Preparing for “the Wood”

Initiation with the “Sacred Wood” can mark an enormous shift in one’s internal world, and it is wise to consider the importance of preparation and integration of such an experience. The information below should be helpful as a starting point. If you would like one on one support with your preparation, and post initiation integration, please consider reaching out to one of our integration specialists for guidance.

Intention and expectation

Iboga is a powerful plant that may induce profound physical and psychological changes. It is a powerful psychoactive agent with the ability to catalyse an experience that may induce profound life changes in anyone. It can be useful to set an intention for your work with the “Sacred Wood”. Although, important not to attach to a specific outcome or expectation of how that intention may unfold. There is a difference between intention and expectation. While intention may support in framing and later unpacking your experience, expectation can be limiting in that it demands a specific result. Try and be aware of this difference when approaching this work. Setting an intention without being attached to a specific outcome as to how that will unfold, is a helpful approach. They say that the spirit of iboga knows what you are needing, which is not necessarily what you are wanting, and to be trustful of the wisdom of the the plant, and open to how that may unfold.

Mental preparation

Practices aimed at centering and grounding yourself will prepare you to maximise the potential for a deeper transformative and healing experience. Taking the time to centre yourself through activities such as writing, walking, meditation, yoga/stretching or anything that helps to provide personal insight, body awareness and reflection is a great way to prepare for your experience. Allowing yourself some personal space and time to reflect on your inner thoughts and emotions will greatly benefit your overall experience and aid in reintegration.

Physical preparation

A good rule to remember is that the “cleaner” you are when you begin the session, the smoother it will be and the quicker your recovery time. This can be effected physically by modifying your diet at least one week prior by taking out pork, red meat, processed and fried foods and sugar. Replace these with simple, wholesome foods, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Avoid grapefruit, tonic water and Earl Grey tea.

And drink a lot of water.

The better overall physical health you are in will also play a role in the experience. If you don’t already, begin some simple form of exercise which increases your heart rate, such as walking a half hour to an hour a day. Build your stamina.

For your own safety we require at minimum a clearly scanned copy of a recent (max. three months old) EKG/ECG This is to ensure that you are able to physically withstand the rigours of the experience.

We reserve the right not to work with the full Iboga dose with those we do not consider to be a good fit.

Exclusions for an Iboga session include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Heart disease (i)
– Severely compromised liver functioning (ii)
– Psychosis & schizophrenia (iii)
– Epilepsy or history of seizures
– Emphysema
– Diabetes not controlled by diet or medication
– Pregnancy
– History of blood clots or coagulation problems
– Hypertension not controlled by diet or medication
– Stroke
– Kidney disease

Sometimes a lower dose or “micro-dose” regimen is appropriate, even with some of these conditions. It is imperative that you are entirely honest about your medical history and conditions, as the risks are very real, and can include serious injury and death. You lie, you die!

(i) Heart &/or Lungs: Iboga can be very physically demanding at high doses. One can self test by going for a jog and running until one’s heart is beating hard. If it doesn’t hurt and you feel fine and there is no chest pain and no breathing problems then you are probably in good shape. This however does not in any way exclude the need for a proper EKG/ECG test. This test however is not conclusive. If in doubt consider a 24-hour heart Holter, which is more secure than a straight EKG/ECG test.

(ii) Liver Problems: the liver is important in the processing of Iboga. For those whose livers have been compromised, taking Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) can help considerably to improve liver function. Also, Livotrit Plus, or Liver 52 is a classic Ayurvedic mix that reportedly will rebuild a liver even from very injured conditions.

(iii) Psychiatric Problems: Personality disorders can manifest in a session and present problems which may not be able to manage, like psychosis & schizophrenia. Depression and mood-disorders are not a reason for exclusion.


While Iboga can be very effective at healing and facilitating awareness of the deeper personal work that you have to do over the long term, it is not a ‘miracle cure’ and will not solve your problems for you. Expecting Iboga to solve all your problems and fix you may lead to disappointment, think of rather as a tool to help you heal yourself and as a first step on your journey towards well-being. This is a two-way relationship that you are entering into. Empower yourself to look deeply into what is needed in your life so that you may gain the fullest potential from your experience. Take your time to consider your existing state (of health) and what you may need to do over the long term to maximise your (healing) process. Dedicate time towards exploring your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs and be gentle with yourself knowing that it takes time to fulfil them.

The transformative nature of the Iboga experience will be most effective if you are dedicated and committed to following through over the long term with the personal insight you receive. Take time to think about what you would like to gain or learn from your experience and set some intentions to help guide your way. This means you have to be very clear about what it is you want from your experience. Think about it. Write it down. Imagine what it will look like when you have it. Setting your clear intentions will act as a rudder through the experience, decrease anxiety and set the tone.

The path to greater awareness and personal fulfilment can be a long road that requires focus and perseverance. Iboga can assist you on this path, though it is ultimately up to you to unlock the door to your own great potential.

Yann Guignon


Yann Guignon has been studying iboga since 2004, both in modern sciences and in traditional sciences. Since then, he has accompanied the meeting between more than a thousand people and this sacred plant throughout the world. His passion for phytotherapy and helping people in search of a better knowledge of themselves, as well as his expertise in the field of intercultural mediation between Gabon and the international world, make Yann a privileged advisor for all people who have a sincere and ethical approach to iboga. With a strong multidisciplinary network, he is a trusted guide, including with candidates concerned about their comfort and safety. Yann places particular emphasis on the complete preparation and lasting integration of your experience with the sensitive benevolence of a big brother.

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