Reciprocity & Respect
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The Bwiti have been the shepherds and protectors of Iboga for thousands of years and have generously shared their powerful spiritual tradition with us. In the same spirit, Root Healing seeks to give back and support the Bwiti communities from which this tradition & medicine comes in the following ways:
- We give a percentage of our monthly profits/bookings to the Bwiti run non-profit Banes Ba Dimbu, an organization that provides essential services such as education and clean drinking water to Bwiti villages in Gabon.
- Root Healing founders Ryan “Ghenigho” Rich & Madeleine Cullerton work directly for Banes Ba Dimbu volunteering their time and work experience to help further the cause.
- Root Healing exclusively sources their medicine from the village, ensuring that all financial exchange goes directly into the hands of the Bwiti with no intermediary.
All Root Healing retreats adhere strictly to the Bwiti tradition – which is the tradition that has been with Iboga since it was first discovered thousands of years ago. We believe that the Bwiti are the only ones that are truly qualified in saying how the medicine is used in ceremony because the medicine itself created and informs the tradition. Therefore, everything at our retreats from preparation, fireside teachings, to counseling and integration are solely Bwiti-focused. Our providers have all undergone extensive training and our team is in constant contact with the village, making frequent trips to Gabon for further training and connection to the tradition.
All of our medicine comes directly from the Missoko Bwiti village that we work with. It is traditionally grown, harvested, and ceremonially prepared by the Bwiti as it has been for centuries. This is essential for a number of reasons:
It ensures the spirit of the medicine is respected and carried within the Bwiti tradition, of which it is a sacrament.
It supports the Bwiti village, the people who have been its caretakers since the connection between Iboga and Bwiti began so long ago. It is said that you cannot have Bwiti without Iboga and you cannot have Iboga without Bwiti. At Root Healing, this is a core principle.
This ensures that our medicine is always safe, spiritually potent, and fresh.
With that in mind, one last thing we would like to give our firm position on is this concept of Iboga conservation. There is this popular theory that we in the west need to step in and intervene in the conservation efforts of Iboga. From our point of view, this is a belief deeply rooted in colonialism and we do not support it. We trust our Bwiti family with the care of their sacrament which they have so generously shared with us. Root Healing does not support organizations created by people outside of Gabon, who believe that they should step in and “teach” or tell the Bwiti how to manage the conservation of their sacrament. While conservation is an essential and important principle, Iboga should always remain in the hands of the Bwiti.