The Biohacking Benefits of Shamanic Frog Poison Kambo Ceremonies
Read more about Matses Kambo Training here. Next, the person conducting the ritual uses a burning stick to create a number of small burns on the skin of the person attempting kambo, usually in the shoulder area. This creates blisters that are then peeled off, and the minor wounds are smeared with kambo, also known as sapo, the poisonous secretion of the giant monkey frog. Then, the shaman adds Kambo—toxins extracted from a giant monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)—to the burn and leaves it on for about 15 minutes. The small burns makes it easier for your body to absorb the toxins.
A test point is also used to monitor your initial reaction and to determine how much Kambo is going to be given (this is a safe practice for your first time taking Kambo). Ceremonies usually start with drinking about a litre of liquid such as water, cassava soup or diluted papaya juice. The challenging ritual is meant to purge, cleanse and heal, and that is what you will focus on throughout. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before participating in a kambo ritual. This is especially important if you have an underlying health condition or take any prescription medication. For starters, only highly experienced practitioners should administer kambo.
After the burn, the practitioner gently rubs off the area to expose the epidermis below. These are called burns or gates and are made by burning the top layer of skin with a smoldering piece of vine or incense stick.
Do Kambo cleanses work?
The toxin contains several different compounds which can cause adverse side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal cramping. You may also experience an opioid-like mellow feeling or euphoria. Because the poison comes into direct contact with the flesh of the person attempting the kambo ritual, it goes straight into the lymphatic system and the bloodstream, its effects are almost instantaneous. The Kambo secretion is applied to the skin after small burns are made with the tip of a stick. Kambo is a natural substance containing peptides that the human body recognizes. Italian scientist Vittorio Erspamer of the University of Rome wrote that this secretion contains a ‘fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequaled by any other amphibian’ (1).
Kambo’s Cleansing Potential
“Once the gates are made, I scrape the kambo off the stick, using a little water. It becomes a putty, I put the little balls on the opening of the gates—where it enters the body.” Just before administering the kambo, she asks people to drink some water.