+ WHAT IS KAMBO?
"Nothing but good news
There is a frog in South America whose venom is a cure
For all the suffering that mankind must endure
More powerful than morphine and soothing as the rain
A frog in South America has the antidote to pain
That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way I like it"
- Paul Simon, "Senorita with a Necklace"
The ‘vaccine of the forest’ is a waxy secretion of a tree frog from the Amazon rainforest. The scientific name for this frog is ‘Phyllomedusa bicolor’ or ‘Giant Monkey frog’. It is used to get rid of ‘panema’, the name they give to bad luck, as well as for ‘hunting magic’ and as a powerful medicine for purifying the organism and strengthening the immune system. Scientific research on the secretion of this frog started in the 1980’s.
Nominated for the Nobel prize, Italian scientist Vittorio Erspamer of the University of Rome wrote that this secretion contains a ‘fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian’. Among the several dozen peptides found in kambô, up to 7% are bio-active. They bind with receptor sites situated in the brain, triggering chemical reactions in the human body. So far, researchers have found nine bio-active peptides that have a potent effect on the gastrointestinal muscles, gastric and pancreatic secretions, blood circulation, and on the stimulation of the adrenal cortex and pituitary gland, contributing to heightened sensory perception and increased stamina, enhance endurance, increase physical strength and, in general, enhance the capacity to face stressful situations.
+ WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF KAMBO?
Each tribe has its own legend or story about how they came to use Kambo. The most prevalent legend comes from Brazil.
This 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 a female spirit of the forest.
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 he had received, the Pajé was able to cure his brothers and sisters. From then on he was known as Pajé Kampu or Kampum.
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 secretion became known as Kambo but in some tribes it is called Sapo, Dow-Kiet, Kampu or Vacina da Floresta.
Usage spread, and for thousands of years, Kambo has been used as medicine by the Kaxinawá people, and by many other indigenous groups including the Amahuaca, Katukina, Kulina, Yawanawá, Matses, Marubo and Mayoruna. It is still used widely amongst indigenous people in the Amazon to this day.
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 and 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 were using Kambo.
In 2004, ANVISA, the Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária in Brazil prohibited any advertising of the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of Kambo. This was in response to representation made to the Brazilian government by the Katukina people with regard to intellectual property rights. Aside from this restriction, Kambo is legal everywhere in the world.
Traditional uses of Kambo:
Kambo has been used amidst a number of Amazonian tribes for 1000’s of years. These tribes include the Kaxinawa, Amahuaca, Katukina, Kulina, Yawanawá, Matses, Marubo and Mayoruna. Although the Matses, have over 400 medicinal plants in their medicinal pharmacopeia, Kambo is their primary go to medicine.
Traditionally, Kambo was used as a way to - as way to cleanse, strengthen and energize the mind and bodies of hunters, ie. ‘hunting magic’
- it was used as physical medicine for such ailments as malaria, fever, infections, snake bites, digestive issues and much more
- it is used to clear away dark or negative energy known as ‘Panema’. Panema can have both psychological/emotional qualities such as depression or lack of meaning, yet also have spiritual/energetic properties which are experienced as obstacles and bad luck in life. When Panema is cleared, everything becomes easier, obstacles can be overcome and life flows more naturally.
As with most animistic and shamanistic cultures, traditional master medicines work on all levels of our being, removing our obstacles to spirit, to wholeness and to living in harmony with creation. Kambo is a powerful cleanser of all of our various energetic bodies, cleansing our body and aligning us to our soul’s truth and interconnection with our world through purifying and clarifying our relationship with our emotions, our mental perceptions and energizing our spiritual connections.
+ WHAT ARE THE CONTEMPORARY USES OF KAMBO?
It is only very recently that Kambo has left the jungle and found interest beyond Brazilian and Peruvian borders. In the 1990’s rubber tappers in the Amazon learnt about Kambo from the Amazon indians and began to take it out of towns of Acre in Brazil and spread it to urban capitals. It has only been in the last 5–10 years that Kambo has found an audience outside of south america. In the last 5-8 years the International Associationof Kambo Practitioners has come into being. Kambo Practitioners within, and without, this association have since been collecting and sharing their experience in working with westerners and particular ailments. This data amounts to anecdotal practitioner research and through this research process, new treatment protocols have arisen as also greater clarity around areas Kambo is particularly effective at.
Both medical and practitioner research has shown that Kambo is an a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antimicrobial and anaesthetic substance and one of the strongest, natural ways to strengthen the immune system. 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, help ing 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 live and think more naturally.
