Sidsel Marie Henriksen's picture

Sidsel Marie Henriksen

PhD Candidate

My PhD project, (Up)rooted healing: the embodied epistemologies of iboga/ine use, explores the therapeutic use of the tabernanthe iboga plant, its main alkaloid ibogaine, and its (semi-)synthetic derivates across history and current sites in Gabon and Europe. This is done with the aim of tracing how different modes of knowing, experiencing, and evaluating iboga/ine’s healing efficacy interact and transform when the shrub’s roots are uprooted from one setting and emplanted to others.


I follow the plant from its indigenous habitat in Gabon, through newly cultivated iboga plantations that are increasingly occurring in the country as one means to create sustainable pathways for meeting the increasing global demand, and into its local context of initiation and healing rituals among Bwiti practitioners. From Gabon, I will track the iboga root on its past and present trails into Europe. Through archival research, I investigate its initial travels into and off the pharmaceutical market in the early 20th century. Through ethnographic fieldwork, I explore its current usage for addiction treatment and psychospiritual healing in iboga/ine retreat and treatment centres in Europe. Finally, I follow the plant into current clinical research where researchers explore the efficacy and safety of ibogaine in the treatment of opioid addiction.


My main interest is exploring what it means to heal to those involved in the interrelated user sites, what constitutes the actants of the therapeutic encounter, what counts as efficacy, and how these practices, network, and discourses interact and change in the ongoing process of re-making and re-interpreting the iboga/ine and its effects. With the project, I wish to track the living matter-flow of how iboga/ine comes to be known, experienced, and made into a ‘medicine’ through embodied engagements in different socio-cultural settings.


My master thesis explored individual and collective practices and understandings of psychedelic integration among psychedelic users in Denmark. This notion refers to the prolonged, therapeutic practice and process that follows after the more immediate psychedelic experience and the user is left with the task of making sense and use of it in the context of everyday existence.


2022              Psychedelic integration – a relational affair?, public lecture at Hjerterum, Aarhus


2022              Podcast interview on psychedelic integration, Den Forbudte Skole


2021              ’No Magic Pill’ – glimpses from an anthropological fieldwork on integration among psychedelic users in Denmark, keynote presentation at Danish PsychedelicConference

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2024). ‘Psychedelics are no magic pill’: the narrative and embodied dimensions of psychedelic integration in Denmark. Anthropology of Consciousness.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Exploring Moral Bio-enhancement through Psilocybin-Facilitated Prosocial Effects . Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics (JCN). 23-64.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Enquete: Bøn som Vindue. Tidsskriftet Antropologi. 131-141.
Magister thesis
  • Show author(s) (2022). "No Magic Pill": An anthropological study on psychedelic integration among psychedelic users in Denmark.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)


2021              Exploring Moral Bio-enhancement through Psilocybin-Facilitated Prosocial Effects (with Victor Lange). In Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics Vol. 8:1 , pp. 23-64

2021              Hesychastic practices of and beyond the self – the ethical aspects of self-transformation. In Pan-Sophia Vol 4. Copenhagen: H.E.R.M.E.S. Academic Press, pp. 106-140

2021              Enquete: Bøn som Vindue. In Tidsskriftet Antropologi 84, p. 131-141

2022              Kan psilocybin forbedre vores moral? (with Victor Lange). In Paradoks: Tidsskrift for Filosofi & Teori (https://paradoks.nu/2022/09/29/kan-psilocybin-forbedre-vores-moral/)

2022            "No Magic Pill": An anthropological study on psychedelic integration among psychedelic users in Denmark (master thesis, available here)