What is Kambô?
Known as the Giant Green Monkey Tree Frog in the West, the waxy secretion from this Amazonian amphibian carries the reputation for being one of the most powerful natural substances to bring the mind-body-soul connection back into balance.
Traditionally, Kambo is used to ensure hunting success by increasing strength, energy, endurance, and heightening the senses, as well as being used as a general jungle medicine to treat snake bites, malaria, infections, pathogens and fever. One of it’s other well known uses is clearing away ”panema”, which loosely translate to dark, heavy, negative energies.
Alongside indigenous use, many thousands of people around the globe are recognizing Kambo for being a multi-dimensional healing medicine for a wide variety of illnesses and challenges across all levels of being:
The physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual.
History of the Frog:
Kambo is found all across the Amazonian basin, from Peru to Brazil to Colombia and beyond. Various tribes have their own
traditions and legends about the origins of Kambo.
Here is one of the most well known legends comes from the Kaxinawá people, also referred to as the Huni Kuin, indigenous to Brazil.
Once upon a time, many moons ago, a medicine man known as Kampu tried desperately to cure his tribes people who were incredibly sick. He used all kinds of medicinal herbs but nothing was helping, so he journeyed deep into the forest to receive guidance from Ayahuasca, a sacred visionary plant medicine. It was here that Kampu was visited by a spirit guardian, who delicately carried a frog in her hands. She taught him about the healing properties of this frog, including how to use its secretion to cure his ailing tribe. After returning with this profound knowledge and wisdom, he was able use the secretion to rid his people of their illnesses.
It is said that after Kampu’s death, his spirit lived on in the frog, becoming a protector and guardian of the forest, while gifting the people with the ability to continue using this powerful healing medicine.
Despite the intense and challenging nature of Kambo, there are many
reasons why people return to this indigenous medicine.
In the right setting, Kambo offers us opportunities to realign and recalibrate to deeper levels of health, wellness, heart, and spirit. The secretion contains numerous bioactive peptides which trigger beneficial bodily responses conducive to systemic healing.
On a physical level, Kambo initiates a potent detoxification and cleansing process, carrying great potential to help those who suffer from many ailments. Some of the issues that Kambo can assist with include chronic fatigue, chronic pain, inflammation, recurrent infections, alcohol and drug addictions, fertility issues, thyroid problems, parasitic, bacterial, fungal and pathogenic infections, candida, gut problems, lyme disease, HIV, herpes, hepatitis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers, autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and much more.Kambo also offers potent assistance when it comes recalibrating the nervous and endocrine system, helping to bring homeostasis and harmony to chronic imbalances.
Aside from targeting specific health conditions, Kambo can offer benefits when it comes to psychological health and well-being, helping to improve our cognitive capacities, bringing clarity of mind, overcoming limiting beliefs, increasing focus, heightening our awareness and sharpening the senses.
On an emotional level, Kambo is a powerful ally when it comes to anxiety, depression and stress, PTSD, clearing emotional baggage, processing and healing past traumas, enhancing resilience to stress and fatigue, while boosting overall mood and well-being.
Energetic & Spiritual:
Energetically and spiritually, Kambo can help us create a deeper connection to our hearts, and to the natural world around us. Alongside Kambo’s potential to cleanse the energy field and rebalance the chakras. Kambo can help bring clarity to our hearts calling and souls expression; illuminating our values, our truths, and our wisdom within. Kambo can also be used in the context of end-of-life transition, helping loved one’s cross the rainbow bridge as pain-free, fear-free and joyful as possible.
What happens in Ceremony?
Kambo is an extraordinarily intuitive medicine.
We could look at Kambo from the scientific side, assessing the various peptides and their physiological response on the body, or, from the metaphysical side, looking at how it works holistically and energetically. Either way, Kambo seems to know exactly how and where to navigate within our individual systems, with each experience being unique in it’s own way.
The safest way to administer Kambo is through the skin, into the lymphatic system. A special stick or vine is used to burn small “gates” onto the very top layer of skin; akin to a very mild blister. This blistered skin is carefully removed, leaving a small opening.
A small wooden stick contains the dried secretion, which is reconstituted with water and divided into small points. Approximately 10-15 minutes IMMEDIATELY prior to having Kambo applied, a reasonable amount of water is consumed to help mitigate some of the heat rise in the body and to assist with the purging process.
The Kambo secretion is then applied onto the small burn sites. This allows the secretion to enter the body via the lymphatic system, where the effects are felt almost immediately.
Traditionally, men have the medicine applied to their upper left arm or chest, while women typically have it placed on their lower right leg.