+ WHAT CAN KAMBO TREAT?
The properties of kambô peptides cover a wide range of potential medical uses: treatment of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, diabetes, depression, migraines, blood circulation problems, vascular insufficiency, organ diseases, Rheumatism, arthritis, skin and eyes issues, addictions, fertility problems in women and men, AID’s, hepatitis, cancer, etc.
Other interesting medicinal properties of this secretion are its anti-inflammatory effects, its capacity to destroy microbes and viruses and heal infections. Due to the presence of these nine peptides, kambô is one of the strongest natural antibiotics and anesthetics found in the world and one of the strongest, natural ways to empower our immune system.
A small sample of the reasons contemporary folks use Kambo for include:
- To bring us to a state of wholeness, clearing what does not serve us.
- To detoxify the body and work on addictions.
- To resolve psychological trauma and emotional difficulties.
- To remove obstacles stopping life’s flow.
- To strengthen immune system.
- To shift self-destructive behaviour patterns
- As a way to get clear about big decisions and navigate life transitions.
- To deepen connection with spirit and to one’s soul’s purpose.
- To gain greater self knowledge and insight.
- To learn to trust and surrender to a greater healing intelligence.
- To boost physical well-being and prevent future ills.
- For relief of pain (emotional and physical).
- As an adjunct support/or primary treatment for a range of chronic health conidtions
Although there is much research on the Kambo secretion (70 current patents exist on facets of the secretion),and possible pharmaceutical applications, there are no peer-reviewed research articles so far published on Kambo and specific ailments. The data that currently exists is anecdotal and based on practitioner research and sharing of treatment successes and treatment protocols based on 1000’s of treatments. This data is shared within the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners www.iakp.com) between its practitioners.
+ WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF A KAMBO TREATMENT?
The Kambô treatments have short and long term effects. Short term, the effects are a state of alertness, good mood, enhanced resistance to tiredness, hunger and thirst, the capacity to easily concentrate and focus, and a still mind which can last for several days or weeks. Long term, Kambô empowers the immune system, overcomes fatigue and improves one’s state of health.
+ HOW DO I KNOW IF KAMBO IS RIGHT FOR ME?
It’s really simple once you hear about Kambô, if the thought of doing it keeps popping into your mind then I believe that is a calling, and Kambô can work for you. If you don’t keep thinking about it, then no it’s not for you.
V(EYE)BES always recommends doing plenty of your own research by asking peers who've experienced it, watching online videos of the process, and reading documented success stories and/or research papers, before committing to a ceremony. If you have any questions, worries, or concerns, we are always here to answer them.
+ HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A KAMBO CEREMONY?
- Do not eat for 10 hours before the ceremony.
- You can drink herbal teas before ceremony. Avoid honey.
- 2 hrs before the ceremony drink minimal water. You will be drinking 2 litres of water 15 mins before the Kambo is applied.
- The longer you avoid alcohol and recreational drugs before the treatment the more you will get out of it.
- Eat clean and light food on the days prior to Kambo, and avoid oily and heavy foods that may tax your liver. Also, avoid meat/seafood/dairy and spicey foods.
- Do not take your daily supplements and medications on the morning of taking Kambo. If it is vital you have your daily medication take it after Kambo in the evening.
The optimal approach to this work is one of meditation, reflection, prayer and clarification of intention as you approach the day. Formulating and cultivating sincere healing intentions can allow the work to go much deeper to this work. What is drawing you to sit with kambo? What would you like to get out of your experience? How would you like to feel? What would you like to heal in your body, heart, and mind? Being strongly attuned to what you want to get out of the session catalyses important healing processes, allowing an inner radar to switch on helping to guide the medicine to where it is needed.
WHAT TO BRING
- 1 gallon of water
- Anything that will make you feel comfortable and safe.
- Loose comfortable clothing
- A shawl/blanket
- Any particular dietary needs that I may not be able to supply for post session.
- People with asthma need to bring their inhaler with them.
- Diabetics need to bring insulin, testing strips and suitable food.
- Something to tie long hair back with.
- A full change of clothes, including undergarments
- Something precious to keep near you during ceremony, such as photos, charms, crystals, etc.
+ WHO CANNOT ATTEND A KAMBO CEREMONY?
