Metabolic Passage: It’s Cost’s and Benefits

Roman Paškulin, M.D, Ph.D

Tabernanthe iboga plant and its alkaloid ibogaine are recognized in the West as an unofficial remedy against diverse addictions. Its uniqueness lays in the multiple action – it triggers psychotherapeutic insight, facilitates detoxification of drugs, restores physiological homeostasis and sets a new, addiction resistive habitus. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of ibogaine on gene expression. The stimulating influence on energy metabolism and oxidative damage reduction were found. Various drugs of abuse interfere with energy metabolism – either directly (alcohol) or indirectly (stimulants, opiates) with residual suppressive effect at their chronic use. Findings suggest facilitated tolerance reversion and craving elimination due to restoration of satisfactory energy level.

Process of accelerated restoration of physiological balance caused by ibogaine represents considerable metabolic load that can overcome body’s buffering capacity. Adverse effects of ibogaine are becoming recognized and certain safety protocols have been developed. Pharmacology and toxicology of ibogaine and possible risk reduction measures should be evident to all kinds of ibogaine therapists.



Roman Paškulin is a medical doctor, specialized in addictology and a lecturer in pharmacology at University of Primorska.. His Ph.D. thesis “Pharmacodynamics of Entheogene Drugs – Influence on Gene Expression” is a study on the impact of ibogaine on metabolism. He has also conducted field research on traditional use of iboga plant in Central Africa. The results of his work have been published in distinguished international scientific journals.

In 2005 he has founded OMI Institute for anthropological medicine with the primary purpose of scientific evaluation of traditional healing practices. Today this has expanded into the counseling practice on the risk reduction and long term success improvement related to ibogaine treatments.

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