Citation: FireflyTor. "I Decided to Settle for a More Local Medicine: An Experience with Voacanga africana (exp115408)". Erowid.org. May 3, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115408
Long-term Review of Voacanga Africana
I'm a Londoner currently based in Ibadan, Nigeria. After looking around here for psilocybin, fruitlessly, to treat the depression/OCD I've lived with for 8 years, I decided to settle for a more local medicine: voacanga africana. My depression and OCD were caused, I'm guessing, by early childhood trauma. So I see the depression and OCD as symptoms of a root cause, not primary conditions on their own. I am hoping that by treating the root, I'll gain relief from the depression and OCD. I've also had past manic episodes but the jury is still out on whether I 'have' bipolar or not.
I'm being seen by a medical doctor who has specialist knowledge of the plant. I really only recommend taking this with someone who knows exactly what they're doing. I'm currently at a retreat center, miles away from the nearest city. It's very quiet here, and I have daily check-in sessions with the doctor. I take the voacanga by myself, after eating a light meal.
The doc prescribed two teaspoons of the powdered root bark, twice a day. I've been taking it for five days. He said the effects will start showing in about a week.
My preparation: stir the powder into hot water and let sit for 15 minutes. Sweeten with honey if required... and I most certainly DID require. Haha. The stuff is disgusting to taste.
It is extremely bitter (although I've tasted other more bitter substances), and makes me feel nauseous for about 20 minutes, after which I feel fine. Each time I took it on an empty stomach, I vomited my guts out. I've taken it both in the morning and the evening, and it does not affect my sleeping patterns. Then again, my sleeping patterns are already messed up by -- Life.
I've not experienced most of the feelings I usually get with psychedelics, but perhaps because I'm not taking a massive dose. In fact, the dose varies by person, and by what you are trying to treat.
The only thing I've noticed so far is: a slight antidepressant effect that comes on about 2 hours after the dose. And, at the same time, a greater sense of the totality of my being; I seem to be more aware of my positives, and not just of my negatives. Truth be told, I'd rather just take a couple massive doses over three days, à la iboga and mushroom trips... and be done with it/just microdose afterwards. It tastes like absolute shit and, for now, has been only mildly helpful. For this deep trauma work, my go-to will always be psilocybin, in the right setting, but until I can access some the voacanga will have to do.
On a side note: the recent data from psychedelic studies is great but just proves what the old-timers already know... psychedelics work. It's just a shame that when I get back to London, I'll have no access to the approved treatments (cost, distance), so will likely have to find it (MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin) from tainted sources.
Here's to continued healing, for me and for all.
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