KAMBO. Aka Frog Poison.
Kambo is a traditional ritual that uses the poison of the giant monkey frog to purify the body.
I originally heard of Kambo when I was in Costa Rica last winter. I saw something that looked like a unique tattoo on a girl I was talking to and asked what it was. She explained it was from multiple Kambo experiences. She felt great benefits from Kambo and it was on my radar ever since. A few weeks ago, one of my friends posted about it on his Instagram, so I reached out. He directed me to someone who was in NYC for the next week doing Kambo house calls, so I jumped on the opportunity.
Kambo is a bright green tree frog native to the Amazon basin is supposed to act like a reset to ones body. Many people seek it out to reinvigorate the body and mind. Kambo has a span of traditional and potential therapeutic applications, both medical and psycho-spiritual. The secretion is known for its powerful purgative effects.
The women asked me which side of the body I would like to have the Kambo. The right side is for the “physical” and the left is more for “emotional”. My friend who had done Kambo had relief from some of his chronic pain. I was doing it to hopefully relieve my joint pain, so I chose the right arm.
She then burned my arm (the size of one of the dots seen in the photo) and proceeded to put the kambo on top of the burn. After a little but, we moved onto a second dot. I started to feel the kambo pretty heavily at this point.
My body became very hot and my heart started to beat more rapidly. I felt pretty out of it. Then, I started to get nauseous. The feeling was overwhelming. Then, she put one last dot on my arm. This is when I started to purge. I was purging bright green liquid which is supposedly bile from your liver. The Kambo practitioner had a really calming energy to her. She was supporting me with positive words and made the process a bit more tolerable. After about 20-30 min of vomiting, I had to use the restroom. Then, my body started to normalize. The Kambo was very uncomfortable for about 40 minutes.The Kambo was then taken off. Then, the practitioner put on Dragon’s Blood (or Sangre de Drago) on top of the three burn marks, which is liquid resin obtained from the Croton Lechleri Tree. This is applied to the burns upon conclusion of the ceremony, Dragon’s Blood protects the healing burn by covering it with an antibacterial layer. It helps to heal wounds and preventing scar tissue. When dried up it completely closes the wound. This is what you are seeing in the photo of my arm. The Dragon’s Blood fell off after a few weeks naturally and I can hardly see any scar now (see 3rd photo). Apparently, the scars fade completely in a few months, but depending on your skin color and type you may always have small visible scars. Most people see their Kambo scars as a badge of honor.
Then, I was given tobacco called Rapé, which is a tribal healing, blown into the nose through a blow pipe. Rapé clears and focuses the mind and thoughts, centers and grounds your energy, opens up your physical and spiritual senses and awareness, cleanses and purifies your body and energetic fields, connects you to your spirit allies and other medicines, and much more.
For the next few hours, the only thing I was able to do was relax and watch TV. I went outside and took a short walk, almost feeling like I was high. I went to bed really early that night and slept 12 hours and could have slept longer. I was so exhausted from the experience.
That being said, everyone feels differently after taking it. It’s a warrior medicine so traditionally the tribes take it before going hunting.
The aftermath: it’s really hard to tell whether or not Kambo had a noticeable effect on me. I tried it hoping it would help ease up some of my joint pain, which it did not. However, I have been eating a cleaner since and haven’t had many cravings for dairy/gluten which I try and stay away from but usually give in to from time to time. I also my sleeping and some other habits are better. That being said, I also did Kambo a week before Memorial Day Weekend. Before the start of summer, I am generally in a better mood and more motivated to eat clean. It is hard to tell how much of my habit changes are directly related, but I can keep you guys posted on updates/if I try this again.
24 hours before treatment – I was informed not to eat meat, anything too spicy, no alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, no supplements and to be well hydrated.
No caffeine in the morning the day of.
Fast for 10 hours before the treatment. It is common for people to do the treatment in the morning.
Make sure to have 2 liters of spring water on hand.
After the treatment – it was advised not to drink alcohol for a few days after the treatment to give my liver a rest.
If you are interested in learning more about Kambo, the article I sourced is a good reference to learn more. See below.
Teal, George, et al. “Everything You Need To Know About Kambo, The Tree Frog Medicine.” The Third Wave, thethirdwave.co/psychedelics/kambo/.