Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
Ibogaine Uncovered

Ibogaine Uncovered

By Beond

Can the psychedelic ibogaine really get to the root of trauma? In Ibogaine Uncovered, author and journalist Amanda Siebert explores the impact of this powerful medicine including what prompts people to seek it out and how their lives are often transformed through the teachings they receive. Guests take an honest look at their healing journey, unpacking their lived experiences with substance use disorder, complex trauma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and grief. Expert guests also provide listeners with wisdom for their own healing journey.
Available on
Amazon Music Logo
Apple Podcasts Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
iHeartRadio Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

#3 - Elizabeth Bast (SoulCentro): Ibogaine, Relapse and Relationships

Ibogaine UncoveredNov 30, 2022

#18: Dr. Gül Dölen: Can Ibogaine Open Critical Periods?

#18: Dr. Gül Dölen: Can Ibogaine Open Critical Periods?

Dr. Gül Dölen, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. In her lab, her team focuses on how the brain enables social behaviors through basic neurobiological processes such as neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity. Dölen has led several headline-making studies in the psychedelic field, including one in 2018 that involved giving MDMA to octopuses, and a more recent study that revealed psychedelics can reopen the “critical period” in the brain.

What we discuss:

  • How Dr. Dölen became interested in studying psychedelics after focusing on learning and memory as well as the pathogenesis of autism

  • The study that turned things around: why study the effects of psychedelics in an evolutionarily distant species like the octopus?

  • What giving octopuses MDMA revealed about their normally solitary behavior

  • The implications in the world of psychedelic science after studying their effects on this kind of animal

  • Defining critical periods: What are they? What are the benefits of experiencing a critical period?

  • Dr. Dölen’s hypothesis: Could psychedelics be the “master key” to reopening critical periods?

  • Which drugs are best at reopening critical periods? Where does ibogaine stand?

  • Are there any risks associated with experiencing an abundance of critical periods?

  • The problem with the word ‘plasticity’

Why it’s important: 

Dr. Dölen’s pioneering research–both the study of MDMA in octopuses and her more recent work on unlocking critical periods–allows us to look at psychedelic drugs in different ways: in evolutionarily distant species with entirely different brain structures, and as “master keys” that could potentially unlock those periods. While there aren’t many studies that put different psychedelic drugs on a spectrum of efficacy, her work shows that among MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, and ketamine, ibogaine leads the way when it comes to opening critical periods – a piece of information that (hopefully) encourages more scientists in the psychedelic space to study this powerful medicine. 

Relevant Links:

Sep 16, 202353:33
#17: Talia Eisenberg & Vianey Perez: The Intake Process

#17: Talia Eisenberg & Vianey Perez: The Intake Process

Curious about the process of applying for ibogaine treatment? Want to know more about how staff screen potential clients? In this episode, Amanda Siebert is joined by two previous guests, Beond co-founder Talia Eisenberg and VP of clinical operations, Vianey “Nurse V” Perez, for a deep dive on Beond’s intake process, including details on medical screening, personalized care, and potential challenges or red flags. 

What we discuss:

  • Why a person might seek out ibogaine treatment

  • The length of time the intake process takes: if I were to inquire tomorrow, what’s the earliest I could be in treatment?

  • How involved the medical team is in the intake process

  • What makes someone a good candidate for ibogaine treatment? 

  • What if someone has failed at other types of treatment?

  • Potential red-flags

  • Challenges that clients might face while in treatment

  • Do people ever have to leave treatment? What’s the protocol?

Why it’s important: 

Deciding to pursue treatment with a psychedelic drug as powerful and potent as ibogaine can come with a hefty side of anxiety. The goal in creating this episode was to provide listeners with a resource that might help quell some of that stress.

Aug 03, 202301:06:55
#16 - The State of Ibogaine: A Psychedelic Science Recap

#16 - The State of Ibogaine: A Psychedelic Science Recap

This episode is a little different. Join host Amanda Siebert for an ibogaine-focused recap of the 2023 MAPS Psychedelic Science conference. This episode features audio clips from the closing ceremony featuring Norma Lotsof, and an in-person interview with David Nassim, the co-director of Blessings of the Forest.

