A “fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian”
– Vittorio Erspamer (Discoverer of Seratonin and twice nominated for Nobel Prize)
Living in Mexico, “Kambo” has frequently come up. Things I heard were that it was the absolute best thing you could do to boost your immune system, that it was an incredible cleanse and reset, and was able to help not only with physical ailments but spiritual and emotional ones as well.
I had to go on two courses of antibiotics earlier this year, which I immediately felt affected my gut lining and health. Even though I was religiously taking probiotics, I felt the strong medication had lowered my immunity so much that I was getting sick frequently and energetically not feeling at my 100%.
When a friend told me that Kambo changed her life, did a cleanse twice times a year, and had a wonderful healer who could guide me through his experience, I agreed. It wasn’t the easiest decision as I have always had a phobia of vomiting, and Kambo forces you to throw up all the toxins, candida, and bile (amongst many other things) in your body. My guide asked me to go on a strict diet a few days before and after the Kambo to achieve the best results possible. The diet meant obtaining from alcohol, carbohydrates, red meat, starchy vegetables, and sugar. On the day of the medicine ceremony, she asked me to fast thirteen hours before we started. She then cleansed herself and me with tobacco and burnt some holes in my lower leg, where she placed the frog poison and asked me to drink 5 liters of water in 15 minutes. To say it was challenging is an understatement, although I have been told that it gets easier with each session when one does the recommended three doses in a cycle of 28 days. Below I have included more details about the medicine and preparation process.
All in all, I am happy I tried it, although I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t do it again unless I had a more severe health issue to combat. My guide, for example, told me that she cures her arthritis through her cyclical use of Kambo. It’s a very subjective healing modality. Some people swear by it, so I urge you to give it a go if you have the opportunity and it calls you.
The “fantastic chemical cocktail” that Mr. Erspamer was referring to is Kambo, one of the many names given to the secretion of the Giant Monkey Frog, Phyllomedusa Bicolor. Another name is Vaccino de Floresta, translated as the “vaccine of the forest.” Much more has been learned about the Kambo secretion since his first analysis in 1979, and his statement on Kambo’s healing potential was not overly exaggerated. Further research has shown the potential of the bio-active components of Kambo to be used as a treatment for brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, depression, migraines, blood circulation problems, vascular insufficiency, organ diseases, skin and eye issues, fertility problems in women and men, AID’s, hepatitis, cancer, and more. It is one of the most antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial natural substances yet to be discovered and has proven its effectiveness against viral infections as well. The presence of a large array of bio peptides makes Kambo one of the most effective ways of bolstering the immune system. Other interesting medicinal properties of this secretion are its anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects.
One of the most common uses of Kambo is for the clearing of what the locals describe as “panema”. This can be understood to mean heavy energy or ill fortune. Basically, Kambo clears away anything that isn’t in service to our highest potential for health and living.
The tradition of co-existence
Kambo has long been revered by many of the tribes of native South American peoples. They respect the frog greatly as an ally and understand that their continued existence is dependent on their relationship with the frog’s medicinal gift. Tribes like the Katukina, Matsés, Kaxinawá, and others rely on the application of Kambo for their health, giving them incredible endurance, resistance to thirst and hunger, and heightened focus, which they utilize to ensure their survival in the unforgiving rainforest climate.
The frogs have no natural predators and are easily collected at night by those that can recognize and often imitate their call. Typically their limbs are tied to posts to induce stress in the frog, causing it to release its secretion through its pores. This is collected and placed on a piece of wood, where it crystallizes and is stored for future application. Great care is taken not to harm the frogs, and they are released afterward.
Kambo is applied to the lymphatic system through very superficial burns placed on the skin using the ember end of a small stick. Care is taken to make the burns as rapidly and with as little discomfort as possible, and the wounds are later dressed with a tree resin to promote healing and reduce any chance of scarring.
The onset of the effects of Kambo can be intense but are also over very quickly, with most people well into the calm and clarity phase within 15-25 minutes. Initially, one will experience an upward rising in energy. This may feel like heat or tingling. At times there is a slight swelling of the lips and tongue. There may be nausea, and once in a while, people drift away from consciousness but are never aware of this occurring and often quite surprised when they are told afterward.
Kambo will cause one to vomit and sometimes defecate, aided by the three liters of water consumed before and during the ceremony. The purge facilitates the extraction of physical and emotional toxins that we may have accumulated in our systems. It is not something to fear, as the calmness and clarity afterward make all the effort worthwhile.
After brief moments of release, the Kambo is removed from the skin, and recovery begins almost immediately. Participants are encouraged to rest and enjoy the inner reflections Kambo offers through meditation and conscious breathing.
All text below the black & white picture taken from here.