Tabernanthe spp.



Iboga; Leaf of God; Eboka; Ibogaine.

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Tabernanthe spp.

Important legal information for Australian customers:

1) The import of ibogaine is specifically prohibited under Schedule 4 (import regulations) of the Customs Act. Under the definition of the law ANY material containing the listed substance is deemed to be that substance. Hence, all ibogaine containing material is a drug prohibited import (I know this from practical experience!!). However, there are no restrictions on possessing ibogaine containing material, seed or live plants in australia, except that pure ibogaine may not be sold or possessed as a therapeutic product without prescription.
NOTE: Under customs law the importation of 1g of ibogaine is equivalent to importing 1g of heroin. The importation of 100g of iboga bark is equivalent to importing 100g of heroin. The importation of 1g of ibogaine dissolved in 100ml of water/alcohol (eg a tincture) is equivalent to importing 100g of heroin.


Botanical information

An evergreen shrub, it grows to a height of 1.2m with a spread of 1.5m. The stem is erect and branching; the leaves are dark green, opposite and narrowly ovate-acuminate; the flowers are white to yellowish and widely expanding tubular. A native of Gabon (Africa), it prefers well composted, well drained soils in a protected partky shady position, and is drought and frost tender.

Propagation is by fresh seed or by cuttings.

Sow seed 1cm deep in moist but well-drained seedmix and keep warm. Should germinate within a few weeks, but may take several months. Transplant into single pots when 10cm tall. (In older seed, the sprout has difficulties emerging from the hardened seedcoat. Careful removal of the seedcoat with a scalpel after the seed has swelled up and partially opened can increase the number of surviving seedlings considerably.)


There is a lot of seed available on the market that is NOT iboga. Some of it is quite obviously not (such as a type of triangular seed), while others are harder to tell apart. As iboga is closely related to Tabernaemontana species, the seed is also quite similar. However, iboga seed of the Bwiti region in Gabon (the traditionally used iboga) has a brain-like seedcoat as shown in the picture below. Seed offered for sale from Cameroon however sometimes does not have this brain-like coat and looks identical to many Tabernaemontana species. The close relationship of the two genera does not allow me to positively state that the grooved seed is NOT iboga, but I urge caution in this regards. Caveat emptor. As the same people who sell the grooved seed from Cameroon also dominate the international iboga roots and rootbark market (which has been proven to be effective) maybe the distinction between the two genera (or at least the particular species used in Cameroon) for pharmacological reasons is not important.

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