Alongside the various ancient methodologies of healing which the shamans adhere to, there are also specific techniques which involve sacred plants that are thousands and thousands of years old. These plants hold the innate ability to transform, detoxify and awaken one to their upmost life potential. In comparing the shamanic plants Iboga and Ayahuasca, the most difficult part is finding any common ground at all. They are as different as two experiences could be; though each of them is a master medicine in its own right.
YUSA has extensive first-hand experience with both of these magnificent healing plants and the results are so outstanding we have to share with those who are searching for psychological assistance. These medicines both have psychedelic effects and carry high vibratory spiritual energy, with Ayahuasca, being the feminine, and Iboga, being the masculine.
We travelled to Cape Town, South Africa to do an extensive 3-day Iboga detox flood, where the root was ingested (in powdered form), and a great healing took place for around 12 hours. A nurse was present, giving regular blood pressure checks and watching over, 24 hours per day. Ayahuasca, however, was prepared in a ceremony at the shaman’s residence outside of Johannesburg. This was an in-depth ceremony that involved firstly clearing our energies with white sage and flower sprays; then we drank the prepared medicine, the shamans sang to summon the Aya spirit and the healing started. Detailed descriptions of each are below.
Iboga: The stern father
The Iboga experience is unique in the realm of psychedelics, almost to the point where it should be a part of a different category. Around 1 hour upon ingesting the Iboga, there is a sensation of falling deeper into oneself; it basically connects you with your higher self and the realm of thought becomes one of a higher nature. The reason for doing a full Iboga flood was to clear out old imprints in the luminous energy field and let go of old traumas and past conditioning buried deep.
To cut a long story short, Iboga makes the person revisit old traumatic events which have been stored within the energy body and subconscious mind. It may be uncomfortable for a while but it ensures a very in-depth removal of stagnant energy and past pain. It is like meeting the stern father so to speak, looking back on life in a loving way, letting go of all that no longer serves you.
Whereas most psychedelics either heighten normal senses or make them seem to disappear altogether, during the Iboga experience you are acutely aware of the physical discomfort of the body: rapid heart rate, intense dizziness, buzzing in the ears and the stern voice of the truth, lasting for 12 strong hours. Iboga will also put you in the shoes of those you have treated badly in your life; this can be quite a distressing lesson.
When the Iboga experience starts to smooth out a little, a superior sense of mental clarity arises, one that has never been felt before probably in your entire life. Your head actually feels lighter as if all the useless thought forms have been removed from the mental realm whilst a clearing of deeply rooted fears and anxiety forms have been removed from the luminous energy field. You feel like you are ready for a new approach to life and have literally been reborn.
Whilst present within the Iboga experience there is no translation issue because it is you talking to yourself. If you can’t understand yourself you are in big trouble. People have called Iboga your ‘stern father’ and this is due to the nature of what Iboga tells you. It will very bluntly explain to you how you have been messing up, put you in the shoes of others you may of hurt and tell you to shape up! And for many, that may sound like your father, but in reality it is your higher self-directing your mind in line with what would be best for your soul evolution.
Iboga completely re-tunes your physical body and can eliminate drug cravings. It is known that cancers, viruses and illnesses reside at a different frequency compared to the healthy cells in the body. This makes sense, as these pathogens are rapidly dividing and devouring at a hyperactive rate. Iboga helps your entire body to adapt to a new frequency. Iboga is known to provide an all-natural full-body cellular detoxification and overall cleansing which is essential for a proper functioning body and mind. Patents are currently pending on Iboga alkaloids to reverse or treat dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), certain mental illnesses and psychiatric conditions whilst the compound is widely respected as an effective agent in treating serious drug addictions.
During your detox (about 12-24 hours), Iboga will clear your body of all unnatural substances and chemicals and you start feeling your true organic self with no toxins effecting your thought processes or physical body. In the case of addition you overcome you physical dependence of drugs or alcohol with very little if no withdrawal effects. Ibogaine has been found to activate a growth factor (Glial cell line-derived Neurotropic Factor) that regenerates dopamine neurons suppressed by excessive drug use, states of depression and also back-signals the cell nuclei to express more GDNF by effectively creating a loop mechanism.
