it a shot and see what happens. Just state what you wish to work on with your microdose and then take it mindfully.
USEFUL COMPLEMENTARY PRACTICES TO DO WHILE MICRODOSING:
One issue with all forms of microdosing is that when you stop microdosing, what then? Most of the time the effects fade with time. Iboga microdosing is a bit longer lasting than the others, due to the length of time the Iboga stays in your system, but even then, eventually you are back to square one. Sometimes you are lucky and you have been able to trigger a more permanent balanced higher state post-microdosing, but my theory is that your system pre-microdosing was out of balance in the first place, so the microdosing has just brought you back into balance, which now appears to be a higher state compared to your previous state.
What my fellow comrades and I report is that Iboga is amazing at both breaking old habits and setting new ones. By using your Iboga microdosing period to break as many old habits and set as many new positive ones that you can, you will be able to change your base level state to a much higher one and anchor them through these various practises and behavioural changes.
Many people have issues with building and breaking new habits, but Iboga can be very effective at dealing with this as he seems to help increase one’s willpower by activating and clearing one’s solar plexus chakra, which is the centre of one’s willpower.
The mind parasite will fight tooth and nail to maintain control over your whole being. The mind is a useful servant, but a fascist and tyrannical leader, talking you out of doing beneficial things that might help relinquish it’s control over you and lead you back to a more whole body consciousness. Iboga can turn the volume down on this mental noise and you are more likely to just go ahead and do things straight away, instead of getting lost in your own brain diarrhea, and has been amazingly helpful at curbing procrastination.
Iboga is also known as a powerful addiction interrupter. It can chemically block certain substances from having their effect on you. The chemical action of nicotine for example can be blocked when dosing with Iboga. I remember the first time I tried to smoke a mapacho (strong jungle tobbaco), when I first started microdosing. I felt absolutely nothing from the first inhalation. So I kept smoking, chasing the hit. Still nothing. Eventually I smoked it all the way down, still dissatisfied and now suffering from mild smoke inhalation. I think this demonstrates the beauty of Iboga — while it blocked the chemical aspect of my addiction to tobacco, the psychological aspect of my addiction was still there and up to me to cease.
One time instead of having a cigarette straight away, I heard the Iboga tell me, ‘Wait just ten minutes. You can wait ten minutes can’t you?’ Ten minutes sounded more reasonable then never again, so I decided to not act on my impulse for ten minutes. I then turned my attention to something else and promptly forgot about the ciggarette altogether.
One thing I have found with Iboga though, is when concerning certain addictions, occasionally it can actually amplify ones addictions, I believe in order to show you their mechanism more clearly. When this happens pay careful attention to the triggers and cycles of behaviour around this addiction.
BREAKING REACTIVE PATTERNS
Iboga is also able to offer a much wider space between falling into old reactive patterns, allowing you greater space to choose new choices instead of opting forold habituated ones. It’s no guaruntee though, as I believe if a plant spirit took your personal agency away from you, this violates some basic spiritual law. Nonetheless, a wider window is still a wider window.
A very useful way to explore this was to microdose Iboga when I was visiting my family. As we all know, most people’s families are a hive of old reactive patterns and corewounds and it’s very easy to get triggered. What I have found however to be quite effective is taking a bit more of a larger dose of Iboga, say around 1gram, whilst around the family. What this does is help me to really understand the family dynamics more clearly and it gives me a wider space between the triggering event and the standard reaction. For example my brother will often unconsciously engage in putdowns directed to me. These are often quite hurtful and make me very angry. Usually I end up flipping out and calling him a fucking asshole, but when I was on Iboga around him, I would have more time to choose not to react this way, instead being able to see that he wasn’t even conscious that he was engaging in this kind of behaviour, therefore for me to then regress to the emotional age of 5 and throw a tantrum at him, was not the most constructive way to deal with the situation. Again, I’m not saying I always choose the correct path of action, but I now tend to choose the correct path of action more often than before I began working with Iboga.
MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS
Iboga helps you become aware of all your thought and behavioural patterns. It’s like you have done witness meditation for years, increasing your mindfulness capabilities. One of my favourite ways to work with Iboga is to use it in conjunction with a meditation practise eg. Mindfulness, Vipassana, watching your breath etc... My favoured practise is to take it first thing in the morning with an intention and to go straight into 45–60 minutes of meditation. During this time I really tune into the feeling of Iboga and the stillness it brings, carrying into the rest of the day. Obviously this isn’t practical for everyone but even 15–30 minutes of meditation after dosing is still useful.
AWARENESS OF MENTAL STORIES
Can you believe that we still believe the bullshit our mind tells us more often than not? The problem is that a lot of these stories and narratives that we create to explain our realities are actually full of shit a lot of the time. They are actually less about the factual truth of the situation and can be more expressions of subconscious motives like ego protection, victim narratives, projection and recapitulating our corewounds onto the external world.
Long term Iboga work has made me really wary of any story I tell myself nowadays. It’s like it’s given me a meta-narrative perspective on my own internal dialogue and I am able to see the underlying motives controlling and dictating these stories, allowing me to step back and not buy into them as much.
The Iboga will help you become aware of your unconscious thoughts, patterns and behaviours and it is very useful to take note of them as they come up or at the end of the day. Take note of any differences in habitual patterns and how you handled your tasks. The more you pay attention, the more will be revealed.
As with all forms of microdosing, Qi Gong, yoga, breathwork, pilates etc… Are all very useful things to combine with Iboga, as the wood takes you out of your mind and deep into your body.
I am able to hold much longer attention when I do Qi gong while microdosing, although a really good combo for this is to add a microdose of psilocybin mushrooms on top, one of the few other plants that seem to synergise well with Iboga (cannabis works well too in this way, but it can be problematic).
Any form of dance — ecstatic, five rhythms etc… is also extremely enjoyable on 1–3 grams of Iboga.
At a certain dose level Iboga can help heighten your connection in Nature and was used to assist hunters, making their senses more acute and their stamina greater. Taking 1–3 grams and going for a nice bushwalk is an amazing way to work with this medicine and feels like 50 mics of very clean LSD.
All forms of writing, art, sculpture etc… Can all be enhanced with the use of Iboga. It’s no wonder as Iboga seems to grant you greater access to the unconscious where all creativity springs from, while dampening the Default Mode Network — that overly critical voice that might strangle your spontaneous output. Enhanced pattern recognition also seems to help the creative process and especially the editing phases of your work.
I have done a few sessions of NLP while under the influence of between 0.5–2.5 grams of wood and found that they were a lot more productive than when done sober. It’s hard to really be able to scientifically quantify how truly effective these sessions were, but I do believe they were. What was clear to me however was that the visualisations and ease of accessing my unconscious material were a lot more effortless. Maladaptive belief systems were a lot easier to see and it was as if I was able to see the way my mind worked much more clearly, in greater detail, and in a more detached manner.
Once you are familiar with the microdosing levels you may feel called to experiment with dose sizes.
Between 1–3 grams, the Iboga has a distinct stimulant effect and the members of the Bwiti religion will often take this amount in order to dance all night as well as help them with hunting. Creative activities can also be greatly enhanced.
Between 3–10 grams the Iboga will begin to feel much more different. You will feel disassociated, spaced out and may encounter impaired motor coordination, a bit like ketamine — at this level do not drive or do anything that could endanger yourself or others. If you are an experienced psychonaut you should be fine to try it at this level, but do not plan to do much other than lie on your bed and introspect for around 5 hours. At this level you may get visions, but many people do not. What I seem to be able to do is see the way my mind works in greater detail. I can literally map the many forking paths of my thoughts and trace them very far back. You may also experience repetitious loops of certain kinds of thoughts or emotions. The Iboga is trying to show you something if this is the case, and until you recognise the underlying pattern and lesson, you most likely will be unable to move on from this loop.
