Alchornea floribunda – Alan Root

Members of the Byeri group of the Fang in Gabon, a precursor to today’s Bwiti tribe, once consumed large amounts of the root of A. floribunda, which they call alan, as part of initiatory rituals. It is said that the effects are weaker and not as long lasting as those of iboga (Tabernanthe iboga), the entheogen which the Byeri now regularly use in initiations. During such a ritual, the initiate is be shown the skulls of his or her ancestors, and the alan root assists them in communicating with the spirits of these invidivuals. A. floribunda is still used today by the Byeri alongside iboga for ritual purposes, and alone as an aphrodisiac.