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The Bwiti And Iboga

The native people of Gabon, the Bwiti, make use of a powerful plant medicine, Tabernanthe Iboga, in their traditional religious practices. The Bwiti tribes and Iboga go back thousands of years. The Bwiti religion is a syncretic blend of traditional Gabonese beliefs and Christianity, and its rituals are central to the spiritual and social life of the Bwiti people.


The Pygmies are believed to have been the original users of iboga. The Bwiti picked up on the healing power of this ancestral plant medicine, and began using it to open up avenues of perception, seek spiritual growth and promote healing. When taken as slaves to Egypt, some carried treasured slices of the Iboga plant with them. Few Egyptians knew that this root bark contained the precious alkaloid that is ibogaine.


No sooner had they discovered this, than they too began using the substance to open their minds, while banning the Pygmy slaves from using it.

The Bwiti And Their Use Of Iboga

Iboga is a plant native to Gabon and the Congo Basin, and it has been used by the Bwiti people for thousands of years. The plant’s roots contain ibogaine, a psychoactive substance that is believed to have spiritual and therapeutic properties.


The Bwiti people use iboga in various rituals, including initiation ceremonies, healing ceremonies, and ancestor veneration. The plant is also considered a sacrament and is used to connect with the spiritual realm, providing access to guidance and wisdom from ancestors and spirits.

The Bwiti people believe that Iboga has the power to heal physical and mental illnesses, and it is also used to treat addiction. The plant is used in a ceremonial setting and is believed to purify the body and mind, allowing for a deeper connection to the spiritual realm. The Bwiti people also use Iboga to enter a trance-like state, which allows them to communicate with the spirits and ancestors.


The Bwiti of today use Iboga just once – as a rite of passage. The journey they take when using the alkaloid sets them free. It cleanses the mind, revealing a past that can be confronted. Praise is given to ancestors and safe passage onwards sought as a bright future opens up ahead: adulthood.

Ibogaine Use In Europe

At Ibogaine Treatment UK, (a subsidiary of Tabula Rasa Retreat TM), we have harnessed the indigenous knowledge of these peoples and the main alkaloid from the Tabernanthe Iboga plant, ibogaine, to develop mind-cleansing programmes to help with addiction recovery here in Europe.


Seen by some as the most powerful botanical remedy on earth, the Bwiti believe Iboga is the godfather of all plant medicines.

Seeing truth. Speaking truth. Being truthful. This is what the Iboga plant brings to the Bwiti, and is what it can bring to you.