Kambo: The supreme ally in heart centered living
With many brilliant gifts awaiting, Kambo calls to those who are ready for its teachings. Think of Kambo as a wise guide by your side, while you ask the questions “What’s no longer working in my life- what am I ready to let go of?” and “What and I ready to create beyond my wildest imagination?” If you’re willing to ask, and are open to receiving, Kambo is happy to offer its suggestions.
The frog has no predators due to its skin coating. Being able to move through life freely, without fear, is one of the protective qualities we may embrace when connecting with Kambo. Well known for the green light that it emits throughout your energy field, this high vibrational light attracts that which holds the same high vibration.
An intelligent spirit, Kambo is able to align with your inner guidance and pinpoint what needs to be worked on first. As your relationship with Kambo continues to grow, so do the depths and layers you’re able to work on together.
While it’s easy for us to become comfortable in the routines of daily life, there are times when it can be helpful to explore what lies beyond our everyday patterns. Through that exploration, we are able to find our way into greater flow, health, and synchronicity.
Kambo is a step in the direction of radical self care, creating space for us to nurture the parts of us in need. We all deserve the ability to create the impact in the world we’re meant to have.
Traditional use of Kambô
Kambo grants us the gift of using its secretion to help us in a myriad of ways.
Kambo is a secretion from one of the largest Hylid frogs known as the Giant Green Monkey Tree Frog. The secretion is not a sweat nor a poison in the sense that it alone is not capable of causing death or illness. In the Amazon, it is regarded as a medicine. However this should not be confused with the western definition of a medicine. Kambo is not a medicine and those that administer it are not doctors and do not diagnose illness.
Native to the Amazon jungle of South America, the frogs habitat is mainly in Peru, Brazil, and Columbia. Like monkeys, they’re able to grab and climb through the trees extremely well due to their opposable thumbs. Behind both of its eyes lie glands that create a waxy secretion. The frog uses its legs to wipe the secretion all over its body to protect the skin. Being nocturnal, the frog spends the daytime perched high in the treetops. The Giant Waxy Frog is one of the few species able to withstand intense sunlight and not dry out, due to its protective coating.
The hot, humid environment of the rainforest is a prime atmosphere for the growth of many bacteria and fungi. Natures intelligence has allowed for the skin of the frog to produce a complex mixture of many bioactive compounds to protect themselves from bacteria, fungi, and predators. From such harsh environments come the most resilient creatures and chemical makeups.
There are several tribes are well known for working with Kambo, and they include the Katukina, Kaxinawá, Yawanawá, Matsés, and Mayoruna. The members of the tribe will either listen to hear where the frog is, or mimic its call to have the frog respond. Once the frog has been located, they carefully take it out of the tree and place it in a container in order to carry it home.
When the Kambo is ready for harvesting, each of the frogs wrists and ankles are tied with string. The legs are then stretched and tied to stakes, creating an X shape with the body. The secretion is then carefully scraped off the body and dried on small flat sticks. Those harvesting the Kambo have the highest respect for the spirit of the frog, so they make sure it’s treated with care and not harmed at any time throughout the process. Once the secretions have been extracted, the frog is then placed back in a tree.
When the dried secretion is ready for use, drops of water or saliva are added to the stick. This mix is then formed into the dots that will be placed on the body. Small points are made on the skin by using a glowing-hot piece of vine to blister the top layer of skin. The thin layer of skin is then wiped off. The Kambo dots are then placed on the open points. The effects are felt quickly, and Kambo immediately searches throughout your body to determine where it needs to work first.
Modern use of Kambô
Outside of the forest, Kambo has been the subject of nearly three decades of medical research. The first observations of Kambo use were made by a French priest, Father Constantin Tastevin in 1925 whilst he was staying with the Kaxinawá tribe in the upper Juruá River in Brazil. In the 1980’s an American Anthropologist, Katherine Milton described Kambo use among the Mayoruna tribe in Brazil. In the 1980s Peter Gorman wrote about his experiences taking Kambo with the Matses tribe in Peru.
During the 1990’s, rubber tappers in Brazil learned about Kambo from the Amazon Indians. They began to take it out into the towns of Acre and apply it themselves. Having spent several years living with the Katukina, Francisco Gomes from Cruzeiro do Sol was one of the first people to pioneer the use of Kambo outside the Amazon. The practice spread and soon people in the larger cities of Brazil began using Kambo.
