Seeds of Tabernanthe iboga
Tabernanthe iboga is native to the Congo region in Africa and belongs to the milkweed family. Tabernanthe iboga is also known as Iboga. Iboga is a shrub that reaches mostly a height of 2 m. Sometimes when the surrounding conditions are well, it may become 10 m high. In the natural habitat Iboga populations suffer from the intensive harvesting. Iboga grows only slow and needs time to recover. Tabernanthe iboga contains like all Apocynaceae latex.
The leaves are lanceolate and strongly glossy. The small flowers are whitish, pink or yellow and get maximal 1 cm in diameter. The fruits are brightly orange and vary in form from round to elliptic. They have the size of an olive and hang down.
The roots of Tabernanthe iboga are also orange and contain a high number of alkaloids, amongst others ibogain.
The natives use Iboga for different rituals and dances that happen mostly at night. Therefore the root is pulverized and eaten with water. That drink has a very bitter taste. In small doses Tabernanthe iboga has an aphrodisiac effect and in higher doses it causes hallucinations and visions. The natives say that Iboga breaks the head and enables the consumer to talk to dead ancestors.
In smaller doses Iboga is consumed quite frequent by the natives for example to avoid getting tired while hunting.
It is described that Tabernanthe iboga reduces or even avoids the withdrawal symptoms of a heroin withdrawal. One dose of ibogain can abruptly eliminate the demand for heroin. A study from 2013 reports that an heroin addict had no demand for heroin for half a year after just one dose of ibogain. It is reported that heroin addicts get a clear inside of their lives and are able to answer the question why they started taking drugs and what this did to them. That prevents them from taking drugs again. How Ibogain works exactly in the brain is not known until today. Researchers suggest that ibogaine blocks NMDA receptors in the brain. There is ongoing research in that field.
Due to dangerous side effects like paralysis and respiratory arrest ibogaine is forbidden in many countries.
The seeds of Tabernanthe iboga should soak in warm water for 3 days to increase germination success. After that they can be sown into the moist substrate. At a tropical temperature of 28°C germination may occur after just 3 weeks. Nevertheless it can also take some more time one should stay patient, it is worse it.
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