Kambo is known as the “vaccine of the forest” in Portuguese, a name due to its use as a treatment for a spectrum of diseases including migraines, depression, blood circulation, organ diseases, fertility problems, and cancer. Most notably, though, it is used to treat pain. Research conducted since 1979 has shown that kambo’s powerful peptide content makes it a natural and holistic painkiller. Of the nine peptides in kambo, some of the most notable include phyllomedusin, which contributes to deep purging and detoxification; caerulein and sauvagine, which heighten sensory perception and stamina and have powerful pain-relieving properties; and dermorphin and deltorphin, which provide an opioid-like effect 400 times more powerful than morphine.
In addition to its analgesic qualities, kambo is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, supporting the notion that kambo could potentially treat a vast spectrum of diseases and bacterial infections in the body. While research has yet to confirm its potential, traditional kambo treatment administered over a series of sessions could prove to be a powerful tool in the fight against many diseases.
And while decreasing pain and treating diseases are obviously important effects of kambo, it also works to attack the modern plague of addiction which Murthy spoke of. Simply put, the less pain you have, the less likely you will feel the need to seek out opioids or other pain medications which can prove devilishly addictive. For those already suffering from addiction, kambo can provide an alternative method of pain management while they work to kick the addiction. Essentially, kambo has a one-two punch effect; it treats pain and, in doing so, helps individuals decrease dependence on more addictive pain management medications.
What Is Kambo?
A true gift from Mother Nature, but besides that Kambo is the secretion of the Giant Waxy Green Spider Monkey Tree Frog (Phyllomedusa Bicolor), which lives in the upper areas of the Amazon Rainforest. It has no natural predators – even snakes spit them back out if they swallow one. They are found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, French Guiana, Suriname and Venezuela. The IUCN database lists them in the ‘Least Concern’ category in view of their wide distribution and large population. Kambo is completely legal everywhere in the world. The only restriction that exists is in Brazil, where it is forbidden to advertise or market the health benefits of Kambo in order to restrict biopiracy.
A Kaxinawá legend tells that the Indians of the tribe were very ill and their medicine man (Pajé in Brazil) had done everything that was possible to cure them. All medicinal herbs known were used, but none helped. Under the effect of sacred plant medicines, he entered the forest and whilst there received a visit from the Grandmother. She brought in her hands a frog, from which she took a white secretion, and taught the Pajé how to apply it. Returning to the tribe and following the guidelines that he had received the Pajé was able to cure his tribe members. From then on he was known as Pajé Kampu. After his death, his spirit lived on in the frog where it continued its mission to protect the health of those who defend the forest. The Indians continue to use its secretion to stay active and healthy. The secretion became known as Kambo but in some tribes it is called Sapo, Kampu or Vacina da Floresta. Its usage spread and it is still used widely amongst indigenous people in the Amazon to this day although the rituals vary from tribe to tribe.
How Is Kambo Harvested?
The frogs which are nocturnal and arboreal can be found in trees near the Igarapés (rainforest waterways) where they gather to sing and announce the rain. They are generally harvested at dawn by the Indians who also sing and imitate the frogs’ song. The frogs climb down voluntarily, are very passive and do not react when picked up. The frogs are carefully tied by each leg with straw strings into an X shape. Sometimes a female shaman will massage the toes to encourage the secretion which is then carefully scraped off and dried on small sticks. After it is released the frog returns to its habitat none the worse for wear. The strings leave a tiny white line on each leg which stops anyone from harvesting the frog again until it has faded which takes at least 3 months. The frog is never harmed but treated with utmost care and respect as the Indians believe that to harm the frog will anger the animal spirits that they live so closely with. Kambo collected in this way is considered 100% ethically harvested. We get our medicine directly from the Matsés tribe in Peru, that is doing a wonderful job taking care of the frog population.
What Is It Used For?
The use of Kambo differs amongst tribes but the main indigenous uses revolve around lifting Panema – an indigenous name for dark or negative energy and for Hunting Magic – they believe it increases their speed and energy during hunting and that it makes the hunter invisible by temporarily eliminating their human odour. They can run faster, longer and eat and sleep less for a period of time. There are many ways they use it medicinally too, including: malaria, snake bites, fevers, infections, fertility problems, to cleanse, detox and strengthen the mind and body, to increase energy, sexual attraction and stamina and to reduce pain.