If you are any of the below you can not do Kambô:
- Are under 18 years of age
- Serious heart problems
- Are recovering from a major surgical procedure
- Previously had a stroke, brain hemorrhage, aneurism or blood clots
- On medication for low blood pressure
- Had an aneurism or blood clots
- Lack the mental capacity to make the desicion to take Kambô
- Currently undergoing chemotherapy/radiation within the last month
- Pregnant or might be pregnant
- Have current or severe Epilepsy
- Diagnosed with Addison's Disease
- On immune-suppressants for organ transplant
- Anyone who has worked with Bufo Alvarius ( toad medicine) in the last 6 weeks.
- Woman who are breats feeding a child under one year old
Cautions and considerations:
- People taking immune-suppressants for auto-immune disorders.
- People taking slimming, serotonin (ie. 5HTP) or sleeping supplements.
- Active drug or alcohol addiction (esp opioid addiction).
- People who have been water fasting for 7 days before or after Kambo.
- Colonics, Enemas, liver flushes or any water based detox should be avoided within 3 days either side of taking Kambo.
- Many medications are completely safe to continue to take with Kambo, however please discuss your medication with us beforehand.
Please inform us prior to your treatment if:
- You have any of the aforementioned issues
- You are or have ever been bulimic or anorexic.
- You are taking or have recently stopped taking any medications.
- You are taking or have recently stopped taking any diet/slimming pills.
- You regularly consume anti-diuretic medication or sports drinks.
- You have abnormally high or low blood pressure.
- You are epileptic.
- You have liver or kidney problems.
This is not an exhaustive list so it’s important to discuss your health issues with me. Kambo treatments are individualized and treatment decisions are based on the correct data given.
+ HOW IS THE FROG SECRETION HARVESTED?
The frogs are found in 20-30m tall trees near the Igarapes (rainforest waterways) where they gather to sing and announce the rain. Traditionallly they are harvested shortly after dawn by the natives who imitate the frog’s song calling them to the forest floor. The frogs are very passive and do not react negatively when carefully picked up,. Some tribes dont handle the frog until they are ready to take the secretion. The frogs are carefully tied by each leg with straw strings into an X shape, and who are gently massaged, encouraging the secretion which is then carefully scraped off and dried on small sticks. The strings leave a tiny white line on each leg which stops anyone from harvesting the frog again until it has faded which takes 2 –3 months.
The frog is never harmed but treated with utmost care and respect as the people believe that to harm the frog will anger the forest spirits. Kambo collected in this way is considered 100% ethically harvested.
+ IS KAMBO SAFE?
Kambo is 100% safe in the right hands. There are contraindications to this work however, just as there are for all medicines, natural or pharmaceutical, and its imperative that everyone considering taking Kambo be informed of the contraindications and cautions of this work and discuss any relevant health issues with us.
V(EYE)BES works with Kambo practitioners that are within the training, ethical and professional guidelines of the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners) which sets out tight protocols for safe Kambo work.
+ IS KAMBO PSYCHOACTIVE/HALLUCINOGENIC?
Although Kambo is not strictly psychoactive, it has a strong presence and many people can experience a strong connection to the spirit of the frog in ways which can be powerful and healing. Many people receive insights and messages about living a healthier and more authentic life and how to embody the healings of the session in the outside world.
+ HOW IS KAMBO ADMINISTERED?
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 lightly blistered with a hot stick and the skin is peeled off to expose the epidermis underneath – this is similar to when you have a blister and the skin rubs off. There is no blood. The stick is then cut so that it is sanitary for the next participant.
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, snort it or to introduce it into the blood stream directly. The Kambo enters directly into the Lymphatic System so the effect is very fast.
Basic/traditional Kambo treatments:
This involves the application of Kambo to the right leg for women and left arm for men and is what is offered to people for their first treatment. A single point of Kambo is also given to get a sense of tolerance.
Layered treatments involve building up the Kambo slowly, point by point of 2 or 3 points at a time. This type of treatment is useful for people who may be anxious about diving in too deeply, physically weak folks or elderly folk, people wary of the nausea.
Targeted treatments using acupuncture meridians, chakras and auricular ear points:
With the choice of placing Kambo on acupuncture meridian points, chakra areas and auricular points, we have the capacity to strongly target treatments according to your health condition, emotional difficulties, particular intentions.
+ WHAT HAPPENS DURING A KAMBO CEREMONY?
A Kambô ceremony is a sacred space, a place of complete trust and safety, everyone present is asked to honour each other’s journey and privacy. You are encourage to give yourself permission to let go. Kambô is about releasing and that is just what I invite you to do.
