Traditional Amazonian Frog Medicine
Kambo clears the path ahead, promoting a deeper understanding of ourselves and everything around us. The clearer we are, the more resonant we become and the more we synchronize with ‘what is’. In this ‘enlightened’ state both happiness and joy come easily because we are present and in the moment.
Kambo’s medicine washes away any negative physical and mental energies which deny us a balanced and peaceful life. When we have allowed emotional toxins to thwart our outlook on life, or when we feel swamped, it is surely time for Kambo. Many have described their Kambo experiences as a genuine rebirth, like walking through a portal after which they were never the same again. Post Kambo some people have realized their formally illusive dreams and found it much easier to fulfill their heart’s desires. Kambo helped them to reignite their courage and to acknowledge themselves on a deeper level, letting go of that which was holding them back and allowing them to embrace their highest happiness.’
Also known as Sapo (“Toad” in Spanish) and Dow-Kiet (“Frog” in the language of the Matses tribe of Peru), the origins of Kambo go back thousands of years within Brazilian, Colombian and Peruvian tribal settings.
Traditionally, tribes used Kambo in 3 ways:
- “Hunting Magic” – After taking Kambo, tribe members were able to hunt fearlessly, with more energy and focus. They believed that Kambo cleansed and strengthened the minds and bodies of hunters.
- Medicine – Kambo has been used to treat Malaria, snake bites, fever, and various infections.
- Lifting “Panema,” or dark/negative energy – When Panema is cleared, obstacles are removed and life flows more naturally. Traditionally, there are stories of Kambo being used for fertility, sexual attraction, and good fortune.
The earliest Western observations of Kambo came in 1925, when a French priest was staying with the Kaxinawa tribe in Northwest Brazil. In the 1980s, Kambo gained notoriety when an American Anthropologist described its use by the Mayoruna tribe in Brazil. Shortly thereafter, an American journalist wrote about Kambo use with the Matses tribe in Peru. In the 1990s, Francisco Gomez from Cruzeiro do Sol (Western Brazil) brought Kambo outside of the Amazon, and it quickly spread to the larger cities of Brazil. In the 2000s, Kambo has taken off in the rest of the world, now helping people across South America, Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The special tree frog from the Amazon has certainly leapt far and wide in the last 15 years!
HOW IS IT HARVESTED?
Local Indians harvest Kambo by picking up the frogs (when they are done feeding around dawn), carefully stretching out their bodies in the shape of an X, and sometimes massaging their toes to encourage secretion.
The secretion is gently collected and dried on small sticks, which are then sent across the world to be used as healing medicine. All of the Kambo sticks purchased by the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners, the organization we trained with and are members of) come from the esteemed Matses tribe in Peru, and are from ethically and sustainably harvested frogs.
- IAKP frogs are never harmed, killed, or mistreated in any way. The harvesting is gentle, leaving each frog with plenty of secretion to defend itself. IAKP frogs are never poked or prodded to take extra secretions.
- IAKP harvesting is sustainable. A straw string is wrapped around each frog’s leg during milking, leaving a tiny white line on the leg for 2-3 months. That frog will not be used again until the line fades.
- IAKP frogs are treated with respect. The Matses tribe believes that harming the frog would anger the animal spirits they live so closely with. For this reason, their frogs are treated with utmost care throughout the entire harvesting process.
The IAKP also directs resources to the Matses people, allowing them to buy medicines, educational materials, boat motors and hunting supplies. All of these things allow the tribe to remain in their forest home, thus protecting the rainforest from bio-pirates and destructive oil and gas companies. The rainforest of the Amazon is a treasure of discovered and undiscovered medicines, and it is essential that we help to protect the ‘lungs of the earth.’
Science has shown that the Kambo secretion has a unique and complex blend of Bioactive Peptides. The beneficial nature of these peptides has led to over 70 patents being lodged by scientists and pharmaceutical companies, all in the hope that they can replicate the benefits of Kambo.
So what is a peptide?