Doses higher than this are heading more into active flood dose states (>20g). If you are tempted to do this be careful! I reccommend only the most experienced psychonauts to try this and even then I would try and find a sitter who has done this medicine before to help guide and interpret the experience. It can be very confusing and you may become temporarily delusional, as it tends to amplify one’s mental insanity in order to show it to you. Many authorities claim that Iboga isn’t even psychedelic but more of a ‘remadelic’ — a waking dream state, with brain scans of people on Iboga showing their brainwaves to be identical to that of a sleeping foetus in REM.
POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF IBOGA MICRODOSING TO BE AWARE OF:
One of the ways Iboga shows you your unconscious maladaptive patterns is by amplifying them until they become very obvious to you. Your unconscious compulsive behaviours may encounter a sudden increase. Things that trigger you might trigger you even more. For example, a few weeks into microdosing I found one day that I just could not get anything done. I would go to send an email and get distracted, ending up in the kitchen washing dishes. Then I would get distracted halfway during that and end up sending a message etc… This went on for the whole day and nothing got done — I felt like I had dementia! But the Iboga was showing me my unconscious tendency to never finish what I started because I’d get so easily distracted by something else new. Be aware of this and take note of what it is that gets amplified, as it often leads to a greater awareness of your problems and what you can do to fix them. Once again, the wood shows you what needs to be changed and makes it easier for you to change, but it is still up to you to change these things.
Iboga will also help you tune into a deep stillness of being present in the moment by dampening all that obscures this underlying stillness, but it is still up to you to access and cultivate this. Resist the modern compulsive urge to do something and learn to be, or even be within the doing.
CONNECTION TO THE BODY
Iboga grounds you into your body, especially if you are very stuck in the mind. It increases body awareness markedly. Sometimes in the 3–10gram doses I will just be feeling into my body in a kind of extended Vipassana body awareness type meditation in order to build a stronger mind-body connection and to heal this split that is endemic to the modern West.
Iboga will help give you space between your internal world and the external world outside of you. Things that might normally annoy you can be viewed with a kind of Buddhist detachment, as if an invisible gap has opened up between the world and your habituated reactive responses to it.
CONNECTION TO INTERNAL VOICE
Iboga may also help you connect to your internal wisdom. This helps if you take the time out to sit by yourself and really tune in. You are able to access a more body-based wisdom emanating from your lower centres. You may even ask yourself questions and answers may come more easily.
Iboga can communicate to you the truth of matters in both your life and your inner world, aligning you with what is true. This can make it very difficult to act in an unauthentic way. Iboga abhors lies and fakery! For example this one time I took 0.5 grams of Iboga and went on a date with someone I was seeing at the time. My body refused to respond to her, literally going into protective mode and shutting down as she turned out to be a bit of an energy vampire. The body does not lie and I could not reciprocate her affections. It dawned on me then and there that I did not actually want to be with her and that it was a toxic relationship based on our corresponding corewounds. I could no longer play along and we pretty much broke up then and there. But sometimes the truth will cause short term complications for long term gains.
It’s strange that a plant can make you a better person, but I really do experience constant lessons and teachings from this plant about how to be a better person and do the right thing in many challenging situations. When working with the plant, if I choose the ‘wrong’ way to behave, I will feel dissonant and uneasy, or I will experience a drop in my frequency or power that is clearly percievable at least to me. It’s harder to ignore my conscience when I’m working with Iboga. Recently I stayed with a friend and I did not speak my truth to him about some matters that were to do with my concern for his wellbeing, partly because I feared having a confrontation with him. I was out of integrity about not being straight up with a friend who I felt was heading down a dark path. I came down with a nasty chest cough that night that persisted for a few days. I got the strong message from Iboga that my chest cough was related to me not speaking my truth. I called him up and spoke my truth and the cough dissappeared within half an hour.
Iboga shows me that the choice between good and evil is just that — a choice. While there is good and evil in every one of us, it is up to each of us to decide which side wins on the battleground of life.