In addition, one needs to receive a spiritual journey to detox his or her mind and make a full recovery to connect back to the true self, or soul. This type of therapy allows intellectual introspection into psychological, emotional and spiritual concerns. Iboga has the power to enter the brain and re-tune neuro-pathways, resetting and polishing the receptors in the brain that are constructed through substance dependency.
Tapping into your own database of memories, memes and anchor points, the spirit of Iboga crystallises momentous visuals on your inner chalk board, whilst many also hear a telepathic voice of truth both answering questions and pointing out blind spots over the course of a single session, which can last up to 36 hours depending on your sensitivity, dose and current state of consciousness.
During this time, arrows of truth incessantly pierce your dream-like bubbles, but these arrows are coated with love’s varnish and shot by an omniscient bowman who already knows what you are ready to see. Your emotional body is also temporarily relieved through this experience so that you can observe and process past trauma in a near instant and a smoother process without getting caught up in old triggers and tears. This allows you to glide fast through the multitude of blocks you may have, for there is always work to be done.
Iboga is a true miracle plant, but it is banned/ illegal in many countries; maybe this is because it can relieve so many mental problems and is known to be more effective than having 10 years of psychotherapy in one session. This is a very old practice done by the Bwiti shamans in central Africa. In Bwiti, if a teenager misbehaved or were arrested by police, instead of them being sent to jail, they were sent to visit Iboga.
The Iboga Bwiti shamans speak of going deeper rather than further. They believe that their medicine accesses the infinite nature of the soul inside of you, and the soul’s infinite knowledge extends all the way to the beginning of time. In the entire 24-hour encounter with truth, there was never the feeling of accessing anything externally. It was simply the self that was accessed; it was virtually omniscient and had our best interest at heart!
Iboga has been used by people with the following problems.
Mental problems: Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depersonalisation disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, mental/emotional abuse issues, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe mental blocks, ADHD and childhood emotional trauma.
Physical problems: Hepatitis, herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, Auto-immune conditions, human papilomavirus (HPV), chronic infections, aerotoxic syndrome, chemical toxicity, heavy metal toxicity, arthritis, physical stress, eczema, lupus, blood clots, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis's and infertility
Spiritual cleansing: Iboga aids in discovering your true self, in finding your life’s blueprint, connecting with ancestors, asking questions, getting answers, healing the root of illness, aligning with spirit, experiencing rebirth, awakening, finding passion, rapidly evolving emotionally and learning the truth of universal existence.
Just to wrap things up, Iboga has a unique ability of detoxifying the luminous energy field, the chakra system and the subconscious mind, healing you greatly on the formless level, far beyond the physical. As mentioned, it is at these levels where all disease and mental issues start; modern medicine does not come anywhere close to this type of healing.
Every human has blind spots, distractions and some level of denial or the ability to lie to themselves about their own life and the universe. When you are fortunate enough to get into the spiritual realm with the help of a shaman, Iboga will show you the truth. You will find deep meaningful answers. You can find out information that you would not have otherwise had any way of knowing.
Iboga in its raw, natural plant form. Today it is the most potent plant for purposes of naturally treating drug addictions
Ayahuasca: The Vine of the Soul
Ayahuasca arrives with a warm buzz; it brings the fireworks, a purge, and then 8–10 hours later, a peaceful connectedness that allows you a full night’s sleep. Looked at this way, Ayahuasca may seem preferable; however, the sheer psychobytes of content downloaded from Iboga is unrivalled.
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant mixture prepared from a combination of plants and chemicals that varies in potency, depending on the maker. The brew is a traditional South American preparation most commonly made by combining the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and Psychotria viridis leaves (DMT). This drink is widely employed throughout Amazonian Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and western Brazil, and it is used mainly as a medicine for healing under the guidance of an experienced shaman.