A peptide is a short chain of amino acids, that when bonded performs a function in the human body. Insulin, Oxytocin, Growth hormone, Antibiotics, and Enzymes are all examples of peptides. Peptides affect mood, energy, cognitive reasoning, blood sugar, digestion, blood pressure and immune system regulation. They can help with inflammation and even stop the growth of microorganisms in the body.
What makes Kambo peptides special?
Kambo contains Bioactive Peptides, which means that each one performs a specific and beneficial function in the human body. Most importantly, the peptides in Kambo are completely natural, so the body recognizes them and unlocks cells to the benefits of the medicine. This is not true for pharmaceutical drugs, which often have to break into cells – generally leaving behind a residue and causing some stress in the body. Kambo is a natural substance that the human body recognizes, so it’s receptive to the medicine with no stress to the cells. Kambo even helps clean out the residue left by drugs.
What are the Peptides in Kambo?
There are 11 well-known peptides that have been isolated in Kambo secretion. It is a blend that is completely unique to the frog medicine.
These peptides are:
- Phyllocaerulein – a neuropeptide (a special type of peptide that helps neurons communicate in the brain) that reduces blood pressure, modifies satiety (stomach fullness), and manages sedation and thermoregulation. It’s also a potent pain killer.
- Phyllokinin – a peptide that reduces blood pressure in the long-term, and crosses the blood-brain barrier to help take Kambo’s benefits to the brain.
- Phyllomedusin – a neuropeptide (unique to Kambo) that acts as a powerful vasodilator, widening and relaxing blood vessels, veins, and arteries.
- Dermorphin – a chain that acts on opioid receptors to reduce pain. It is 30-40 times more potent than morphine.
- Deltorphin – another peptide that interacts with opioid receptors, showing higher selectivity for them than any compound known to man. There are 2 Deltorphins in Kambo, adding to its pain-killing properties.
- Dermaseptin – a peptide with potent antimicrobial effects against bacteria, yeast, fungi, protozoa, and even enveloped viruses.
- Adenoregulin – a peptide that has been shown to be very effective in killing cancer cells, effectively turning off their fuel supply.
- Tryptophyllin – a peptide that been shown to be highly potent against the yeast Candida Albicans.
- Phyllolitorin, [Leu8] Phyllolitorin, Rohdei-Litorin – 3 neuropeptides that stimulate gastric acid secretion and smooth muscle contraction.
See “Kambo Science“ for a detailed description of the biological functions of Kambo. That being said, the benefits of Kambo have been known for 1000s of years, long before we began to study it scientifically and break it down into its individual components. We believe this is a case where the whole secretion is greater than the sum of its parts. The spirit of Kambo is a bit of a mystery, but its natural composition clearly has numerous and powerful effects on the mind and body!
IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners, the organization we trained with and are members of) frogs are never harmed, killed or mistreated in any way. IAKP harvesting is sustainable. IAKP frogs are treated with respect. For more information on the harvesting process, see “How Is Kambo Harvested?“
Kambo is completely safe when used properly. See “Who Should NOT Take Kambo?“ for a detailed list of contraindications. Pay careful attention to it! There are no exceptions to this list, as your health and well-being are our first priority.
We make sure to note that Kambo is not a cure, but it can be a great treatment in conjunction with current regimens. For a list of conditions that Kambo may help with, check out “What Conditions Can Kambo Treat?“
Most Kambo burns heal and fade to barely visible within a few months. Some types of skin will show scars more than others, but most people view their Kambo scars as a badge of honor. We treat burns with Sangre de Drago, an antiseptic substance that reduces scarring, and we will take every care to choose discrete areas for your treatment if it is a concern for you.
Yes! We are extremely happy to say that there are no regulations against the use of Kambo in any country in the world.
No. Many people report thinking more clearly after Kambo, but Kambo is not hallucinogenic.
See “About Us“ – the road to becoming an IAKP practitioner is challenging but more than worth it! We have both spent 100s of hours in Amazonian medicine ceremonies over the years. We are proud to have completed an intense practitioner training course that included the harrowing 3×3 tribal initiation rite (receiving Kambo three times in three hours). We both feel blessed to receive this sacred frog medicine and the healing it has provided. We are deeply honored to be able to spread the spirit and healing of Kambo.