In recent years the medical use of ibogaine for ptsd and trauma has become an extremely effective and cutting edge treatment option. The ability of Ibogaine to eliminate and even reverse the effects of trauma have been widely reported throughout the medical community. Ibogaine is a derivative from the root of the Tabernanthe iboga, a West African plant known to induce psychedelic effects when ingested.
The use of iboga (ibogaine’s plant of origin) in African spiritual ceremonies was first reported by French and Belgian explorers in the 19th century. Ibogaine extract was first isolated during the 1950’s and scientists have been studying its effects for decades. But recent research in the mental health sector has progressed exponentially and has been attracting a lot of attention. What makes the ibogaine alkaloid of particular interest to contemporary pharmacology are these observations indicating that ibogaine possesses the ability to eliminate symptoms of trauma. It has been claimed to diminish anxiety, paranoia and other symptoms of PTSD. It has also been increasingly correlated to the “rewiring” of the brain in ways that bring the mind back to a pre-trauma state. Ibogaine has unique pharmacological properties, including a broad spectrum of binding actions on receptor sites as an agonist (hallucinogenic) and antagonist (anti addictive). The experience of ibogaine occurs in two parts, termed the visionary phase and the introspection phase. The visionary phase has been described asan enhanced “oneirogen” state, referring to the dreamlike nature of its psychedelic effects, and lasts upwards of 4 hours. The second phase, the introspection phase, is responsible for the “psychotherapeutic” effects. It can allow people to transcend their fears and negative emotions. Ibogaine creates a state of consciousness similar to dreaming while fully conscious. The person is aware enough that memories, life experiences, and trauma can be processed.
Ibogaine, along with other psychedelics, has long been hailed as a potentially powerful treatment for people who suffer from depression and trauma. Psychoactives seem to have a mechanism of action that differs from other psychiatric medicines, which offers hope for more effective treatment. PTSD is one of the more frequently researched mental traumas in relation with ibogaine. It plagues about 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population). About 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year that is triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. It has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to veterans. It can occur in all people of any ethnicity or culture, and at any age.
People with PTSD have intense, uncontrollable thoughts and feelings related to their experience. These can last long after the traumatic event has ended. A person may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares. They may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. Ibogaine is a tryptamine, a compound, of which serotonin is a derivative. Its action is complex, affecting several different neurotransmitters at the same time. It works on the glutamate neurons which fuel the major neuronal transmitting network of the cortex, modulating cognition, hippocampus (memory), and amygdalas (emotion). These are essential for mental functions that regulate our daily life. Ibogaine will act on these multiple transmitter sites as an antagonist, a “reducing agent,” mitigating “excitotoxic damage in the brain.” This action is what begins the psycho-spiritual growth. This has been proven highly effective in people suffering with PTSD.
During treatment, ibogaine allows the recalling and reprocessing of traumatic memories in a safe and monitored environment. This experience produces therapeutic and meaningful visions of spiritual and autobiographical nature which are of great relevance in addressing PTSD-related psychological content. A single treatment can have a healing effect that lasts 2–3 years. Some individuals, however, require a second or third treatment session over a period of 12–18 months. Intensive counseling therapy and aftercare is critical during the interruption periods for effective treatment. Clinical supervision of the use of Ibogaine is essential while self-treatment should be discouraged because of adverse side effects that could affect the process.