Frequently asked questions

Is Gabon a safe place to travel to?

Gabon, known as the "Switzerland of West Africa" due to its wealth in oil, minerals, and woods, boasts a high GDP and a small population of 2 million. This prosperity is reflected in its safety, as indicated by its ranking in the 2023 Global Peace Index, just after Thailand and before Georgia.During your visit to Gabon, you'll be in the safe hands of Moughenda's team, with a 30-year track record of guest safety. Upon arrival, authorities will be aware of your intention to respectfully explore Gabon's treasures, aligning with the government's tourism promotion efforts.

Is Iboga Safe?

Iboga is safe when used responsibly under the guidance of a traditionally trained provider or shaman, following a comprehensive health assessment, EKG, and medication review. However, it's important to note its contraindications; individuals with cardiovascular or liver diseases, or those on certain medications or narcotics, may face serious risks.Additionally, the authenticity of Iboga is crucial. The market is rife with counterfeit products, including lab-grown Iboga that is too young for use and can cause significant harm. Therefore, verifying the source of Iboga is essential for safety.For those seeking Iboga for drug or alcohol detox, working with a Bwiti shaman experienced in its traditional use, like Moughenda, is key to ensuring a safe and effective detox process. Transparency about your health and medication history is vital for safety.

Is Iboga Legal?

The legal status of Iboga varies significantly around the world. In Gabon, Iboga is 100% legal, recognized as a national treasure and an integral part of cultural heritage, enshrined in the Gabonese constitution. This reflects its deep-rooted significance in traditional practices and ceremonies.However, the situation is different in many other countries, where Iboga is illegal. This is largely due to concerns about its misuse outside traditional contexts. Iboga is not a plant that should be purchased online and used at home, given its profound effects and potential risks. The misuse and disconnection from its ancient, ceremonial use, as practiced by groups like the Bwiti Missoko, have led to its illegal status in these regions.For those considering Iboga, particularly for drug or alcohol detox, it's crucial to consult with experienced traditional Healer/Shaman like Moughenda. Such experts are well-versed in its traditional uses and can ensure a safe and effective experience.

Will someone help me prepare for my trip and provide a packing list?

Absolutely! Once you book your retreat, we'll assign you a dedicated private concierge. They will guide you through the entire process, offering detailed preparation guidelines, informative packets, and comprehensive packing lists to ensure you're fully prepared for your experience.

What's the difference between Iboga and Ibogaine?

Iboga, in its natural root bark form, is integral to traditional Bwiti Missoko ceremonies, offering a holistic approach to healing that encompasses physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. Under Moughenda's guidance, it's also used in medically supervised detox programs for drug/alcohol addiction, acknowledging its risks but leveraging its full therapeutic potential.In contrast, Ibogaine, an extract from the Iboga plant, is commonly used in detox clinics outside Gabon. While it's effective in binding to opiate receptors and aiding detoxification, Ibogaine lacks the comprehensive 'Spirit' of Iboga. This often results in a superficial treatment, leading to a pattern where clients may repeatedly return to clinics for additional treatments. Moughenda's 60 days ultimate detox program uniquely combines the detox benefits of Iboga with the profound healing of traditional Bwiti Missoko ceremonies. This method ensures a complete healing experience, addressing not just the physical but also the emotional and spiritual aspects, often overlooked by pharmaceutical-driven Ibogaine treatments. For a holistic and enduring recovery, Moughenda's approach, deeply rooted in traditional practices, is highly recommended. Request a discovery call and select Detox

What's the difference between Ayahuasca and Iboga?

Iboga and Ayahuasca are akin to comparing day and night. Often, individuals turn to Iboga after experiencing multiple retreats with Ayahuasca, feeling a sense of being 'lost in translation.' Iboga excels in helping people recover from traumatic experiences, offering grounding and definitive healing. Unlike the ongoing journey that Ayahuasca might represent, Bwiti's aim with Iboga is not to perpetuate an endless quest but to facilitate self-discovery, allowing individuals to truly understand themselves and enjoy life in a sober state.

Is Iboga scary?

Although some people experience some fear before their first time working with the medicine (which is normal), once the ceremony begins, the fear usually goes away, and the experience tends to be calm and peaceful overall.

Unfortunately, because Iboga is so new to the Western World, there is not a lot of accurate information that is easily available.  There is, however, a good amount of fear-based information that exists on the internet. The majority of those accounts are from people who were overdosed or served medicine incorrectly by an untrained person (or taken alone). Iboga is dangerous and can have severe consequences if not taken with a traditionally trained Provider or Shaman.

Here are some commonly experienced fears:

1) Fear of loss of controlThere can be an experience of having loss of control with an Iboga ceremony that some people may find scary.  Although motor coordination can be altered, with Iboga you feel quite in tune with yourself and your surroundings while the medicine is taking its course, it is not a medicine that causes people to act or behave erratically or out of character.

