Bois Sacré, Eboka, Tabernanthe iboga.


Overview Information

Iboga is a shrub. It is used for ritual and ceremonial purposes in some African cultures. The root bark of the plant is also used as medicine. Ibogaine is a chemical in iboga which is illegal in the United States.

People take iboga for fever, influenza (the flu), high blood pressure, opioid withdrawal, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Using iboga can also be unsafe.

How does it work?

Iboga contains chemicals that can cause brain stimulation.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early reports suggests that ibogaine, a chemical in iboga, can help relieve withdrawal symptoms in people abusing drugs such as heroin, codeine, cocaine, and other substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. But the existing research is unreliable.
  • Addictions.
  • Fever.
  • Flu.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Nerve disorders.
  • Preventing fatigue and drowsiness.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of iboga for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Ibogaine, a chemical in iboga, is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in small doses under the supervision of a health care professional. Due to potentially dangerous side effects, it should not be used without medical supervision. Ibogaine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large doses and without medical supervision. Ibogaine might cause an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, seizures, paralysis, difficulty breathing, anxiety, hallucinations, heart attack, and death.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if the iboga shrub is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if iboga is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) interacts with IBOGA

    Iboga contains chemicals that can affect the brain and heart. Some of these drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also affect the brain and heart. But iboga works differently than drying medications. Iboga might decrease the effects of drying medications.
    Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).

  • Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) interacts with IBOGA

    Iboga contains a chemical that affects the body. This chemical is similar to some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions. Taking iboga with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.
    Some of these medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), and others.



The appropriate dose of iboga depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for iboga. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • : Lists of: Scheduling Actions Controlled Substances Regulated Chemicals. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section, July 2015. Assessed August 3, 2015: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/orangebook/orangebook.pdf
  • Alper K, Reith ME, Sershen H. Ibogaine and the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;139(3):879-82. View abstract.
  • Alper KR, Lotsof HS, Frenken GM, et al. Treatment of acute opioid withdrawal with ibogaine. Am J Addict. 1999 Summer;8(3):234-42. View abstract.
  • Asua. Growing menace of ibogaine toxicity. Br J Anaesth. 2013;111(6):1029-30. View abstract.
  • Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants. Paris: Lavoisier Publishing, 1995.
  • Glick SD, Maisonneuve IS. Mechanisms of antiaddictive actions of ibogaine. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1998;844:214-26. View abstract.
  • Glue P, Winter H, Garbe K, et al. Influence of CYP2D6 activity on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a single 20?mg dose of ibogaine in healthy volunteers. J Clin Pharmacol. 2015;55(6):680-7. View abstract.
  • Henstra M, Wong L, Chahbouni A, et al. Toxicokinetics of ibogaine and noribogaine in a patient with prolonged multiple cardiac arrhythmias after ingestion of internet purchased ibogaine. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2017;55(6):600-602. View abstract.
  • Hoelen DW, Spiering W, Valk GD. Long-QT syndrome induced by the antiaddiction drug ibogaine. N Engl J Med. 2009;360(3):308-9. View abstract.
  • Jalal S, Daher E, Hilu R. A case of death due to ibogaine use for heroin addiction: case report. Am J Addict. 2013;22(3):302. View abstract.
  • Litjens RP, Brunt TM. How toxic is ibogaine? Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2016;54(4):297-302. View abstract.
  • Marta CJ, Ryan WC, Kopelowicz A, Koek RJ. Mania following use of ibogaine: A case series. Am J Addict. 2015;24(3):203-5. View abstract.
  • Mash DC, Kovera CA, Buck BE, et al. Medication development of ibogaine as a pharmacotherapy for drug dependence. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1998;844:274-92. View abstract.
  • Mazoyer C, Carlier J, Boucher A, Péoc'h M, Lemeur C, Gaillard Y. Fatal case of a 27-year-old male after taking iboga in withdrawal treatment: GC-MS/MS determination of ibogaine and ibogamine in iboga roots and postmortem biological material. J Forensic Sci. 2013;58(6):1666-72. View abstract.
  • O'Connell CW, Gerona RR, Friesen MW, Ly BT. Internet-purchased ibogaine toxicity confirmed with serum, urine, and product content levels. Am J Emerg Med. 2015; 33(7):985.e5-6. View abstract.
  • Paling FP, Andrews LM, Valk GD, Blom HJ. Life-threatening complications of ibogaine: three case reports. Neth J Med. 2012;70(9):422-4. View abstract.
  • Papadodima SA, Dona A, Evaggelakos CI, Goutas N, Athanaselis SA. Ibogaine related sudden death: a case report. J Forensic Leg Med. 2013;20(7):809-11. View abstract.
  • Pleskovic A, Gorjup V, Brvar M, Kozelj G. Ibogaine-associated ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2012;50(2):157. View abstract.
  • Schenberg EE, de Castro Comis MA, Chaves BR, da Silveira DX. Treating drug dependence with the aid of ibogaine: a retrospective study. J Psychopharmacol. 2014;28(11):993-1000. View abstract.
  • Sheppard SG. A preliminary investigation of ibogaine: case reports and recommendations for further study. J Subst Abuse Treat. 1994 Jul-Aug;11(4):379-85. View abstract.
  • Silva EM, Cirne-Santos CC, Frugulhetti IC, et al. Anti-HIV-1 activity of the Iboga alkaloid congener 18-methoxycoronaridine. Planta Med 2004;70:808-12. View abstract.
  • Singhal AB, Caviness VS, Begleiter AF, et al. Cerebral vasoconstriction and stroke after use of serotonergic drugs. Neurology 2002;58:130-3. View abstract.
  • Vlaanderen L, Martial LC, Franssen EJ, van der Voort PH, Oosterwerff E, Somsen GA. Cardiac arrest after ibogaine ingestion. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2014;52(6):642-3. View abstract.
  • Ward J, Rosenbaum C, Hernon C, McCurdy CR, Boyer EW. Herbal medicines for the management of opioid addiction: safe and effective alternatives to conventional pharmacotherapy? CNS Drugs 2011;25(12):999-1007. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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