Kambo treatments can also incorporate chakra points, as well as auricular (ear) and meridian points. The type of treatment will depend on prior experience, subsequent treatments, and one’s intentions for taking Kambo.
During the experience, Kambo is scanning and navigating it’s way around the body.
While there are never any guarantees as to what Kambo will offer, most people report a combination of uncomfortable and intense sensations, generally coming on immediately after Kambo is applied onto the skin, and passing with 20-45 minutes. A warmth and flushing of the skin often arises, with an increase in heart rate, and growing pressure in the head and upper body. People may experience slight swelling, dizziness, shaking, trembling, tingling, sweating, nausea, pain, cathartic release, purging, defecation and even fainting.
Although fainting may sound disconcerting, it’s a completely normal process in the context of working with Kambo. The physiological process behind fainting is due to the temporary reduction in blood pressure, however it doesn’t just stop there. It’s likely that there are energetic processes at play, with the system potentially needing to ‘reboot’ to allow for larger actions to occur, such as the discharge of dense heavy energy, or subconscious trauma release.
The purging process is certainly encouraged and for the most part an inherent physiological response, allowing and aiding the body to release the toxins and energies that aren’t serving us – physically, emotionally, mentally and energetically.
Purging can come in a number of different ways – from the top end, the bottom end, and as mentioned, through profuse sweating, shaking, crying, or any other kind of cathartic release. In some instances however, it doesn’t come at all. Whatever the case, the purging process is a process to embrace. We don’t view it as being sick. Instead, we view it as getting well.
As mentioned, there are never any guarantees in the discomfort one may experience, with people occasionally reporting deep states of calm meditation, alongside feelings of euphoria and bliss.
Immediately after the process, you’ll feel
invigorated, or exhausted.
Either way, it’s important to rest up to let the full potential for Kambo’s mind-body-spirit healing power to unfurl. The subsequent days after a treatment is when people generally begin to feel the real benefits of Kambo, feeling clean, clear, rejuvenated and energised. For some, the after-effects are more subtle.
There are a number of people that will experience a herxheimer response, also known as a “healing crisis”, in the days following their treatment. This is a detoxification reaction to the body clearing out large amounts of toxins.
If you’re knowingly, or unknowingly, carrying a latent illness, it’s entirely possible for new or old symptoms of this illness to bubble up to the surface. Kambo has the potential to uproot dense and dormant energies, so that your body can continue to clear out whatever needs to be removed from the system, aligning to its own innate healing wisdom.
As with any kind of transformational work, integration – the period of time after the actual experience – is one of the most important aspects of the process. If you’re going back to an unhealthy lifestyle, the benefits won’t be as pronounced. The key here is to work in conjunction with these medicines; taking the necessary steps to align to deeper levels of health, wellness, virtues, values, heart, soul and spirit.
The Science Behind
An Italian scientist and Nobel prize nominee, Vittorio Erspamer of the University of Rome was the first person to analyze Kambo in a lab. In 1986, he wrote that it contains a ‘fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian’. The chemicals that he referred to were peptides – short chain amino acids that make up proteins in our body. We are made of water, peptides, and protein. Currently there are over 70 Kambo patents lodged, mainly in the USA. While scientists have been able to isolate and synthesize some of the peptides in kambo, there is no substitute for the real thing.Some of the peptides in kambo are neuropeptides, which means that they specifically affect the activity of the brain and body by communicating with neurons. Insulin, oxytocin, and endorphins are examples of integral neuropeptides. Other peptides found in kambo are bioactive, composed of a specific chain of amino acids which perform a function that the body recognizes as beneficial. The body opens to kambo at a cellular level, allowing it to clean out deposits left in the cells by foreign substances with no stress to the cells. This combination of peptides is a unique key that unlocks the body, allowing kambo cross the blood-brain barrier rather than being filtered out by the body’s defense system. This makes kambo an extremely powerful way to reach and treat disease.
Kambo peptides include:
1- Dermorphin – has an opiate like effect on mu-opioid receptors, making it a very potent painkiller with effects 30-40 times stronger than morphine.
decreased blood levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol
Prolactin is a hormone that drives milk production during breastfeeding. The Kambo peptide dermorphin increased the production of prolactin in healthy 28 human subjects (RCT). Dermorphin could potentially be developed for use in new mothers who are not producing enough milk for their babies
2- Deltorphin – is also a powerful painkiller and delta opioid agonist.
3- Phyllomedusin – A neuropeptide that has a powerful effect on intestines and bowels(salivary glands, tear ducts, intestines, and bowels; it contracts the smooth muscles), contributing to the purging often experienced when taking kambo.