Upon consuming the concentrated formula, it can take anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes until you start to feel its effects. How shamans first discovered Ayahuasca is still debated to this day, but it was obvious that they spoke to the plants and the plants spoke back. Ayahuasca is used traditionally as a spiritual medicine to heal people in a unique and loving way; shamans used it to gain insight about the land, hunting information and also to receive guidance from the other side. Shamans also explained how Amazonians used Ayahuasca to see where their enemies hide out in the jungle.
Ayahuasca brew is illegal in the USA and UK right now because of its DMT content. DMT is a schedule 1 drug in the USA under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, even though the chemical DMT is naturally produced by the pineal gland, and it is gaining momentum as a legitimate religious practice.
The Ayahuasquero shamans speak of going father, exploring dimensions beyond what you can see and feel, and this may well be a function of the DMT. With the strong correlation between the natural DMT released during physical death, DMT seems to be a gateway to the realms beyond the physical.
Ayahuasca is becoming increasingly popular in the medical world for its powerful treatment effects for substance dependency, whilst gaining ground from those people in the West searching for a legitimate spiritual path. Maybe people want to go further than a guru’s; perhaps with the growing consciousness shift and the hype surrounding 2012 onward, these people are hungry for more immediate results and a first-hand experience of what is actually going on.
When Ayahuasca is used properly under the guidance of trained shamans, the experience is deeply healing on a soul level. It is said that a few Ayahuasca ceremonies are as effective on one’s psyche as 5 years of western psychotherapy. The reasons for needing a shaman to conduct a ceremony with Aya and not Iboga is because Ayahuasca opens up your universe, chakra system and luminous energy field, and therefore it needs holding together on the etheric levels by the shaman. This is so that no outside forces can host your energetic body. Iboga is slightly different; the spirit of Iboga forms a vortex around your energy field so that you are fully protected at all times. It is not advised to drink Ayahuasca without a shaman.
However, some spiritual circles and new age communities frown upon the use of shamanic plants with their argument being ‘it’s an easy way out’. This is mainly due to the lack of education surrounding these topics, a lot of misinformation around Ayahuasca has people thinking it’s simply another hallucinogenic, feel good, new age experience. This is nothing like LSD, mushrooms or ecstasy. To compare them is simply inappropriate and very disrespectful.
From YUSA’s experience it is hard work, plain and simple. When Ayahuasca is used in conjunction with your meditation, raw food/detoxification, yoga, exercise, or any other mindfulness based practices, it can change your life for the better. Many think that love is synonymous with good feelings, but the love that Ayahuasca pours over your being is other worldly. She gives you the opportunity to see the rawness of reality and your ego and essence clearly, with no filters or apologies.
Ayahuasca is not for everyone, only for those who are very, very serious about waking up to the truth of who you are. If you participate in ceremony more than once and welcome Aya into your life, you will be shown more than you can ever imagine, worlds beyond worlds. All of the painful, dark and hidden truths about yourself, past lives, soul contracts, your childhood, cosmic love and insights into your own future. Once you start work with her on a regular basis, you can potentially burn through and remove your psychological blocks and obstacles.
However, the benefits that come from Aya come at a high price. Not in monetary terms but in terms of your personality and how it can suffer throughout the ceremony whilst you see parts of yourself that may literally make you want to vomit. Everything you have ever avoided feeling will surface. Everything you ever dismissed and pushed away, alongside emotions of everyone you have ever judged, blamed, hurt or ridiculed will course through your entire body. This is a huge clearing process for the higher good.
As far as ritual and pageantry, nothing that quite compares to the transfixing magic of an Ayahuasca ceremony. The music of Ayahuasca is known as the Icaros sung by the shaman him/herself. They are sometimes haunting, often beautiful melodies passed down from generation to generation, taught initially by the plants themselves they say.
The shaman works with rattles made of leaves, tobacco, and cinnamon rose water, and pours his energy into the ceremony, carrying you to the realms beyond death, partly by the sweat of his labour. His physical manipulations throughout the ceremony have a direct and dramatic effect. You feel indelibly part of something mystical. The plants encourage the unlocking of your DNA.