An Italian scientist, Vittorio Erspamer of the University of Rome, was the first person to analyze Kambo in a laboratory. In 1986, he wrote that it contains a “fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian”. The chemicals he referred to are peptides, some of which include bradykinins (phyllokinin), tachykinins (phyllomedusin), caerulein, sauvagine, tryptophyllins, dermorphins, deltorphins and bombesins. The peptides studied by Erspamer have become essential to characterize the functional role of opioid receptors. He was twice nominated for a Nobel Prize and was also the person who first discovered serotonin. Several peptides have since been isolated from the secretion and several have been synthesized. Currently there are over 70 Kambo patents lodged, mainly in the USA. Kambo is legal almost everywhere in the world with few exceptions.
Information courtesy of Kambo International
For further reading and research, please check out the following websites:
Screening your practitioner
It is very important for you to screen potential facilitators for your ceremonies- your health and safety are in the hands of another person! Kambo has become more popular nowadays, and there are some inexperienced, careless people out there offering sessions. A good practitioner will be transparent, educate you, take the time to answer all the questions you may have calmly/patiently, and create a sense of safety and comfort. They will also know the limits of their experience level- newer practitioners may only take on relatively healthy individuals, wheres those with more experience may take on more complex cases or different health issues.
A guideline of questions to ask- of course, adding in what feels important for you to know:
-Do they book an initial consultation, to connect before a session?
This would be when you can have all your questions answered. They must also go over your health background, to make sure you can receive Kambo safely. Your safety is the number one priority.. if they don’t screen your health, walk away.
-When did they begin practicing Kambo on clients?
Who did they study under- organization, mentor, apprenticeship? Names of teachers?
How many clients have they had? What’s their safety record? Any incidents?
-What’s the ceremony space like?
Is it in a home, business, studio? Parking? Stairs? How many bathrooms? What should you bring?
How many people can attend a group session? How much space does each person have? Are there assistants?
What time does everyone arrive? When can you leave?
Are you able to rest after having Kambo, or does everyone have to leave the space by a certain time? Are you able to stay after the session closes if you’re still processing or feeling nauseous?
Is the space clean, and the practitioners tools/supplies clean and in good order?
-What are the water guidelines?
Do they tell you to limit your liquids before arriving? How much do you drink before the Kambo points are put on? How much more can you drink after the points are put on?
A session shouldn’t exceed 3 liters- anything beyond that runs the risk of hyponatremia.
-How would a first timers session go?
Do they say they’ll start with a test point (one point of Kambo) to check for any reactions before adding more Kambo?
How many points would you receive during a session?
-Do they say that either they or an assistant must walk you to the bathroom once Kambo points are on?
Most accidents happen when standing up and then fainting, due to the blood pressure fluctuation.
-How is a session run?
Is it riualistic, or clinical? Is there a doctrine that the practitioner holds and practices in a session? Religious element? Ideologies?
What should you bring? Can you bring items for the alter?
Is talking allowed during? Silence?
-Where is the medicine from?
Who gathers it? How is it harvested? How are the frogs cared for?
When you first contact me, I will ask questions about your health. For me to keep you safe, I need to know the truth and details of your health background before booking our session. All of what you share will be kept confidential.
Please note that Kambo is not for you if you have, or have had, any of the following:
-Serious heart problems (heart bypass surgery, enlarged heart, implanted cardioverter defibrillators, pericardial effusion, congestive heart disease, excess fluid in the heart sack, heart valve replacement surgery)
-Unable to withstand exercise that increases the heart rate
-Organ transplant (taking immune suppressants for organ transplant)
-Low blood pressure that requires medication
-Recovering from surgery
-Serious mental health conditions (excluding depression, PTSD, and anxiety)
-Women who are pregnant, or may possibly be pregnant
-Women who are breastfeeding a baby under 6 months old
-You lack the mental capacity to make the choice to take Kambo on your own
-You are under 18 years of age
-You have worked with Bufo Alvarius (toad medicine) within the past 6-8 weeks
Please disclose the following about your health history during our chat:
-Liver or kidney problems
-High or low blood pressure
-History of bulimia or anorexia
-Exercise (types and frequency)
-Previous mental health diagnosis’s
-History of drug/alcohol dependency
-Existing, chronic, or previous health issues
-Medications you’ve recently stopped taking
-Current or previous use of diet/slimming pills
-Previous work with Kambo/other plant medicines
-Current or previous use of sleeping pills/supplements
-Current or previous viral conditions (lyme, hepatitis, dengue, etc)
After we go over everything, we can move forward in booking your ceremony. Once your commitment to Kambo has been made, your reality may begin to shift to accommodate your upcoming transformation. Some clients have commented on having been able to feel the effects of the frog a few days before their actual ceremony date! This is totally (or toad-ally?) normal!