4- – This neuropeptide can cause a long lasting reduction in blood pressure. potent blood vessel dilators that also increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
5- Phyllocaerulein – Another potent painkiller that reduces blood pressure and affects thermoregulation. which stimulates the adrenal cortex and the pituitary gland, causes a fall in blood pressure accompanied by tachycardia (rapid heart rate), has a potent action on the gastrointestinal smooth muscle, and stimulates gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions.
6- Adenoregulin – A 33 amino acid peptide that works with the adenosine receptor. This antibiotic peptide can have harm-reducing effects against a myriad of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, including cancer cells. acts on the adenosine receptors. regulates the functioning of the hypothalamus and decreases depression and anxiety.
7- Dermaseptin – Induces potent antimicrobial activity against bacteria, yeast, fungi, protozoa, and enveloped viruses that often cause severe opportunistic infections. a potent antimicrobial for both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
8- Tryptophyllins – Highly potent against the yeast candida, may have potential in cardiovascular, inflammatory and anticancer therapy.
9– Sauvagine – causes a long lasting fall in blood pressure, intense tachycardia, and stimulation the adrenal cortex.
There are currently 7 FDA approved medications that have been derived from animal venom peptides and proteins and many more in clinical trials currently ongoing. Common prescriptions include Captopril (used to treat hypertension), Eptifibatide and Tirofiban (used to treat acute coronary syndromes), Bivalirudin (anti-coagulant used to prevent blood clots), Ziconotide (used to treat chronic pain), and Exenatide (used to treat type 2 diabetes
What is Rapé, Sananga, and Dragon’s blood?
Rapé is a traditional Amazonian powdered snuff, made from a combination of leaves, seeds, bark, herbs, spices, oils, flowers and ash. Consisting of various medicinal plants, roots and trees, the base generally consists of ‘mapacho’, or Amazonian tobacco (Nicotiana Rustica).
Unlike the abuse of tobacco in the Western world, many indigenous people consider tobacco to be one of the most sacred and revered of all plant medicines. With sincere intention, it can be used by itself, or as an adjunct with other healing medicines, such as Kambo.
Breathing is momentarily suspended while the snuff is blown through both nostrils, using a small pipe typically made from bamboo or bone. The powder isn’t sniffed back into the throat, and doesn’t reach the lungs; rather, it sits high in the nasal cavity while the receiver has the opportunity to drop into meditation and stillness, connecting with the energy of this traditional medicine. Rapé may induce heightened awareness, mental focus, clarity, deeper meditation, cleansing, grounding, emotional and energetic release, spiritual insight, opening of the heart, as well as clearing headaches, sinus problems, and connecting with the healing spirits of the forest.
In specific instances, Rapé may be suggested during the middle of a Kambo treatment to help facilitate the release of blockages and encourage the purging process.
Sananga is a traditional Amazonian plant medicine in the form of eye drops, made from the shredded root of a rainforest shrub.
On a physical level, it’s suggested that these liquid eye drops can be beneficial when used as a treatment for cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, dry and red eyes, eye infections, sinusitis and chronic headaches. It has been known to sharpen one’s vision, improving colour perception and image definition, giving the environment greater texture and depth.
After the initial discomfort of having a drop of Sananga placed in each eye, this plant medicine can help to induce a sense of calm and stillness, with the feeling of being grounded and centered. It’s also known to help clear dense energies and open the third eye; allowing the heightened capacity of vision not only on a physical level, but a metaphysical level, helping to keep one balanced emotionally, mentally, energetically and spiritually.
Known in Spanish as Sangre de Drago, this dark red viscous sap is extracted from the South American tree, Croton Lechleri. Natives have used it for centuries to heal cuts, scratches, abrasions, lacerations, stings, rashes, insect bites, ulcers, gastritis and diarrhoea.
This medicinal resin is applied to the open wounds once Kambo’s secretion has been removed; acting as a protective bandage, sealing the openings on the skin, reducing scarring, and accelerating the healing process.
Modern research has backed up indigenous wisdom once again, with many studies revealing Dragons Bloods analgesic, antioxidant, inflammatory modulating and wound healing properties.
Lucky to have the opportunity to experience the medicine with such a beautiful soul and friendly beyond expectations. Thank you from the heart for enlightening my path with the best guidance. Hope every person in need get the chance to discover kambo medicine
I have a few Kambô sessions under my belt and Sandi is, to me, by far the kindest and warmest practitioner I had. She is not only very dedicated and knowledgeable but explains every step of the ceremony beforehand and very well. She keeps motivating and assisting you till the last purge has done. I definitely will visit her again and highly recommend her work.