What is Iboga
A small shrub growing wild throughout Gabon and Cameroon, Tabernanthe Iboga typically grows to a height of seven feet. Under optimum conditions, the plant can mature into a small tree up to 30 feet tall. With vibrant green leaves, this tree produces clusters of tiny white and yellow flowers and orange-colored, oval-shaped Iboga fruit.
But its roots are what best define its spirit. Iboga root bark contains alkaloids which are scraped, powdered and ingested, containing entheogenic properties which have shaped humanity’s consciousness for thousands of years—beginning with the Pygmy and Bwiti cultures of Africa, and, most recently, to help heal an ailing Western world.
The forest people, or Pygmies, of Central-West Africa are said to have first brought the knowledge of this plant to others. These oral teachings were eventually shaped into the practice and culture of the Bwiti—a spiritual tradition founded on the usage and teachings of Iboga. For centuries, the Bwiti have used Iboga in healing ceremonies and spiritual rituals for self-discovery, personal development, physical healing, and to master the art of living.
In Gabon, Iboga is regarded as sacred, at times referred to as the ‘holy wood.’ At the pillar of each tribe or community is a chief shaman, who is responsible for leading medicine ceremonies of initiation and healing.
Awaken Your Soul Founder Anthony Esposito has been trained and initiated at the hands of a 10th-generation Gabonese Bwiti shaman who was also the first African to bring the full Iboga root to the Western hemisphere.
Why Do We Use Iboga?
Iboga’s purpose is to detoxify the mind, body and spirit, healing at the deepest physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
At some point in our lives, most of us have been wounded on some level. For many the wounds run deep, for others they may have been as simple as being made fun of in school. While they may have affected us in ways we never fully understood, memories are stored in our subconscious minds, at times resurfacing and impacting us without conscious knowledge.
Our wounds may have been abuse in emotional, mental, sexual or physical form, or severe grief or loss. We may have been involved in, or witnessed, a traumatic incident. They may have affected us as children, youth, adults, or at multiple times in our lives.
Over time, these experiences imprint into our subconscious mind, which creates conditioning and programming that can manifest as self-destructive behavior, addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
By coping—or masking the truth—we invite fear, insecurity, depression, anxiety, disconnection to self and source, debilitating emotions, frightening memories, or feelings of continual worry. In essence our mind has been hijacked and we become the prisoner, and our thoughts taking control of our lives.
With the mind running the show, we enter a vicious, repetitive cycle of self-limiting thoughts, which can result in unhealthy behaviors and uncomfortable feelings or emotions. In its direct, decisive fashion, Iboga reveals what we have simply forgotten: that we are in control of our minds, that we are not our minds.
How Does Iboga Work?
Iboga is known to be the greatest hunter for the truth inside of us. When we discover our truth, it is no longer comfortable living in the same patterns that once felt so ‘safe,’ and destructive behaviors are magnified tenfold. Once we become aware, we are blessed with the responsibility to create change.
Iboga has the wisdom to seek out the root of our traumas. It does not ignore the behavioral results of our pain, but the primary treatment is focused more on the cause of the condition, therefore helping to alleviate the behaviors moving forward. A master teacher, Iboga will give us insights on what life would be like if we continued down a path lacking awareness of our true self. It reveals how wondrous life can be when we cleanse old patterns and begin to treat our lives with value, respect and love.
This medicine allows for a reconnection to our soul and aligns us to our purest state, before we were wounded. The wisdom of the plant will heighten our awareness to help us gain clarity about our passions, inspirations, creativity and purpose. By connecting us to our hearts we receive this opportunity to feel profound gratitude for the gift of life itself. Iboga opens us to our greater potential and greatly expand the mind. It illuminates the ways we can heal and transform our lives to create abundance and well-being.
Physically, Iboga detoxes the body of toxins, chemicals, emotional blockages, viruses and parasites. Many things the medicine encounters which do not aid in our well being will be cleansed. Iboga is a very powerful detoxifier and has been known to address a variety of physical ailments. This detox also cleanses the mind of belief systems and negative thought patterns that do not serve us. This will also aid the medicine to address the physical aspects of these stored emotions and many people notice a great improvement in their entire well being.
The mind is simply a tool. Iboga teaches us to regain control of our thoughts, and use the mind to our advantage by unmasking a clear understanding—a knowing—that we have the power to manifest anything we desire. We have had it all along.
It will show us not to live in the past: in our depression. Nor in the future: in our anxiety. Iboga helps teach us how to live in the moment, to become our own witness and to be present now.