Outside of the forest, Kambo has been the subject of more than two decades of medical research. As with venoms from snakes and scorpions, researchers believe that Kambo will open up a new world of treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s Disease, MS, Alzheimer’s, Depression, Vascular problems, Hepatitis, Diabetes, Rheumatism, Arthritis, Addictions and much, much more. Their work consists of attempting to identify, isolate and reproduce the incredible and unique chemical cocktail that Kambo is. It contains dozens of Peptides (short chains of amino acids), some of them bioactive which means they have an affinity and selectivity for binding with receptor sites in humans (A receptor is like a lock that, when opened with the right key—the bioactive peptide—triggers specific chemical reactions in the body). Which means your body loves them. For those of you who want to do more research, the peptide families represented in Kambo include bradykinins (phyllokinin), tachykinins (phyllomedusin), caerulein, sauvagine, tryptophyllins, dermorphins, deltorphins and bombesins. Recent studies have shown that Kambo contains multiple antimicrobial peptides effective against drug resistant strains of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, parasites and virus, providing opportunities for the development of new and more efficient nanotechnological-based therapies for treating infectious diseases. Several years of research by the University of Paris have shown Kambô to be super effective at killing cancer cells and Queens University in Belfast recently won a prestigious award for their ground breaking work with cancer and Kambo.
Kambo is one of the strongest natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antimicrobial and anaesthetic substances found in the world and one of the strongest, natural ways to strengthen the immune system. It is 30-40 times stronger than morphine in its pain-killing properties. It also detoxes the liver and the intestines so it’s a powerful cleanser. Immediate and short term effects include enhanced mood, alertness, clarity, focus, energy and increased resistance to stress, tiredness, hunger and thirst. The mind becomes still, you feel lighter and everything becomes easier to manage. In the longer term, Kambo empowers the immune system, rousing the body’s defence systems to their natural functions so that existing health problems are improved or resolved and future ones are less likely to occur. In spiritual terms, Kambo works in a mystical fashion as a light that opens the way, helping us to overcome obstacles and release blockages on an emotional level. It clears our energy field and realigns the chakras enabling us to break negative habits and think more naturally.
Despite the billions of pounds/euros and dollars being poured into researching and developing mainstream synthetic medication from Phyllomedusa Bicolour frog secretions, no one has yet managed to reproduce the original! You can’t grow the frog in a lab either. It needs its natural habitat and diet. Kambo in its original, natural form is a holistic treatment that works on the mind, body, energy and spirit at all levels in sometimes mystical ways that we don’t completely understand yet. The Indians are quite right to use the word ‘magic’ when describing this substance.
Kambo’s Energetic Properties
Kambo is often described as a “fiery” medicine and is a painful experience itself. The frog venom is applied by being burned into the skin—often on the upper arm—through the tip of a heated stick, after all! That may seem a curious characteristic of a pain treatment, but many people say this momentary pain is an essential part of the process of spiritual growth and part of the reason it’s such an effective tool. Kambo is said to help you purge stagnate spiritual toxins called panema which get blocked in our energy channels and manifest in our day-to-day lives as depression, anxiety, and laziness. After the initial spark of pain fades, the practitioner is left awash in a flooding sense of relief and calm. As kambo researcher Giovanni Lattanzi put it, “This cleansing process works not only on a physical level but also on a spiritual one. The frog, connecting us with our natural wisdom, mirrors our negative habits, showing us what we should avoid and what we could do in order to improve our condition.”
Anyone familiar with the theories of addiction will recognize why kambo’s spiritual properties might help interrupt addiction by providing a powerful means of self-reflection. Lattanzi’s theory about kambo is reminiscent of reports from people who take ibogaine to treat addiction and say the medicine helps them recover in part by uncovering and exploring deeply-ingrained negative habits. Like the interpersonal breakthroughs one might associate with an ibogaine session, a kambo ritual can help point out opportunities for growth and development for the individual undergoing the ceremony, making it a ripe tool not only to treat the root pain but also to help wean any dependence on prescriptions used to treat that pain.