Before the treatment we will have connected and discussed your intentions for the treatment, whether via email or in the filling out of an information form, during a consultation for an individual treatment or briefly before a group session. Kambo work is sacred work and each session is treated as a ceremony. The space is smudged, participants share their intentions for the work, and the circle is opened through prayer and the invocation of helping spirits. Traditional Amazonian and contemporary medicine songs are played as way to support your journey into the intimate and deep work of the frog. You will receive close support through the purge process.
You will drink 2 litres of water in the 15 mins before the Kambo is applied. You may be given more water to drink to help with the purge). Most of the water you will drink will be purged out with whatever toxins Kambo pulls out of you. The experience is intense but is over quickly. The unpleasant effects are strong and immediate but over within 30-40 minutes.
A facilitator will always be close by to assist you and support you through your journey. An initial test dose is applied to gauge client's sensitivity and reaction. After the full dose is applied to the exposed skin, Kambo enters the Lymphatic System so the effect comes on quickly. Kambo begins to scan the body, looking for problems, and then goes to work directly on those areas. It is extremely intelligent tribal jungle medicine jam packed with bioactive peptides.
At this point, different people will react in different ways. Within a few minutes after application, most people experience a warm flush on the upper body and face along with an increased heart rate. It is a common experience that the throat may gently swell. This is normal. It will not swell shut. The medicine has a cleansing and purgative effect. Cleansing comes in many forms. Some can expect to feel nauseous and will have an urge to purge. Some will feel dizzy, foggy or spaced out; the occasional person will shake or even faint. This is normal and part of the lowering of blood pressure that occurs. Some people have swollen lips or face and slight skin tingling. The Kambo will be racing around your body, scanning it for unresolved issues and then going directly to work on those areas. You may experience a throbbing or burning sensation in those areas for a short while. Some people may feel some abdominal discomfort and need to defecate. Other people will have a release + reset demonstrated by slightly vibrating or crying or yawning. The experience could last anywhere from ten to thirty minutes as your body, mind, emotions and spirit are being cleansed. During your session, you will have a bucket handy with close access to a bathroom should you need it. You will be supported while in the highest level of care throughout the process.
It is useful to work with the breath, staying present to your experience and mindful of whatKambo is connecting to: physical, emotional, energetic. Relax into the sensations with a feeling of gratitude, allowing the spirit of Kambo to connect you to your truth and the healing needed.
At the appropriate time after your purge, the medicine will be removed from your skin and the major part of your cleanse is over. The Kambo process is over quickly.The purging process works on a physical, mental and emotional level. Clients may feel tired at this point and need to rest, others are quite rejuvenated and filled with energy. During the post session rest, many people receive 'downloads', insights and inspiration about living a healthier and more aligned life. The vibrational lift is palpable almost immediately post-session. Within a short time – usually an hour or so you will begin to harmonize and you can drink and eat normally. After 24 hours it's great to begin to notice potential shifts.
+ WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY "PURGING"?
Purging is the body expelling something it no longer needs and this happens in a few different ways;
Vomiting - With all the water inside you this is pretty easy, it just happens, its often said ‘I dont get sick’, or “I cant be sick.’ you will be suprised at how easy this can be.
Crying - tears are such a good way to cleanse, a good life lesson if you ever see someone crying just sit next to them and let them sob it out, the worst thing you can do it stop them with a ‘there there don’t cry’. Crying is how the body releases pent up energy from our field.
Sweat - Some people sweat buckets, some not so much its all very person-dependant.
Noise - groan, whale, laugh, sing, yes make noise! Don’t hold back with noise - come energy, release it.
Twitching and shivers - I like to think that this is Kambô energy just rewiring your circuits.
Bottom purging - yes poo! We all do it and don’t worry you’ll be able to make it to the loo it’s never usually a problem. Just look at it this way all the toxins are being removed from your gut.
+ WILL I GET PERMANENT SCARRING FROM KAMBO?
The burn marks will heal and fade with time but depending on your skin color and type you may always have small visible scars. Most people see their Kambo scars as symbols of one’s commitment to healing. The same points can be reused after 2-3 months. After the dots of Kambo are removed, the points are dressed with a natural tree sap/Dragon’s Blood. This helps them to heal faster and ensures they stay free from infection until they scab naturally. You may also treat the area with 100% pure aloe, vitamin E oil, or *helichyrsum oil.
* Available in the V(EYE)BES doTERRA shop.