Topics of discussion:

  • three ongoing ibogaine studies and the researchers behind them

  • Lucy Walker’s latest film, Of Night and Light: The Story of Iboga and Ibogaine, and the (long overdue) recognition of Norma Lotsof

  • the role of veterans in relation to psychedelic policy

  • efforts in Kentucky to study ibogaine for opioid use disorder

  • the implications of increased ibogaine use in North America for communities in Gabon (where iboga is harvested)

  • the important work of the non-profit organization Blessings of the Forest

Why it’s important: 

Amanda’s mission in attending Psychedelic Science 2023 was to learn as much as she could about where ibogaine is at, not just from a medical or political standpoint, but from a cultural one, too. Tune in to hear her relay knowledge from experts who have been critical to the support we see for ibogaine treatment and therapy, and from advocates who are doing the challenging work of ensuring that this medicine is harvested and used in a sustainable way.

Relevant Links:

Jul 10, 202329:60
#15 - David Bronner: The Soap CEO Spearheading Psychedelics

#15 - David Bronner: The Soap CEO Spearheading Psychedelics

David Bronner is the CEO – that’s Cosmic Engagement Officer – of Dr. Bronner’s, a fifth-generation soap maker, and a board member of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. At the helm of the company started by his grandfather in 1948, David is a leader in the fight for GMO labeling, industrial hemp farming in the United States, high-bar organic and fair trade standards, fair minimum wage, and drug policy reform. 

What we discuss:

  • How a profound psychedelic experience took David from an apolitical college graduate and set him on the path to becoming a counter cultural thought leader

  • I ask him What it means to be passionate about “the responsible integration of psychedelic medicine into  American culture” – especially within the capitalistic framework within which we exist

  • Dr. Bronner being the first company in the U.S. to offer ketamine-assisted therapy as part of employee health coverage

  • How David found iboga through his friend and former Navy SEAL Marcus Capone

  • What iboga/ibogaine can do for the veteran population 

  • Will we see the mainstreaming of ibogaine like we have with psilocybin?

  • What David’s favorite integration tools are

  • Parallels between the overharvesting of certain plant medicines and industrial agriculture

Why it’s important: 

Given all the ongoing evil in the world, it can be easy to feel swallowed up by capitalism – to feel stuck, hopeless, and afraid for the future. My conversation with David reminded me that even within an ill-structured system, it takes just a few people in positions of leadership – people like David and David’s father and grandfather –  to spark change and inspire more holistic business practices, and ultimately, more holistic ways of living. 

Relevant Links:

Jun 29, 202344:38
#14 - Deborah Mash: The Lioness of Ibogaine Research

#14 - Deborah Mash: The Lioness of Ibogaine Research

Dr. Deborah Mash is a pioneering researcher of ibogaine and one of the world’s foremost experts on the drug. She is a professor (emeritus) of neurology and molecular and cellular pharmacology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and the founder and CEO of DemeRx, a company developing treatments for opioid use disorder. 

What we discuss:

  • How Dr. Mash first became interested in ibogaine, including her connection to Howard Lotsof, an early ibogaine advocate

  • The structure of the ibogaine molecule and what makes it unique from other psychedelics

  • Dr. Mash’s early research: the first clinical studies of ibogaine in humans

  • Noribogaine: what it is and what it does 

  • Ibogaine fatalities: is everyone who takes it is at equal risk of death?

  • How far have we come in terms of reframing our view of substance use disorder?

  • If ibogaine was rescheduled, what could the future of treatment look like?

Why it’s important: 

In the excitement of the psychedelic renaissance, it can feel like all of this is “new.” It’s often said that there isn't enough research to support the use of ibogaine in a clinical setting, but Dr. Mash’s work is part of a growing body of evidence that proves otherwise. Reconciling her work and the stories you’ve heard on this show with the fact that ibogaine is still a Schedule I substance in the United States – meaning it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse – is hard to do. Understanding and working to change drug policy through research is a long game. We’re lucky that an expert like Dr. Mash is staying on the field.