One’s experience with Ayahuasca can depend on a few different factors. A small percentage of people who go into ceremony and ingest Ayahuasca for the first time have been known to experience the hardest night of their life. Many have reported vomiting, diarrhoea, upset stomach and experiencing a psychotic break, where all references of ‘me’ where non-existent.
Deep terror can hit you for a while, and an inferno of kaleidoscopic visions depicting sacred geometry may entrance your mind. All of this is a cleanout process. The intensity of the clean-up process is dependent on what previous detox work you have already done. With Ayahuasca you feel like there is a little clean-up crew at work in your organs, squeezing out all of the bad stuff, the decay, the bacteria and then pushing that back into your bowels and stomach to be disposed of.
YUSA’s experience was not so dramatic; we attended around six Ayahuasca ceremonies, and all were very relaxing and profoundly peaceful. This is mainly due to the amount of physical detoxification we went through for around a year prior. This detoxification involved juicing fruits and vegetables, fasting and a raw food diet. We also did the Iboga full flood around 3 weeks prior to the first Ayahuasca experience, which cleansed most of the bad energies from the luminous energy field and mind. Whatever state Ayahuasca puts you in, remember it is for the greater good and a deep clearing of old energies, the death of one’s ego and a spiritual emergence. Her love is unwavering and as big as all the cosmos combined.
If you are going to make the commitment to explore the depths of your mind, soul and the infinite universe, both of these medicines are the best things you can do for yourself. If you are in pain and your inner intuition is guiding you towards a complete cleanout then take the time out to get some serious healing and clear out deep underlying issues that are in the way of your happiness and success. When you are clean energetically, physically and on a mental level, it leaves space for mental clarity and for you to reprogram your being from scratch, giving you optimal creation power for the life you desire!
YUSA recommends the Iboga treatment first before Ayahuasca; they work brilliantly hand in hand, but all depends on your personal experience and what you want to achieve alongside the level of detoxification you may want to experience. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding; the level of spiritual realisation is profound. Either way, they are both great investments towards the deeper inner-standing of yourself.
1. Do you have an addiction problem, eating disorder, or self-limiting mental issue? If the answer is yes, then seek Iboga for sure.
2. Would you prefer to know the answers to your questions, or feel and see the answers to your questions? To know, choose Iboga to feel and to see choose Ayahuasca.
3. Do you want an experience unlike anything you can find in the physical plane? Something wholly other? Choose Ayahuasca.
4. Do you want to make peace/communicate with deceased family members/friends? Choose Iboga.
5. Is your mind the root of your physical illness or your body? For mind, choose Iboga; for body choose Ayahuasca (except in the case of physical drug dependency, for which Iboga is well suited).
6. Do you want a rapid energetic cleanse of the subconscious and luminous energy field? A sense of alignment and rebirth so you can reprogram your mind and energy from fresh? Choose Iboga.
For more information regarding the Ayahuasca and Iboga retreats, there are two trusted sources below. When looking for retreats online make sure you do plenty of research and lookup reviews etc., as there are some retreats that are run by bad shamans. If you have any questions about Iboga or Ayahuasca, e-mail YUSA, and we may be able to help. Never mix these plants with alcohol.
‘You cannot transcend what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself’ ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj[i]
This was excerpted from the YUSA Guide To Balance: Mind Body Spirit which you can view in full HERE where it’s available in physical and digital format. You can also see what our current worldwide readership is saying about the book. If you are outside of the UK we advise that you visit Amazon.com for your copy for more cost effective delivery costs.
Ibogaine flood, Cape Town, SA: www.iboga.co.za[iii]
[i] Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Spiritual Teacher regarded 'one of the great spiritual masters of the 20th century'. A compilation of his recorded talks I Am That was published in 1973.
[iii] Iboga Detox, YUSA experienced this journey at this retreat, we recommend thorough research before attending. www.iboga.co.za.