Iboga is a shrub. It is used for ritual and ceremonial purposes in some African cultures. The root bark of the plant is also used as medicine. Ibogaine is a chemical in iboga which is illegal in the United States. People take iboga for fever, influenza (the flu), swine flu, high blood pressure, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and nerve disorders. They also take it for preventing fatigue and drowsiness, for increasing sex drive, for fighting substance abuse and addictions, and as a general tonic.
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Moringa leaves are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
Seed extracts are used by French and German pharmaceutical manufacturers in medicines for geriatric use, for treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. There has been a steady trade in seeds since the 1980s, with several hundred tonnes of seeds exported to these customers from CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, DR Congo and Congo.
The fruit is considered edible and a root decoction is drunk three times daily to treat post-partum pains and hernia. The wood has its uses too: for arrows and sheaths, musical instruments and its fibres are strong enough to make rope.
A traditional African use of the voacanga seeds is to produce visions – when ingested, voacanga africana causes a mild to strong stimulation lasting several hours, and higher doses are said to have a strong hallucinogenic effect. The root bark is used as a hunting drug and stimulant. Itâ€™s also reported to be a potent aphrodisiac.