Ibogaine comes from the Iboga plant, a shrub that grows in West Africa, most notably Gabon. It is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance, often used to help treat drug addiction, specifically opioid addictions.
In 1864, the first description of Iboga was published by the Western world - but it wasn't until 1901 that Ibogaine was crystallized from the Iboga root. Before being used to treat opioid dependence, Ibogaine was sold in pill form under the name of 'Lambarene' in France to help with fatigue, depression, and recovery from infectious disease.
In 1962, Howard Lotsof began administering Ibogaine to a total of 19 individuals, including 7 with opioid dependence. All 7 reported a blunting of the acute withdrawal symptoms normally associated with opiate withdrawal.
However, because of its psychedelic nature, Ibogaine was declared a Schedule 1 substance in the late 1960s. Ever since, it has been illegal to obtain and use in the United States.
But when something is as effective as Ibogaine in treating a normally harrowing withdrawal period, it will be used. For that reason, alternative treatment centers began popping up around the world, including in places like Mexico and Brazil.
In the past twenty years, Ibogaine has become increasingly accepted as an effective treatment for opioid addiction. It is considered, by many, to be the most intense psychedelic experience, as the onset can last as long as 24 hours. Unfortunately, the Iboga plant is in grave danger of going extinct due to over-cultivation.
Currently, the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA) leads the way for advocacy and ibogaine-therapy related resources.