What Is Kambo?
Kambo is a secretion from the Giant Green Monkey Tree Frog used as a traditional Amazonian medicine for thousands of years amongst the tribes of the Upper Amazon. In these traditions it was used as a "vaccine" to help treat infections, fever, snake bites, and malaria. This secretion was used amongst the women to aid in fertility and amongst the hunters to improve stamina, strength, courage, and clarity.
It is said to clear "panema", dark or negative energy, that is said to be at the root of disease. When panema is cleared life becomes easier, obstacles become obsolete, and one is able to live harmoniously within the flow of life.
In recent years Kambo has made it's way over to the West and is quickly gaining popularity for it's wide range of benefits. Many people who suffer from chronic conditions, who haven't been remedied by the allopathic approach, find relief or recovery with the help of Kambo.
Scientists have attributed Kambo's positive effects to it's unique cocktail of peptides that hold potent antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and analgesic properties. Italian scientist, Vittorio Erspamer called this secretion a "fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian." Erspamer was the first person to analyze Kambo in a laboratory, since then he went on to being nominated (twice) for a Nobel Prize.
Several peptides have been isolated from the secretion and many have been synthesized. Today there are 70 kambo patents lodged, most of which are in the US. For more information and research visit IAKP's website.
A few key peptides identified in Kambo:
Adenoregulin: Interacts with the adenosine receptor, a fundamental component in the human cell fuel and has shown to be very effective in killing cancer cells putting shutting off their fuel source.
Dermorphin: Effects pulmonary ventilation and pituitary hormone release. It has a potent opiate-like activity on the mu-type opioid receptors, which has an analgesic effect. It's pain relief properties are 30-40x stronger than morphine
Dermaseptin: Contains very potent antimicrobial activity against bacteria, yeast, fungi, protozoa and enveloped viruses (such as AIDs and tuberculoses), as well as opportunisitc bacteria, and filamentous fungi that are responsible for severe opportunistic infections accompanying AIDS and the use of immunosuppressive agents.
Phyllokinin: Produces hypotension, a long lasting reduction in blood pressure.
Tryptophyllins: Biological activity is highly potent against yeast Candida Albicans.
This brings researchers to believe that Kambo can open up a new world of treatments for some of today's leading chronic conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Depression, Lyme's Disease, Hepatitis, Diabetes, Rheumatism, Arthritis, and Addictions.
Those experiencing chronic pain, disease, and health concerns may find Kambo to be a powerful ally along their journey to better health, while those in good health report feeling rejuvenated and revitalized with a new sense of self after receiving Kambo treatments.
“Kambô circulates in the heart. Our shaman said that when we take kambô it makes the heart move accurately, so that things flow, bringing good things to the person. It is as if there was a cloud on the person, preventing the good things to come, then, when it takes the kambô; it comes a ‘green light’ which opens its ways, making things easier.”
— from "Kambô, The Spirit of the Shaman" by Professor Marcelo Bolshaw Gomes
Art by Ruysen Flores Venancino, Pucallpa Peru
Kambo is a liberating medicine of empowerment providing a deep cleanse for body, mind, and spirit. Those who work with the frog are assisted in releasing deeply rooted trauma and suppressed emotion that have been hiding in the subconscious and weighing you down. When we have cleared these layers of emotional, mental, and physical blocks, we live in a deeper experience of balance, peace, and clarity.
Kambo connects us to the spirit of water and it's medicine of ease and flow; a purifying energy that opens us up to receive the blessings of life more fully. The Spirit of Kambo aligns you with your true nature, helping you to ground in vitality, joy, strength, and stamina—living from this place of authenticity on a regular basis. The mind becomes calm and optimistic, you feel lighter and life becomes easier to manage.
This master teacher of trust and surrender is the remover of obstacles. Many people who sit with Kambo find that they become more resilient to stress and the challenges of life become easier to navigate or become totally obsolete.
Due to it's unique cocktail of peptides, Kambo is said to be one of the strongest anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antimicrobial, and anaesthetic substances found in the natural world along with being one of the strongest ways to strengthen the immune system. It is incredibly effective at detoxing the body on a cellular level, clearing out the liver and the intestines.
Kambo has been used amongst Amazonian tribes for hundreds of years as a "vaccine" and for the last 3 decades it has been subject to medical research. Some of today's most potent pharmaceutical medications have been derived from snake, spider, and scorpion venom and poisons.
It's important to note that everyone who sits with Kambo has a different experience, and every time you sit with Kambo you will have a different experience from the last. Each time a shift will take place, sometimes small and subtle, and other times tangible and profound.
A word about Kambo from Karen Darke— Master Kambo Practitioner and Founder of the IAKP
"I don’t talk about cures with Kambô, not because I don’t believe in its power to cure, but because we just don’t have the clinical research to prove such claims. The same for prevention; I know what I see among my client base, but until we can do proper research with the whole secretion it’s hard to say. What I can say is that it is my observation that people who take kambô generally, get sick less, have more energy, suffer less pain, deal with stress easier, are more emotionally robust, more empowered, more focused and more in touch with their true path in life. The people that I treat with serious health issues are able to keep those issues at bay, even with progressive diseases.
Whilst scientific research to date has focused primarily on individual peptide’s functions in the physical body, no research has been conducted on the emotional benefits of Kambô claimed by many people.
There exists however a growing body of observable evidence where recipients have experienced a wide range of psychological benefits, such as increased sense of well-being, mental focus, lifting of depression, emotional resilience and the ability to let go of past traumas and issues.
Over the years, I have successfully treated thousands of people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, HIV, arthritis, diabetes, candida, herpes, high blood pressure, cancer, fertility issues, recurrent infections and much, much more. No matter how serious their condition was to start with, they have all benefited from targeted and precise kambô treatments."