2) Fear of facing the truthFor others it is not the loss of control that is scary but facing the truth and seeing the lies they tell themselves. Things may come up that you have been in denial about / not seeing clearly.  Iboga helps you maintain a healthy perspective during this process. Moughenda and his team are always available for support and counseling.

3) Fear of having a bad trip Provided that you are taking medicine with a traditionally trained Provider or genuine Shaman and have been given a correct dosage, there is no reason a person should experience a “bad trip.” Sometimes, however, experiences can be challenging and difficult (mostly emotionally). Most reports of bad trips are from people who experiment with taking ibogaine or Iboga by themselves at home or were incorrectly served medicine by an untrained person.

Is Iboga for me?

Very few people have heard of Iboga.  If you are thinking of Iboga, or feel an intuitive pull towards it, then likely the plant has something important to offer you. Full precautions must always be taken with a health assessment, EKG & medications review, and under the care of a traditionally trained Provider or Shaman, in a safe and appropriate environment.

Will I feel nauseous/vomit on Iboga?

Some people do, and some people don’t.  Everyone is different. We would estimate about 35% of people feel nauseous or vomit during ceremony. If you vomit during your ceremony, there is nothing to worry about. Vomiting is a natural way to help you physically, emotionally and spiritually purge, detox, and cleanse. Still, no one likes to vomit. The Bwiti House team is experienced and prepared to help people through this process as comfortably and effectively as possible.

How does it feel to be on Iboga?

Iboga offers a unique experience that varies from person to person. At Moughenda's village, many describe it as being in a deep meditation, yet fully conscious and in control. It can be physically intense, heightening awareness.Distinct from other entheogens, Iboga, a root, is grounding. It fosters self-awareness and a deep connection to oneself and surroundings. Rather than an escape, Iboga encourages introspection.Reactions vary; some find peace and calm, while others experience a hyper-active mind. Its stimulant properties often keep people awake for 24 hours, allowing continuous conscious processing, without feeling tired. Sleep comes naturally afterward.

Is there a special diet required before taking Iboga?

There is no strict diet required to prepare for Iboga.  However, following a clean and healthy diet as much as possible leading up to your retreat can reduce purging during your ceremony.  If your body is mostly clean and detoxed going in to ceremony, the medicine can more quickly get to the spiritual, emotional, and mental work with you.

How do I prepare for an Iboga ceremony?

Health screening: Make sure you have reviewed your health history and disclosed all information to the Bwiti House team.  If you have certain health conditions, working with Iboga maybe unsafe.  Also, if you  are taking certain pharmaceuticals or other drugs, you should not take Iboga at the same time period.  

We recommend everyone get an EKG to ensure you have a healthy heart prior to working with Iboga.  

Diet:There is no strict diet required to prepare for Iboga.  However, following a clean and healthy diet as much as possible leading up to your retreat can reduce purging during your ceremony.  If your body is mostly clean and detoxed going in to ceremony, the medicine can more quickly get to the spiritual, emotional, and mental work with you.

Prepare to Unplug: You should be unplugged from technology and internet for the majority of your retreat. Organize your affairs in advance so you have nothing to worry about during your time here.  Let people know you will be unplugged so that no one is expecting to hear from you. You must make a commitment to yourself and your healing if you expect a good outcome.

Reflect: The main preparation for an iboga ceremony is simply to focus on becoming aware of you and your life. We recommend that you grab a notebook or a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the center of it. On one side of that line write down all the things you don’t want in your life or want less of in your life, (e.g., no anxiety, less stress). Then in the other column write down what you want in your life or what you want more of in your life (e.g., peace of mind, happiness).

Finally, on the back of that paper we will ask you to generate questions around these focal points.

State of Mind: Finally- to prepare- we recommend coming in to the experience with the following:

-An open-mind / few expectations:  Iboga works with everyone in a different way, and everyone has a unique experience.  Let go of what you believe Iboga will be like and surrender to being in the present moment with the process as it unfolds for you.  

-Excitement:  Iboga is a great teacher who has helped countless people better their lives.  Be excited for this process!

“Why do I have anxiety and how do I get rid of it?”“How do I not get stressed out over stuff? How do I not get stressed out over  ______?”“Why do I not have peace of mind? How can I attain peace of mind?”“How can I have more happiness in my life?”

This process will assist you in having clarity and truth about what matters to you in your life. There will be a point in your ceremony that you will have a chance to directly ask your soul and the medicine these questions.

Still have a questions in mind? contact us directly!
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IBOGA Provider Training Program
Winter Cohort : Jan 5th -Feb 29th 2024
Spring Cohort : March 4th -April 29th 2024
Summer Cohort 1:  May 10th -July 4th 2024
Summer Cohort 2 : July 8th -September 1st 2024
Autumn  Cohort : September 16th -Nov 10th
Winter Cohort: Jan 5th -March 1st 2025
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