In preparation, you can think of specific intentions to bring focus to your ceremony. Your intentions can be connected to your mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual body.
Otherwise, you can trust your inner guidance and know that what needs to be worked on will be shown to you. Trust and openness will take you far 🙂
- At least 48 hours beforehand- No alcohol or recreational drugs
- No food for 12 hours prior to your ceremony start time
- No drinking excess fluids the morning of a session- a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea (no honey) or water is fine
- No sweat lodges the week before. No water fasting, enemas, or colonics 3 days before/after. No saunas or hot tubs 1 day before/after. They disrupt your electrolyte balance, which can pose a severe risk to your health
- Women who are menstruating- Kambo is a vasodilator, and may cause increased flow for 24-36 hours. You may also get your period sooner than usual.
- If you wish to do Sananga eye drops during your session- have something to put your contact lenses in, or wear your glasses that day.
- Wear very comfortable clothing
- Prepare to be here for about 3 hours.
- Layers of clothing (your temperature may fluctuate)
- Hair tie for long hair
- Optional: Change of clothes, sacred items, journal and pen, snack
Recommended to have the rest of your day be relaxed.
Meeting the frog
You’ll arrive at a space that has been saged/smudged- each person will be smudged as well. The space will be opened with prayers and intentions, and we will talk about how we’re going to go about the session. If anyone has any questions during or after our talk, I’m always happy to answer them!
Sananga eyedrops will be offered as well. They help to ground you into your body, clear the mind, aid in the removal of Panema (heavy, dense energies). It’s important to note that the sensation is intense (like getting jalapeño in your eye!) The intensity lasts for a minute or so; during this time you’ll keep your eyes closed while breathing slowly and deeply, and may enter a relaxed meditative state.
When you are ready, we will begin our work with Kambo.
The dried secretion of Kambo is kept on small flat sticks. When they’re ready for use, drops of water are added to the stick. Scraping gently with a knife helps to mix the secretion and water properly. After being adequately mixed, the secretion is then formed into the dots that will be placed on the body.
The only safe way for Kambo to be taken is through the skin. Using a thin piece of vine and a candle, the skin is burned in order to peel off a small layer. It is through these open points on the skin that Kambo is absorbed into the lymphatic system. From there it’s quickly circulating throughout the body.
For safety purposes a single test point will be used. From there your response and sensitivity will be assessed, and you may have more points added.
Kambo is non-psychoactive, and its effects are generally physical in nature. Your experience will be different each time.
Some people have felt:
Rapid heartbeat, feeling hot or cold, tingling, sweating, shaking, crying, feeling lightheaded, headache, facial swelling (becoming “frog faced”), dry/swollen throat, discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Throughout your experience it helps to breathe slowly and deeply into your belly while sitting straight up- this creates a straight channel for the energy to flow through easily.
If you feel like you need to use the bathroom at any time during your process, you will need to tell me. Kambo will lower your blood pressure, so you may feel lightheaded upon standing. I will be there to assist you!
The strong effects are usually pretty short, lasting 20-40 minutes. We will leave the points on for a minimum of 20 minutes, allowing Kambo the time to go deep within and work wherever it needs to be.
After the Kambo has been wiped off your skin, some people like to lay down and rest for a bit. Sangre de Grado (or dragon’s blood, an antimicrobial sap from the Amazon jungle) will then be put on the points. This seals and protects the skin while it heals. From here it’s important to not put anything else on the points (lotions, oils, aloe vera, etc) as they need to be able to “breathe” in order to heal properly. The dragon’s blood falls off on its own, usually after a week or so.
After resting for awhile, you’ll have a cup of tea with honey to help settle your stomach and raise your blood sugar level. We’ll have a light snack together afterwards.
It’s recommended to be gentle with yourself in the days following your experience, since you may be more sensitive. It’s good to set aside time with yourself to receive any messages or insights. Spending quiet time with yourself in nature, going for walks, journaling, dancing, taking baths, meditating and such can be helpful in your integration.
Emotions or memories from the past can surface, which can sometimes be challenging. This can happen during or after your session, and is quite normal if it does. It’s recommended to have friends, loved ones, coaches, and counselors to help support you in your integration.
*Please note that none of the services offered on this website constitute any form of medical practice. Kambo is not a medicine. Kambo International practitioners are not doctors nor any other form of medical practitioners. KI practitioners do not diagnose disease, offer health advice, treat physical or mental health issues, or prescribe medicines.
Kambo is a shamanic ritual and ceremony from the Amazon rainforest- it is not a medical treatment. Participants are advised to do their own research as to the potential benefits of taking Kambo. None are offered or implied here.