Relevant Links:

Jun 08, 202301:00:49
#13 - Caroline Lee: Death, Grief, and Ibogaine

#13 - Caroline Lee: Death, Grief, and Ibogaine

Caroline Lee is a death doula, therapist, and photographer based in Oakland, California, where she is currently training to become a somatic psychologist and psychedelic therapist. She had the opportunity to receive ibogaine treatment about eight months ago. 

What we discuss:

  • What is a death doula? What does it mean to be in relationship with death, and why is this an important relationship to consider?

  • How Caroline envisions psychedelics fitting into our rituals around death, if laws were changed and psychedelics were available at end-of-life for people suffering from palliative anxiety

  • The potential applications of ibogaine for palliative anxiety and more, from a therapist’s perspective

  • Should therapists be required to take psychedelics if they want to offer psychedelic-assisted therapy?

  • How ibogaine helped Caroline process the grief she experienced after a divorce that marked the end of a 16-year relationship 

  • What death and the end of relationships have in common

  • What Caroline’s work as a doula and a therapist have taught her about the role of grief

Why it’s important: 

You’ve heard it said before but I feel like it needs to be said more often: death is a part of life – and this conversation really showed me that talking about it openly isn’t morbid or negative or inherently bad in any way - it’s a way for us to stay more connected to the present moment. Feeling into the grief that we feel when someone dies, or when a relationship ends, expands our capacity for emotion – and using psychedelics including ibogaine can allow us to not only come to terms with those emotions, but arrive at a feeling of peace around our own mortality. 

Relevant Links:

May 17, 202358:11
#12 - Troy Casey: Exploring the Depths of Anger

#12 - Troy Casey: Exploring the Depths of Anger

Troy Casey is a holistic health practitioner and life coach who has spent the last 20 years helping people to eat, move, and feel better. Known as Certified Health Nut on YouTube and Instagram, Troy is an authority on longevity and leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. He’s also the author of Ripped at 50: A Journey to Self Love.

What we discuss:

  • Troy’s reason for undergoing ibogaine treatment. As someone who lives a very healthy lifestyle, I ask the obvious question: why might someone like Troy seek out ibogaine? 

  • Social media and vulnerability: is there a difference between what people see on social media, and what’s going on in the background? 

  • Troy’s goal of Finding balance in a world where so much of what we consume works against our physical and mental health

  • How ibogaine has helped him “get out of his own way”

  • How anger has manifested in Troy’s life, and what might be at the root of it

  • Creating space for anger while learning to shed bravado and “toxic” masculinity 

Why it’s important: 

In a world where we’re being more encouraged to feel our emotions, anger is one we still have trouble with. Anger or rage issues are incredibly common, affecting about 10 percent of Americans pre-covid – and after we’ve all suffered an extended period of isolation, the feelings we’ve suppressed are increasingly coming out in violent ways. Dealing with it can be a challenge. Troy’s experience with ibogaine sheds light on the inner battles that we face, and his response to it reinforces the idea that no human is ever “finished” their healing – or as Troy puts it, no one every truly “arrives” - and having that belief can sometimes be our downfall. 

Relevant Links:

Apr 29, 202352:51
#11 - Julia Reibelt: Learning the Language of the Heart

#11 - Julia Reibelt: Learning the Language of the Heart

Julia Reibelt is a director at Evolve Ventures and Foundation, and a former independent consultant for MAPS, with an MBA from Columbia Business School. Julia has put her corporate background to use in the burgeoning psychedelic space. She’s also spreading the word about psychedelics on TikTok with her account, @findjules, where she has over 100k followers. 

What we discuss:

  • Some of the common misconceptions that Julia’s heard from her audience about psychedelics and ibogaine 

  • Julia’s previous experiences with plant medicine, which helped her to overcome diagnoses including eating disorders, C-PTSD, PMDD and depression. Did this work better prepare her for ibogaine? 

