How a Shaman’s Medicine is Curing Combat Veterans of PTSD
Wars should not be waged so frivolously as they are today, for the human spirit is too fragile to engage in such barbarity without suffering terrible consequences. Even the strongest, most dedicated, and most courageous of soldiers can be haunted for life after combat. Killing others and surviving death while buddies may not have been so lucky can do that to a man.
“PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that has had limited progress in the creation of viable treatment options for people afflicted with this despair and rage inducing disorder. Conventional medicine has come up with no long-term answers to the problem, which not only has a range of dangers for the person who has PTSD but also for the society at large.” [Source]
Getting for help for PTSD through the Veteran’s Administration is a frustrating experience for many returning from war, and the typical treatments follows the psychiactric model which prescribes counseling and psychotropic medications, which for many, only further cloud the psyche, preventing any true resolution of the fear and guilt associated with combat-related PTSD. As an alternative, many desperate veterans are seeking treatment from an unusual source, an entheogenic shamanic plant medicine from Africa, named iboga.
“Iboga is a psychoactive plant medicine derived from the root bark of a small African shrub, tabernanthe iboga, and has been used for perhaps thousands of years as a shamanic medicine and healing sacrament for tribal Africans of the Bwiti tradition and Pygmy peoples. The bark of the roots is removed, shredded, then ingested in raw form, or an extract of the primary psychoactive alkaloid, ibogaine, can be derived.” –Dylan Charles, Opiates, Iboga and the Roots of Self-Destruction
Taken in a proper, well-protected and guided ceremonial context, this medicine induces a fascinating and almost indescribable psychological and spiritual journey within the mind’s eye. It is known for its success in treating many persistent psychological neuroses including depression, anxiety, and compulsive behavior, and is especially well-known for its effectiveness in treating opiate addiction, which is becoming a serious public health crisis. It works because the induced journey triggers much deeper than typical awareness of the continuity of life, and opens a powerful spiritual connection to the eternal, loving consciousness of the universe.
Some compare the intense and extended psychological journey to the trips induced by well-known psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, and accordingly, it is listed as a schedule I controlled substance. The notable difference between psychedelics and iboga, however, is in the unmistakable spiritual nature of each journey, which most often leads people through a life review and a guided conversation with their own eternal soul, offering clarity and closure to painful issues.
“Tapping into your own database of memories, memes, and anchor points, the spirit of Iboga crystallizes momentous visuals on your inner chalk board, while many also hear a telepathic voice of truth both answering questions and pointing out blind spots over the course of a single session which can last up to 36 hours depending on your sensitivity, dose, and current state of consciousness.” -Dylan Charles, Iboga, the Matrix, and Pineal Gland Decalcification
For these reasons, evidence supporting the effectiveness of treating PTSD with iboga is largely antecdotal, not clinical, and while very few clinicians will attest grant it scientific efficacy, the real-life stories of people who’ve dirctly addressed and overcome PTSD with this shamanic medicine are quite intriguing. Many personal accounts of the unusual and life-changing iboga journey and how it relates to post-combat stress can be found online, adding further credibility to the argument that some medicines don’t have to be fully understood to be very effective.
Here is a section of a personal account of how the experience of iboga helped this author to overcome PTSD:
“I was allowed to see with intense clarity scenes from my life, moments of triumph and kindness, but more importantly times when I was monstrous and unkind…times when my PTSD reared its ugly head and I felt psychotically obligated to show the rest of the world my pain. I was shown also possible futures, outcomes both apocalyptic and serene, and I knew in those moments Mr. Iboga was showing me not simply my pathways through time, my life path, but the choice for us all to live in the light or perish in the darkness.
I understood in that moment that my fear had put me off the path towards the light, that all engulfing fear that possessed me with thoughts of worthlessness and suicide had become my temporal vehicle into a dismal and deadly future that wasn’t going to stop until it tore me away from every bit of love and light I held in the core of my heart. Mr. Iboga showed me how to open the door of this vessel of doom, how to send it careening into the abyss without me, and at the end of my arduous journey, 31 hrs. in total, how to let go of my affliction.” –D.M. Smith
In the following video testimonial, Eric from Fitchburg, Massachusetts talks about the effects that combat related PTSD has had on his life since experiencing heavy combat in Iraq in 2003, then describes his recent iboga treatment at Iboga Wellness Center in Costa Rica. His story is empowering for others like him who may be dealing with similar issues and have been let down by the assistance offered to our veterans by an increasingly inept and corrupt VA.
“Since coming home, things haven’t been real good. I never slept. One or two hours a night… waking up from nightmares… survivor’s guilt. Life was pretty miserable. Went to the VA for help. Spent a few separate times in special units for PTSD, never really got anywhere. Always just ‘try this med, try that med.’ Nothing ever seemed to really help, or it would just kind of make you feel like a zombie, not quite yourself.” – Eric, Iboga Wellness
With post tour-of-duty soldier suicides surpassing actual combat deaths in the war on terror, it is imperative that we give our veterans more effective options in coping and coming to terms with the lasting psychological damage inherent in war-fighting.
The Bwiti tradition of Africa, whose sacrement iboga has been a part of their lives for perhaps thousands of years, emphasize happiness as a critical pursuit in life, and with this medicine they receive the vision and spiritual clarity to remain steady on this path. Their generosity and love has inspired them to share this amazing spiritual medicine with a world is still not quite ready to fully understand or appreciate it.
Read more articles from Dylan Charles.
About the Author
Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and co-host of Redesigning Reality, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world.
Sources are embedded throughout article.
This article (How a Shaman’s Medicine is Curing Combat Veterans of PTSD) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dylan Charles and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.