Frequently Asked Questions about Iboga
When researching iboga or ibogaine it can often be overwhelming. We have put together a brief ibogaine faq to help give you quick answers to some of the most common questions we receive and New Life Iboga.
What sets New Life Iboga apart from other centers?
- New Life Iboga was the first center in Costa Rica, and one of only a few in the world that offers a program with both ayahuasca and iboga. This unique program offers the best opportunity for healing.
- We incorporate the spiritual element of ceremonies influenced by Bwiti into our programs. We believe real growth comes with the traditional use of iboga, its its true form. Many other centers work with ibogaine HCL and administer in a ‘clinical’ way, disconnecting the experience from spirit.
- We give back to our community. We donate 10% of all profits to Blessings of the Forest, a community out reach program with a focus on iboga sustainability and Ebando, a Non-Governmental Organisation which aims to give broader access to the fundamental tangible and intangible cultural heritage found in various regions of Central Africa.
What is iboga/ibogaine? Is there a difference between the two?
Yes, there is a difference between iboga and ibogaine. Iboga, or Tabernanthe iboga a perennial rain forest shrub and psychedelic, native to western Central Africa. Ibogaine is a single alkaloid derived from either the Iboga Tabernanthe or from Voacango Africana. There is also a type of ibogaine known as TA. It can all be a bit confusing, but you can read more about it here.
At New Life Iboga, we primarily use iboga root bark and sometimes supplement with ibogaine TA. We feel that the whole spirit of the plant exists in the bark, and that all the alkaloids of the plant play an important role in the overall experience.
What is Bwiti?
Bwiti is the spiritual practice that surrounds the use of iboga. Bwiti spiritual principles are focused on the cycles of birth, life and death as well as the recognition of male and female energies and the balance between them. Bwitists believe that iboga gives them the ability to journey between worlds, see truth and receive knowledge from the ancestors. Bwiti is not a religion in that there is no ‘God’ that is worshiped. It is more a way to discover oneself. You can read more about Bwiti here.
What are the ceremonies like?
First, the individual will go through a few ceremonies to prepare the mind and body for the upcoming journey. The main ceremony will start in the early evening and last all the way through morning. During this time Wesley, Matthew and Jeanae will all be present to give support through out the night. A combination of live and recorded music will be played to help guide the guest through the experience. Our Doctor will also be present to continuously monitor the participant and ensure safety.
Is ibogaine treatment dangerous?
Yes, iboga can be dangerous. Before we accept and guest for a retreat, we complete a medical questionnaire over the phone and then require medical test. These always include and EKG, a CMP (complete metabolic panel) and a liver panel. Some additional tests may be required at all depending on the health history provided. Our doctor reviews the results of the tests and decides weather or not an individual is a good candidate for iboga sessions.
Do you have a medical staff?
Yes, we work with a Medical Doctor who is present at all iboga ceremonies. We are fully equipped with emergency equipment such as:
- Blood oxygen monitoring equipment
- Blood pressure monitoring equipment
- IV equipment
- A portable defibrillator
- Cardiac monitoring equipment
- Emergency medication
Safety is our highest priority. You can read more about our safety protocols here.
Do I need a passport or visa to come to Costa Rica?
If you are coming from the United Sates or Canada, you only need a valid Passport. Some countries do require a Visa for entry and you can check on the Costa Rican Embassy website.
How do I get to your center?
We provide complimentary transportation to and from SJO Airport to our center.
How many people do you work with at a time?
We work in intimate groups of 1 – 3. Going through an iboga retreat can be a very difficult experience mentally, physically and emotionally. We keep groups small so that our staff can support each individual through their own process with full attention.
Whats the difference between iboga and ayahuasca?
Iboga and ayahuasca are similar only in that they are both visionary plant medicines.The each come from two different parts of the world. In West Africa, especially Gabon and Cameroon, Iboga is the central pillar of the spiritual practice ‘Bwiti’. Ayahuasca, found primarily in Peru and Brazil, is a brew that is consumed in a ceremonial setting under the guidance of a shaman. Each medicine has a unique spirit. Iboga is considered to be masculine while ayahuasca is considered feminine. Iboga shows things in a very blunt, stern way while ayahuasca can be gentle and comforting. More info here.
What is the benefit of doing the joint program?
Duality is so important in regard to healing. You can not have light without darkness. We must learn to embrace both the positive and the negative to really know our whole selves and grow which is what makes our joint program so effective. Iboga and Ayahuasca have such duality that it creates balance. The balance of male and female energies helps bring balance into our psychological state.
How can I prepare for iboga?
The best way to prepare is to remove distractions and spend time thinking of your intention for the experience. Respect your body, eat healthy and start to remove processed foods from your diet. Do not drink alcohol or use any recreational drugs. Click here to read our article on how to prepare for iboga.
How do I know if iboga is right for me?
Trust your intuition. Iboga is not easy, you must be ready and willing to put in work to make changes.
What if I have a ‘bad trip’?
This is a concern for many, and understandably so. Fear and apprehension about the experience is healthy and normal. Iboga is a very strong medicine. It is very important that you trust and feel comfortable with your providers and environment so you can focus on your intention without distraction.
It is our option that medicines like iboga and ayahuasca do not produce ‘bad trips’ only difficult ones. We all have elements of lightness but we also all have darkness inside. Truly knowing yourself is to know both sides. Sometimes iboga or ayahuasca can confront us with the dark parts, and this can often be very difficult or scary but it also in those situations that we have the opportunity to grow.
Why don’t you offer detoxes?
The journey to sobriety is long and hard. In our experience we have seen that an ibogaine treatment alone rarely results in any significant clean time and most participants relapse within a few weeks of returning home. The best chances for success include participation in an after care program. Since we do not have the resources to offer longer stays, we feel that an ibogaine detox at our center would not help any participant achieve long term sobriety.