  • What separates ibogaine from other plant medicines

  • The “blueprint for life” given to Julia by ibogaine intended to help her maintain clarity

  • How Julia manages her relationship with social media post-ibogaine

  • Julia’s primary lesson from ibogaine: what is the language of the heart?

Why it’s important: 

If we believe that ibogaine is a tool that can help us achieve better mental, physical, and spiritual health, it’s important that we remember to use it in conjunction with other tools. Julia’s experience teaches us that, one) it’s never just plant medicine alone that can help us move through challenging periods in our lives, and 2) the answers we seek outside of ourselves – and often from plant medicine – exist within us. It comes down to our ability to tune in and listen to the language of our own hearts.

Relevant Links:

Apr 20, 202342:49
#10 - Dr. Kate Stone: A Creative Scientist Deconstructs Her Depression

#10 - Dr. Kate Stone: A Creative Scientist Deconstructs Her Depression

Originally from the United Kingdom, Dr. Kate Stone is a creative scientist, physicist, engineer and tech founder living in Los Angeles. She is the founder and CEO at Novalia, where she and her team create interactive posters and other everyday objects that embody the magic of interactivity and connectivity. Think posters that talk, books that turn into pianos, and walls that play music. She’s also an avid adventurer, a parent, and keynote speaker.

What we discuss:

  • Coming into her ibogaine treatment, Dr. Kate had almost no experience with psychedelic drugs. We talk about her fears and expectations, and how she hoped an experience with ibogaine might help with her depression and anxiety.

  • Dr. Kate’s experience of witnessing the most powerful moments of her life, and the impact that has had on how she lives her life from one day to the next and where she chooses to put her focus

  • Feeling low post-ibogaine, and how those experiences have given her a better understanding of what triggers her depression

  • How ibogaine helped Dr. Kate feel more connected to the needs of her body

  • The impact of having a digital detox and the value of not having a smart phone for a few days

Why it’s important: It’s a common misconception that a single powerful experience with a psychedelic can “get rid” of our mental health issues – but the reality is, even when we’re doing the work to feel better, we will still face highs and sometimes, earth shattering lows in life. Dr Kate’s experience illustrates that a journey with ibogaine can provide us with a better understanding of what prompts our depression and anxiety, and with a sense of compassion and resilience for when these feelings might arise again. 

Relevant Links:

Mar 31, 202336:38
#9 - Kaia Roman: It Took the Garbage out of My Brain

#9 - Kaia Roman: It Took the Garbage out of My Brain

Kaia Roman is a bestselling author, service-driven entrepreneur, intrepid biohacker, producer, investor and philanthropist living and working in Silicon Valley. Specializing in the fields of health, technology, and sustainability for 20 years, she has also been the marketing and PR muscle behind the launch of several businesses and organizations.

What we discuss:

  • Kaia’s role in the burgeoning psychedelic industry and what drives her to try different psychedelic medicines in a space where not all involved are interested in having a personal relationship with psychedelic drugs
  • Kaia’s relationship with biohacking, and how ibogaine fits into that relationship
  • The similarities and differences between Kaia’s experiences with iboga and ibogaine, including how its consumed, differences in dose, and set and setting, as well as the different levels of discomfort in these experiences
  • What it felt like for Kaia to meet herself as a four-year-old, and how that meeting led to a profound shift in safety, clarity, and authenticity for Kaia
  • The value of pre- and post-treatment integration coaching
  • How Kaia’s experience led to a sharp focus on her mission and how she can best serve

Why it’s important: Kaia’s experience with ibogaine might be outside of what you’ve come to relate to this drug. It illustrates that ibogaine can be used in more ways than helping us put an end to addictive behaviors – that it can help us connect with the parts of ourselves that feel unsafe and aid us in releasing our attachment to story lines that keep us small. It gives us an opportunity to upgrade.

Relevant Links:

Mar 17, 202340:45
#8 - Flor Bollini (NANA): A Medicine Carrier’s Most Impactful Psychedelic Experience

#8 - Flor Bollini (NANA): A Medicine Carrier’s Most Impactful Psychedelic Experience

Flor Bollini is a creative entrepreneur, strategist, and medicine carrier – and the founder of NANA Heals. She’s also trained as a Iyanifa, a priestess of the IFA divination system, and is a student of  Ayurveda, Shamanism, and Africanism. She has been receiving and serving medicine for more than 15 years, and says her recent treatment with ibogaine was the most impactful psychedelic experience she’s ever had.