Do not eat food for 10 hours beforehand, you can sip water and have a herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey 2 hours before your treatment.
Refrain from taking supplements/ medications on the morning of session. You can take them after your session.
Do not drink excessive amounts of liquid prior to the Kambo.
Abstain from alcohol or recreational drugs 48 hours before your session.
Try and avoid food that is strong on the liver for 24-48 hours prior to and after Kambo; saturated fats found in butter, sour cream, and other high-fat dairy foods, fatty cuts of meat, fried foods, sugary treats like biscuits, cake, soft drink, and packaged baked goods.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing – for women a crop top or bikini top under a top for respectful and unobstructed access to the back. Bring a change of clothes and underwear.
Once you arrive we will have a short consultation. During this time we'll decide how many 'points' of Kambo you'll be receiving. If this is your first session we will start out with 3. Traditionally, men receive Kambo on the upper left arm, while women receive on their lower right leg. If you have sat with Kambo before you will have the option to choose from chakra, meridian, or ear points—this we will discuss in our consultation.
An unscented incense stick is used to make a series of very small burns called "gates." The burned first layer of skin is gently removed to expose the epidermis underneath. It is cleaned in preparation for the Kambo secretion application. These gates are where the Kambo will be placed for it to enter the body through the lymphatic system and quickly take effect.
Before any Kambo points are but on the gateways, you will be drinking 2 litres of water within 10-15minutes. After the points are put on, you have an additional litre of water to drink during your process to help with the purge. No more than 3 litres is consumed during the Kambo session for safety reasons.
The Kambo dried resin is mixed with a small amount of water to form a paste and separated up into small sized balls. As a safety precaution, first timers will receive one small point of Kambo as a test for any adverse reaction. These prepared kambo points are then placed on your gateways in which the Kambo enters the lymphatic system into the bloodstream within seconds.
This is the only way to take Kambo – it is not safe to ingest it, snort it or to introduce it into the blood stream directly.
The effects of kambo are immediate and can be quite intense and unpleasant, but luckily short-lived, usually lasting no more than 30-40 minutes. The immediate sensations include a rapid rise in heart rate—190 beats per minute— followed by nausea, sweating, shivering, shaking, swelling, cramping, dizziness, vomiting, and exhaustion. The blood pressure may rise or fall dramatically.
Overwhelming nausea is unavoidable with Kambo and vomiting is very likely. Many people report a tingling or burning sensation, stomach discomfort, dry mouth, swelling of the face, lips, and throat— all of which will pass. In my experience the the first 10-15 minutes are the most challenging.
I will be by your side and coaching you through this entire process. Helping to assist the purge with Sage and extra water. If there is blocked energy I may offer Rapé or Sananga.
After the purge, when these initial effects have worn off, the heart rate returns to normal, you rest for about 20 minutes. Some people fall asleep. Sangre de Drago, 'Dragon's Blood', is used to dress your points. After you have relaxed and rested tea and a light snack is served to help you balance and replenish your electrolytes.
Everyone reacts to Kambo differently, from the purging process to the after effects. Some experience the desirable after-effects instantly and for some it takes time to materialize. Once you have rested and integrated often a new-founds sense of self emerges; clarity and mental alertness, vibrance and stamina, elevated mood and energy.
In the coming days after a treatment, it’s common for people to report feeling lighter and clear of their emotional baggage, a heightened awareness or self, a resiliency to stress, and clarity to their life path, obstacles and challenges are overcome.
During a Kambo session, deep suppressed emotions from the past may be brought to the surface to be released. In this case some people report experience an emotional vulnerability and tenderness as they continue to release these emotions and memories. It is important to have a support network of loved once in place for integrating your Kambo experience.
Traditionally Kambo is done in multiple session in a row—3 sessions. Some people choose to do them back-to-back while others choose to do it in a 28-day period (a moon cycle). This allows the Kambo to work accumulatively, going deeper within the body (physically and emotionally) for profound shifts to take place.
Kambo is very safe when given by a properly trained practitioner. However there are some conditions for which Kambo is contraindicated. This is not an exhaustive list so its important to consult a properly trained and skilled practitioner if you have any concerns. Contraindications include people:
Have serious heart problems, have had heart surgery, or have an enlarged heart. This includes a Pacemaker but excludes Stents
Have had a stroke or a brain haemorrhage
Have an aneurism or blood clot
Are recovering from a major surgical procedure, (including with internal stitches)
Are on medication for low blood pressure (High Blood Pressure is usually fine)
Lack the mental capacity to make the decision to take Kambo
Have serious mental health problems, (excluding depression, PTSD and anxiety)
Are undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy or have done so within the last 4 weeks
Take immune-suppressants after organ transplant
Have Addison’s Disease
Have current and severe epilepsy
Are under 18 years old
Have certain types of EDS
Are pregnant or maybe so or are breast-feeding a child under 6 months old.
The following people may take Kambo, but extra caution is required:
People taking immune-suppressants for autoimmune disorders;
Women undergoing fertility treatment
People with serious eating disorders, i.e. Bulimia or Anorexia;
People with active drug or alcohol addiction— need to be discussed
People taking regular high doses of slimming, serotonin and/or sleeping supplements;
Someone who has fasted for more than a few days before Kambo and who may have a disturbed electrolyte balance
People with abnormally high or low blood pressure
People with liver or kidney problems
People who regularly consume diuretic medication or sports drinks.
Liver Flushes / Colonics / Enemas – allow 3 days either side of Kambo.
Water fasting – allow 7 days before and after Kambo.
Sauna – allow 2 days before and after Kambo.
Sweat-lodges – allow 3 days before and after.
Bufo (Toad medicine) – Allow 6-8 weeks after taking Bufo. Taking Kambo before Bufo is fine.