• long-acting (~10 hours) psychedelic drug found in the root bark of Tabernanthe iboga, a shurb/tree/moderately-sized plant that grows in western Africa
  • animal research suggests that it acts via the same mechanisms as LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), and some opioids
  • claimed to be a cure for drug addiction and alcoholism by a former heroin addict named Howard Lotsof (research is currently ongoing, though if it doesn't pan out it may be necessary for Mr. Lotsof to change his name to Mr. Fullof)
  • has been found to significantly reduce alcohol consumption in alcoholic rats
  • researchers at Johns Hopkins (a very fine American university) found that, at high doses, it destroys part of the rat brain that may have a role in addiction, suggesting that while it might cure addiction, it also might eat away at your brain
Perrine, Daniel M. The chemistry of mind-altering drugs: history, pharmacology, and cultural context. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1996.

7 chemically inspired comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you heard about the new corduroy pillow cases?

They are making headlines everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Check out Daniel Pinchbeck's book Breaking Open the Head for an account of Africa tribal use in a shamanistic context. Great book.

Anonymous said...

Isn't NMDA an amino acid??? I thought that ecstasy was MDMA
(3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine). It may work on the NMDA pathway though. Perhaps I'm reading you wrong...

CND said...

Busted! NMDA is a neurotransmitter derived from aspartic acid, an amino acid. MDMA is ecstasy. Hooray for similarly-sounding acronyms. Thank you for the correction!

Anonymous said...

Was this the same fine researcher at John Hopkins (Dr. George Ricaurte) that claimed recreational sized doses of MDMA ate holes in the brain? It was later found that he had substituted methamphatamine, and injected it, at somewhere ~20X a normal dose/weight.

So negligent it's tough to believe it was an accident - the findings from that research are still widely cited by drug-control proponents.

The Lil'est Naturist said...

Ibogaine is the single most promising and interesting drug I know. It actually alleviates opiate withdrawal on hardened addicts. And it doesn't come back. Amazingly, many people report not wanting to use junk after just one session with ibogaine. It's a crime against humanity that this is a schedule 1 drug.

Oh...and there is a religion in Gabon called Bwiti, which involves the more or less regular consumption of ibogaine, and they've been doing it for a long long time.

Anonymous said...

The study you cite as determining that Ibogaine eats away at the brain was due to EXTREMELY high doses being administered. Doses so high that they really have no meaning. I could go to my cupboard right now and find a dozen over the counter medications that would kill me at high doses. This is the kind of BS that makes the drug industry no better than organized crime syndicates, not to mention a government intent on protecting them.