What we discuss:

  • Flor, a seasoned psychonaut who has had hundreds of psychedelic experiences, speaks to her profound recent experience with ibogaine in Mexico, where she took almost 1 gram of the medicine
  • Flor’s approach to the medicine: to explore her light, to see herself fully, to gain an understanding of how she is perceived, to surrender, and to get out of her own way.
  • The intense visions and representations Flor witnessed: full blown virtual reality at scale of divine proportion, and cartoonish characters in sophisticated theatrical outfits that felt so real, Flor confused them with nurses in the treatment room
  • How these visions made Flor feel (while ibogaine may have a reputation for being “scary,” Flor says what she witnessed was more beautiful than anything she’d ever seen while sitting with other medicines)
  • The important messages she received from ibogaine, and how it allowed her to embrace her femininity in a new way

Why it’s important: Ibogaine specifically and psychedelics more broadly are often discussed and used in the context of healing trauma and facing our shadow, but Flor’s experience with ibogaine shows that when used with intention, this medicine can also enable us to get more comfortable with our light.

Relevant Links:

Mar 01, 202301:00:14
#7 - Brigit Ritchie: 56 Questions for Ibogaine
Feb 10, 202346:22
#6 - Kerry Rhodes: The Supporter’s Role

#6 - Kerry Rhodes: The Supporter’s Role

Kerry Rhodes is a former NFL safety who played in the league for 9 years, first for the New York Jets and then for the Arizona Cardinals, until 2013. Today he is a musician, writer, director, producer, and actor, who hasn’t exactly shied away from talking about his own personal use of psychedelics and how they have changed his life for the better.

What we discuss:

  • Kerry’s experiences with psychedelic medicine
  • the role psychedelics could have for folks in professional sports leagues
  • the role of the supporter: what does it look like to support a family member, a friend, a loved one through the ibogaine experience?
  • How to best support someone who is about to undergo an ibogaine treatment
  • The importance of preparation, integration, and community
  • advice for those in a supporter’s role

Why it’s important: Supporting a loved one through a traumatic period in their lives can be incredibly challenging, because it requires a level of surrender on the part of the supporter, too – a sense of trust in the process, and a willingness to let go of control. Kerry’s experience shows us how vital support from a loved one can be in taking the initial step to seek treatment, and how that support can allow a person to learn to trust the process, too.

Relevant Links:

Jan 24, 202334:23
#5 - Vianey “Nurse V.” Ariadna Perez: A Nurse’s Perspective on Ibogaine

#5 - Vianey “Nurse V.” Ariadna Perez: A Nurse’s Perspective on Ibogaine

Vianey Ariadna Perez, or Nurse V. as everyone at Beond calls her, is a registered nurse and the head of nursing at Beond. Nurse V. has overseen more than 500 ibogaine experiences, and a few months ago, she also had her own experience with the powerful medicine. Born in Mexico and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she studied at a private nursing university and worked in Cancun’s General Hospital in several different departments before she began working with ibogaine in 2018.

There are some obvious things required of Beond’s nursing staff, and some less obvious things. In this episode, Nurse V. discusses some of the finer points of being a nurse in this kind of setting, and shares about her experience of witnessing transformational changes in the people she cares for.

Nurse V. opens up about her own experience with ibogaine in the spring of 2022, and she discusses a topic on the minds of several people in the psychedelic space: is it necessary for people who work with a psychedelic medicine like ibogaine to have their own experience with the medicine?

She also offers up advice to folks with nursing experience who might be considering working in this growing space.

Why it’s important: Nurse V presents a different perspective on ibogaine treatment: not one from the patient’s chair or the science lab but from directly opposite a patient, within the treatment room, and as the leader of a nursing team overseeing several patients who are at different points in their ibogaine treatment plan. Learning about Nurse V’s experiences with ibogaine, both personal and professional, provides a level of insight into treatment that could be new for listeners.


