The Vanishing World of Iboga

Bob Sisko

The sacred plant of Gabon is rapidly become an endangered specie. The increase in worldwide demand for Ibogaine for use in addiction treatment and psycho-spiritual growth has led to over-harvesting and a dramatic decrease in the once-plentiful reserves of Tabernanthe iboga found exclusively in West Africa. The largest and oldest reserves of iboga, located in Mayumba, Gabon, have been decimated by poachers who are destroying plant stocks to harvest root bark for sale to black market and grey market producers. As a result, prices for iboga root bark have skyrocketed, and Bwiti practitioners are having difficulty obtaining supplies for tribal use and ritual initiation.

Black market producers offer products for sale that are touted as “Ibogaine” but are actually crude extracts of T. iboga. While these products contain some Ibogaine, they also contain at least 12 other alkaloids. Total alkaloid extract, also known as TA or Indra, can be produced in a low tech lab operating in a vacant garage. TA can be obtained by simply pouring vinegar over milled root bark and straining it through a coffee filter or paper towel. Supplies of these TA products, misleadingly labeled as “Ibogaine”, are readily available on the internet.

Grey market Ibogaine is widely used by treatment providers. The leading producer of grey market Ibogaine is the British firm, Slater and Frith. Their material is manufactured at a lab in Italy. Their process consumes large amounts of T. iboga as start-up material, further adding to the decline of the natural resource. While S&F produces a reasonably pure product, the material they produce is not intended for human consumption, but for use in animal research.

The government of Gabon is currently considering criminalizing international trafficking of Iboga in much the same way as trafficking of ivory is banned. What can be done to meet the ever increasing demand for Ibogaine while protecting this rainforest plant from extinction?

In an effort to preserve the delicate balance of the equatorial ecosystem, Phytostan Enterprises (Canada) has developed a proprietary manufacturing technology that begins with sustainable agriculture. Our start-up botanical, Voacanga africana, is under cultivation in West Africa and the material we harvest for the production of Ibogaine is constantly being renewed. Our goal is to maintain biodiversity through the use of sustainable agriculture while producing the purest (99.7%) Ibogaine on the planet.

Phytostan is committed to saving T. iboga from the ravages of indiscriminate harvesting by using alternate renewable resources. Our product, REMØGEN® brand Ibogaine HCl, is a legitimate pharmaceutical drug manufactured to GMP standards in an FDA inspected facility. All of our botanical start-up material is obtained through the careful use of sustainable agriculture. We urge responsible treatment providers to use only “Green Ibogaine” products that are manufactured in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner.

Audio: (To download, right click this link and select “Save File As…”) [audio:]

A close friend and protégé of Howard Lotsof, Bob Sisko has been involved with Ibogaine development for the last 30 years. During that time, he has worn many hats and played many roles, including that of publicist, fund raiser, patient, treatment provider, activist, addict advocate, lobbyist, pre clinical and clinical research sponsor, and currently produces the purest (99.7%) Ibogaine on the planet.

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