+ WAHT IS RAPE/HAPE AND HOW IS IT USED IN CEREMONY?
Rapé (pronounced Hapeh) is an ancient traditional Amazonian medicine that connects us to the spirits of the forest. When using it for healing, the act of giving and taking is to send a prayer to spirit asking for help. Rapé is made from leaves, seeds, spices, bark, oils, herbs and flowers from medicinal plants, roots and trees. The primary ingredient in rapé is tobacco (many different types of tobacco are used) roasted and ground up. The combinations of ingredients vary enormously from tribe to tribe and will determine the strength and medicinal powers of the snuff, which can be for physical, mental or spiritual healing. Making rapé is a labour intensive process that involves connecting with the plants used with many prayers and healing intentions.
Rapé is taken via the nose as a finely powdered snuff. It is traditionally used with Kambo as a way to break through any blockages and to help with the purge. If it is suggested that rapé may help with your Kambo process you will be shown (if you are new to rapé) the optimal way to take receive it. Rapé is also a wonderful way to ground and can facilitate a deeper coming into the body at the end of the Kambo session.
+ WHAT IS SANANGA AND HOW IT USED IN KAMBO CEREMONIES?
Sananga is a traditional Amazonian eye medicine made from the shredded root of the shrub Tabernaemontana Sanana or Undulata. This shrub is part of the Apocinaceae plant family and the active ingredient in Sanangais thus Ibogaine. Sananga is used by many indigenous tribes of Peru and Brazil.
These powerful eye-drops operate on many levels of healing: physical, energetic and spiritual. The active ingredient acts directly on the roots of disease, diluting the forces that create Panema (negative energy), depression and psycho-somatic conditions. It is great for physical eye problems. It cleans and refreshes the eyes providing immediate visual enhancement. On another level, it can open the 3rd eye, clean and expand the aura and balance the chakras, keeping one balanced emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Sananga is traditionally used as an ally with Kambo, supporting the process by clearing the way for the frog’s magic. In our circle Sananga is offered before Kambo to ground and open your energy in preparation for Kambo and it is also offered after Kambo to clean and refresh after resting, to support uplifting and ground post Kambo.
Sananga stings when applied to the eyes, and a strong batch can be quite painful and cause redness for 5-10 mins. You will need to remove your contact lens prior to this treatment.
+ HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I NEED?
The amount of sessions one may need is largely dependent on your health and and your intentions in taking Kambo. Kambo is most effective when done in a series. Any chronic health issue, doing several treatments in a short amount of time is ideal to get the upper hand on things. Some people like to do a 3 over 3 days as part of a deep cleanse. For others with health challenges, it may be better to do 3 weeks in a row, with a week in between to give them time to recover and properly detox. Some people find that once every 6 weeks is good maintenance.
If you are trying to shift a particular situation with Kambo, I would suggest committing to 3 treatments minimum in a short amount of time; within 4 weeeks at least. The first treatment is often a mutual introduction; the frog is getting to know you and you are getting to know the way of the frog. After the initial experience, folks feel more comfortable at navigating the experience and are able to surrender and go deeper...getting more effective results. Saying all that, booking in for one session just to try it out is totally fine.
V(EYE)BES offers single sessions at the full service cost, and also Kambo packages of 3 or 5 sessions at a slightly discounted rate.
+ WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY TREATMENT?
You will get the most of your treatment if you eat well and rest post session. You will be allowed to rest a little post session with me and invited to stay for the relaxing Soundbath, and then I recommend you take it easy and dont make too many plans for the rest of the day. It is useful to journal and to inquire and consider your session and what is arising in your life in the days and weeks post the session. The real benefits of Kambo are felt in the days and weeks following. It is in these days that people report increased energy and focus, emotional breakthroughs, positive mood, capacity to withstand stress, increase flow in life, shifts in stuck patterns, release of trauma and lessening of disease symptoms.
Post-Kambo is a fantastic time to make positive lifestyle changes, quit negative habits, make important decisions, and take on big tasks and challenges. Kambo can be a powerful systemic reset: it clears out harmful toxins, negative energy, limiting beliefs, and can seemingly/magically remove obstacles on the path to well-being, deep sense of connection and the experience wholeness. Post-Kambo is the time to initiate needed shifts.
+ WILL KAMBO SHOW UP ON A DRUG TEST?
Although Kambo contains opioid receptor agonists, it doesn’t contain any opiates. It is therefore extremely unlikely to be detected in a drug test.