Ibogaine’s properties as a treatment to stop addiction withdrawal were unknown until the late 1960’s. Since that time, studies undertaken by leading research and academic facilities have shown that Ibogaine is an effective addiction interrupter for substances including heroin, methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine, as well a highly effective therapy for psycho-spiritual maladies including depression, childhood trauma, PTSD, compulsive fear, bi-polar disorder, and OCD.

Western Introduction

Ibogaine was not used in the West until French explorers learned of it from the Bwiti tribe and brought Iboga to Europe in the years of 1899-1900, where it was eventually marketed in France as the medication ‘Lambarène’.

Lambarène, an extract of the Tabernanthe plant, was promoted as a mental and physical stimulant from the 1930’s-1960’s and was somewhat popular amongst post-World War II athletes. However, Lambarène was withdrawn from the market in 1966 when the sale of Ibogaine-containing products was banned in France.

Treatment History

The anti-addictive properties were discovered by accident when nineteen-year-old Howard Lotsof ingested the plant and found it effectively treated his craving and withdrawal symptoms related to heroin addiction.  Lotsoff, then just an experimental young heroin addict living in New York, took Ibogaine for the first time with an intention to get high. 

Howard then took his findings to 7 other addicts: 5 of which also dropped their habit as a result of the Ibogaine. And these were the events that directed the miraculous beginning & introduction of Ibogaine, and it’s therapeutic value for chemical dependency, to the Western world.

This led Lotsof to contract clinical production of Ibogaine in tablet form in the Netherlands, and eventually patenting it for use in the US in 1985. 

The use of Ibogaine for addiction treatment support scientific studies, including the first placebo-controlled study of it’s impact on opioid withdrawal in 1988. In subsequent years, further government and private research on Ibogaine has continued, lending scientific evidence for its efficacy as an active alkaloid to treat addictions and behavioral issues.   

Since that time, studies undertaken by leading research and academic facilities have shown that Ibogaine is a highly effective addiction interrupter.

All in all, Ibogaine has proven itself to be an incredibly useful tool in breaking through old habits and patterns that keep us separate from our true nature. More on its effects can be found here.


next page: The Spirit of Iboga & the Effects of the Medicine