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'Visionary root' favoured by shamans

IBOGA, described as the 'visionary root' of Africa, is a perennial rainforest shrub that originated in the Congo Basin and was spread to Cameroon and Gabon by Pygmies and Bantu natives.

Also referred to as the 'holy wood', bark from from the plant root is chewed for pharmacological or ritualistic purposes and can stimulate the central nervous system and induce visions.

It is used by visionary healers called shamans for therapeutic and spiritual purposes.

Outside Africa, a derivative of the plant, ibogaine, is used to treat opiate addition like heroin but iboga is illegal in several western countries.

Irish Independent