Jan 09, 202347:52
#4 - Dr. Andrew Tatarsky: Why Drug Abstinence Only Doesn't Work

#4 - Dr. Andrew Tatarsky: Why Drug Abstinence Only Doesn't Work

Dr. Tatarsky is internationally recognized for his work in the treatment of problematic substance use and other risky behaviors. For the last 35 years he’s worked as a counselor, psychologist, program director, trainer, advocate and author, with a focus on harm reduction psychotherapy.
When it comes to therapy for people suffering from substance use disorder, the focus is generally not on harm reduction but on complete abstinence. That’s where this discussion kicks off – talking about the standard practices in the psychotherapy field for addiction.
The belief that people cannot benefit from psychotherapy until they are sober or they’ve stopped using is very common in the field.Dr. Tatarsky’s approach has been the opposite. He speaks to how the harm reduction approach in psychotherapy disproves the idea that one must be abstinent before they can benefit from therapy, and not only that, how traditional models of drug and alcohol treatment can often create further harm for people suffering from addiction. He has a name for this: treatment trauma.
He also discusses the origins of harm reduction psychotherapy, his early involvement in the field, and how it has affected substance use disorder treatment on a broader level.
Amanda asks Dr. Tatarsky some questions critics of harm reduction might have: if the goal of harm reduction therapy is not abstinence, what is it? What are the challenges of a harm reduction approach?
Dr. Tatarsky shares about his work in New York City, the recent implementation of harm reduction measures in the state of New York, and finally, if a harm reduction approach and ibogaine treatment can be complimentary.
Why it’s important:
Dr. Tatarsky brings up valid points that challenge standard psychotherapy models for substance use disorder, which are not only ineffective but dehumanizing. Through the harm reduction model, clients are offered a holistic approach to healing rooted in empathy, one that humanizes them and often leads to improved quality of life. Looking at drug treatment more broadly and ibogaine more specifically through his lens might challenge some of the preconceived notions you have about substance use disorder and drug treatment, in a good way.
Relevant links:

Dr. Andrew Tatarsky’s website
The Center for Optimal Living website
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky’s book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems
Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A Case of Substance Use, Multiple Trauma, and Suicidality by Andrew Tatarsky and Scott Kellog
The Challenge of Harm Reduction: Changing Attitudes Toward Addiction Treatment by Dr. Andrew Tatarsky
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky on Twitter
Dec 14, 202256:35
#3 - Elizabeth Bast (SoulCentro): Ibogaine, Relapse and Relationships
Nov 30, 202256:24
#2 - Dr. Thomas Kingsley Brown: Ibogaine: Past and Present

#2 - Dr. Thomas Kingsley Brown: Ibogaine: Past and Present

Dr. Thomas Kingsley Brown, an anthropologist, chemist and a MAPS researcher who studies the potential for ibogaine-assisted therapy to treat drug addiction, among other things. He is the research program coordinator at the University of California San Diego McNair program, and an advisor to Beond.

What’s covered:

  • How ibogaine stacks up against standard treatment models for addiction
  • Dr. Brown’s research on the long-term effects of ibogaine treatment: does it last?
  • the recent history of ibogaine
  • Who is Howard Lotsof?
  • How and why ibogaine was scheduled in the United States
  • Psychedelic drug policy
  • What Dr. Brown’s research shows about the importance of integration and support after treatment
  • Can a psychedelic experience feel like a religious conversion?

Why it’s important:

If you’re interested in learning more about both the long-term effects of ibogaine, and ibogaine’s history, this episode is for you. Dr. Kingsley Brown also does an excellent job of explaining why ibogaine is where it’s at right now as far as policy and research. His explanations of his own work on ibogaine’s long-term effects speak to the potential that it has in treating addiction effectively.

Relevant links:

Nov 29, 202238:44
#1 - Talia Eisenberg (Beond): Beyond Addiction with Ibogaine
Nov 28, 202239:37