a bwiti ceremony

Ibogaine Ceremony

Many people have been asking about an “Ibogaine Ceremony” so we wanted to clear a few things up with the terminology. To the extent of our knowledge, there is nobody out there offering an “Ibogaine Ceremony.” Ibogaine, the pure extracted Alkaloid of the Tabernanthe Iboga Shrub is not what is used ceremonially by the Bwiti. Rather, it is the chemical used in Clinics to treat addictions and sometimes trauma. Typically, when using Ibogaine, it will be called a “Treatment,” and not a “Ceremony.” This distinction is true in practice, as well, with the treatments being done in a clinical type of setting that is reminiscent of a hospital or rehab. These clinics can be found all over Mexico and Costa Rica, with just a few in Canada. They also happen to be much more expensive than places that work with Iboga and Iboga TA, the total alkaloid extract. When people are saying they want to do an Ibogaine Ceremony, they actually mean an Iboga Ceremony, which is very different. 

Traditional is best

Iboga Ceremonies typically follow the traditions coming from the Bwiti, the West African shepherds of Iboga to whom it is a sacrament. The Bwiti have been using Iboga in this sense for thousands of years and really understand how to work with it. The rituals and practices of their ceremonies all come from the Iboga spirit and promote its healing and spiritual strength. As a powerful sacrament, it should be honored when used. There are some places offering ceremonies that are either wholly created by them or have ideas taken from other traditions that have nothing to do with the spirit of Iboga. True Bwiti ceremonies can only be experienced by going to West Africa (Gabon or Cameroon). However, as we said, there are retreat centers (like Root Healing) that follow the Bwiti traditions in the way that they hold ceremonies. 

Some of the main considerations for picking a traditional retreat is whether the people are trained, who they are trained by, and what their safety precautions are. Many places are popping up being led by people who have been initiated that think this gives them the tools to hold a safe and healing ceremony. This is not the case. Being initiated is a beautiful thing, but it does not include any training whatsoever. Proper medical evaluations should also be done with an EKG and Liver panel. It is also always better if a place has a doctor and nurse on staff who are familiar with Iboga. 

Be careful and don’t be cheap

If you are more interested in doing an Ibogaine Treatment, rather than an Iboga Ceremony, you should be very careful when selecting a place. There are some treatment centers that are just cycling through clients without any concern for their well-being and then there are some that are run like a 5-star resort that also has medical professionals on staff who monitor you all the time. The good Clinics are expensive and our advice is not to be cheap if you decide to go this route, especially if you are someone who is seeking it out to heal or treat addiction. 


There is no such thing as an “Ibogaine Ceremony. ”So, if you were searching for an Ibogaine Ceremony, it is important to clarify what your true intentions are so that you get what you are looking for. For those of you who were looking for the typical Ibogaine Treatment Centers, we urge you to be very careful in the one you select, and please don’t be cheap. For those of you who are looking for an actual “ceremony,” we recommend that you pick a place that follows the Bwiti tradition in how they work with the medicine. Make sure that they have been trained, not just initiated, and make sure that they have safety measures in place that you are comfortable with.

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