So in addition to being a powerful peptide combination that stimulates the nervous system, eases pain, decreases inflammation, and cleans out the gastrointestinal tract, kambo provides what many call a spiritual cleansing or detox of the energetic fields. In the quest to get to the root trauma aggravating many addictions, the combined physiological and energetic effects of kambo have many people turning to it as an alternative tool to pain management.
How is Kambo used?
Kambo should always be taken with a properly trained person administering and supervising the treatments at all times.
Kambo is intense but fast. The unpleasant effects are strong and immediate but over within 30 - 40 minutes. The dried Kambo is mixed with a small amount of water and divided into small dots. Then small points called gates are placed into the surface of the skin. The points are approximately 1/8” across but can be smaller or slightly larger depending on the treatment. The top thin layer of skin is blistered with a hot stick and the skin is peeled off to expose the epidermis underneath – this is the same as when you have a blister and the skin rubs off. There is no blood. The number and position of the points varies from person to person depending on individual needs. If you have a series of treatments in the same session, the same points are reused. The small dots of Kambo are applied to the points. This is the only way to take Kambo – it is not safe to ingest it or introduce it into the blood stream directly. The Kambo enters directly into the Lymphatic System so the effect is very fast. Most people experience a warm to hot flush on the upper body and face along with increased heart rate. At this point, different people will react in different ways. Some will feel dizzy, foggy or spaced out. Some people have swollen lips or face and slight skin tingling. The Kambo will be racing around your body, scanning it for problems and then going directly to work on those areas. You may experience a throbbing or burning sensation in those areas for a short while. Kambo is not psychoactive so does not produce hallucinations but can produce a short altered state of reality in some people and many people receive insights and messages about living a healthier life. Then you will purge all the toxins out. This purging process works on a physical and emotional level. You may feel tired at this point and need to rest. Within a short time – usually an hour or so you will feel much better and you can drink and eat normally. After a good night’s sleep you will start to feel the real benefits.
The burn marks will heal and fade with time but depending on your skin colour and type you may always have small visible scars. Most people see their Kambo scars as a badge of honour. The same points can be reused after approximately 3 months. After the dots of Kambo are removed, the points are dressed with Dragon’s Blood, Peruvian tree sap. This helps them to heal faster, scar less and ensures they stay free from infection until they scab naturally within a day or so. Please don’t use any soap or the burn marks until a day or two after the treatment. Try to keep the burn marks as dry as possible. (if you’re sweating for example) If you experience unusual redness or itching, applying more Dragon’s Blood (Sangre de Grado, Sangre de Drago) always helps.
Who Can’t Take Kambo? CONTRA-INDICATIONS
Kambo has no known detrimental side effects, so when it is responsibly administered it is completely safe. However, there are very few people who cannot take it.
- Treatment cannot be given to under 18 year olds
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women with babies under 6 months old
- People with serious heart problems (bypass, enlarged heart) (stents or arhythmia are fine)
- People taking medication for very low blood pressure (high blood pressure medication is fine)
- People who’ve had a stroke or brain haemorrhage
- People who’ve had aneurisms or blood clots
- People with serious mental health problems (depression, anxiety and a few other conditions are
fine, but you must inform us!)
- People undergoing chemotherapy and for 4-6 weeks afterwards
- People suffering from epilepsy
- People suffering from Addison’s disease
- People who take immune-suppressants for an organ transplant.
- People who lack the mental capacity to make a decision to take Kambo
Do not fast 7 days before or after Kambo.
Colonics and enemas should be avoided 3 days before and after Kambo
- taking any slimming or sleeping supplements. Caution also if you’re taking immune-suppressants for auto- immune disorders.
If you are menstruating at the time of treatment, Kambo may well cause the flow to increase for 24- 36 hours because it contains powerful Vasodilators. If you are Asthmatic ensure that you have your inhaler with you. If you are Diabetic it’s important to discuss your treatment in advance.
In most cases it is usually completely safe for you to continue taking your normal medication.
If you’re on contraceptives, please keep in mind that they might not be effective if you purge them out. So take them after the treatment or use extra caution that month!
With some health conditions Kambo makes the symptoms flare up in the days after the treatment. You might also get a slight fever or diarrhea. No need to worry! Sometimes things have to get a little worse, before they get better. This is called the Herxheimer reaction. It’s all part of the healing process.