Kambo frogs are found high in trees in the Amazon rainforest. Generally harvested at dawn, the tribespeople will sing and imitate the frogs’ song to call them down from the tress. The frogs are passive, docile, and do not react negatively when picked up, possibly because they have no natural predators. The frogs are carefully tied by each leg, and the secretion is carefully scraped off and dried onto small pieces of bamboo. The string leaves a tiny white line on the each leg, which lets others know not to harvest from that frog. Frogs are not harmed and treated with the utmost care and respect as they believe that any harm to the frog will anger the animal spirits that they live closely with.
The Ceremony Process
Making the decision to participate in a Kambo ceremony involves committing to a very intense purging process. Kambo should always be applied by a properly trained facilitator administering and supervising the process at all times. Small points are burned into the top layer of skin, which is superficial and does not bleed. These marks may fade over time, but depending on the color and type of skin, can result in small scars. Dried Kambo secretion is mixed with water and applied to the points where it is absorbed into the lymphatic system. Drinking 2 liters of water before the application assists with the purging process. Immediate effects are strong and can be unpleasant, lasting usually between 10-30 minutes. These can include a feverish rise in body temperature, sweating, dizziness, increased heart rate, an increase or decrease in blood pressure, inflammation, and tingling in the skin. Kambo intuitively scans the entire physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual systems to address the areas to be worked on. The purge process is a strong physiological response, where toxins and panema can be eliminated by vomiting, defection, sweating, crying, or shaking. After the effects start to wear off, a feeling of fatigue is common and so rest is suggested. Eating and drinking can resume and a shower can help to restore energy. Benefits can be immediate but will be apparent between 24-72 hours following the ceremony. In the 48 hours before and after ceremony, there should be no alcohol consumption, substance use including cannabis, or consumption of fried foods or pork. Following your ceremony, integration is important to sustaining a healthy and aligned life-style.
During one’s first ceremony, women receive three points on the lower right leg, while men will receive three points on the upper left arm. Protocols for future ceremonies may incorporate chakra points, meridian points, or auricular (ear) points, with the type of treatment being determined by prior experience, intentions of the ceremony, and issues to be addressed.
During the ceremony, the practitioner will often sing and use other Amazonian plants to aid and support in the process.
- Sage and Palo Santo, which are traditionally used to clean dense energies, protect environments, disperse negative vibrations and energies, and attract positive and balancing energies.
- Rapé, which is a traditional snuff made from Mapacho tobacco, and the leaves, seeds, barks, and ashes of what traditional healers consider to be medicinal plants. It is considered to help center, balance, and ground the body and mind, assist with energetic and emotional releases, increase spiritual insight, and help to surrender to the process while connecting to the spirit of the Kambo. It is administered through a pipe, where it is blown into the nasal cavities with the intention of the breath of the practitioner. Traditionally, it has also been used to treat headaches, clear the respiratory system in cases of sinusitis, rhinitis, and congestion by cleansing the sinus cavities, help eliminate excess accumulated phlegm, and promote intestinal peristaltic movement.
- Sananga, which are eye drops made from the root of the Tabermaemontana undulta shrub. It is initially uncomfortable, resulting in a burning sensation which typically only lasts for no more than a couple of minutes. It performs a deep cleansing of blocked emotional, physical, and spiritual energies and blockages. Once the initial discomfort subsides, there is a heightened sense of stillness and calmness, clarity, focus, expansion of spiritual vision and awareness, and emotional, energetic, and spiritual balancing. Traditionally, it has also been used to treat a wide range of eye problems including eye infections, conjunctivitis, dry and red eyes, myopia, depth and color perception, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration in addition to alleviating sinusitis and chronic headaches.
Native Amazonian tribes have been working safely with Kambo for generations, and it is completely safe when administered responsibly by a qualified practitioner, there are some people with health conditions who cannot receive it.
- Individuals under 18 or unable to give consent
- Recent surgery or injury (three months)
- Pregnant women or women who are nursing
- People with serious heart problems (bypass surgery, pacemakers, elongated heart, pericardium effusion, congestive heart disease, excess fluid, or replacement of heart valve)
- History of stroke, aneurism, or brain hemorrhage
- Very low blood pressure that requires medication
- History of blood clots
- History of psychiatric treatment or mental illness must be discussed prior to session
- People taking certain psychiatric medications
- Chemotherapy or radiation treatment (and for 6 weeks ending treatment)
- History of organ transplant
- Immuno-suppressant medication
- Addison’s disease
- Severe epilepsy
- If you have had Bufo in the past 6 weeks