Kambo is a non-psychoactive traditional medicine native to the Amazon region with several powerful medicinal and spiritual benefits. The medicine is named after the poisonous secretion of Phyllomedusa bicolor, popularly known as the giant frog or giant monkey frog. Giant monkey frogs can be found in eastern Peru, southeastern Columbia, northern Brazil, as well as certain parts of Bolivia and Venezuela.
What is a Kambo Ceremony?
Kambo ceremony refers to the participation in the therapeutic application of the traditional psychoactive medicine, otherwise known as Kambo cleansing or Kambo healing. The venomoussecretion, also known as frog poison has powerful purgative effects that can help people get rid of toxins in their minds and body. Kambo application comes with several unpleasant reactions such as nausea vomiting, and redness and swelling of the eyes. However, these reactions are short-lived and only last for about 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the user and manner of application.
How to Prepare for Kambo Ceremony
To maximize the potential of this powerful Phyllomedusa bicolor medicine and minimize the possibility of aftermath adverse effects, you will need to observe certain measures before partaking in the ceremony. Kambo medicine application is usually performed by practitioners who are also known as shamans. The preparation for the ritual begins from knowing the dos and don’ts of the cleansing ritual. They are as follows:
Discuss Your Health Status With Your Practitioner
Before partaking in the ceremony, you will need first to discuss your health conditions with the shaman to help determine if the medicine is good for you. This is because Kambo medicine may not be ideal if you:
– Are pregnant
– Are a nursing mother of a child under six months
– Have any history of cardiovascular disease
– Have any history of stroke or blood clot
– Have undergone chemotherapy within the past four weeks
– Have any depressive disorder, severe mental illness, brain aneurism
– Have an Addison’s disease
Medications, Food and Water
The giant monkey frog medicine releases its purgative effects after entering into the bloodstream. So, going by its mode of reacting, the effects of Kambo can cause interactions with other drugs. This is why you should also discuss with your practitioner if you are on or just completed any medication or supplement. For instance, if in the past one month, you have taken 5-MEO-DMT or Bufo, there is a possibility of a drug interaction.
Also, if you are on immunosuppressant medications for an organ transplant, Kambo medicine may not be a thing for you. Certain other traditional medicines may also interact with Kambo. It is therefore recommended that three days before the treatment, you should stay away from any medication, supplement, or herbs. You should also watch your food and liquid intake hours before the ceremony. It is advisable to fast for like 8 hours before you take the ceremony.
Before the medicine is applied, you will be asked to drink a large amount of liquid – usually, approximately 2 liters of water. Apart from water, cassava soup, corn caicuma, or diluted papaya juice are some other types of liquids you may be asked to take. The liquid is to prepare your body for the purging it is about to undergo. After that, you will be good to receive the treatment.
The dried substance will be divided into dots (roughly 1/8 in diameter). The shaman may mix the content with a little saliva or water before applying it. After that, the practitioner will use a burning stick to create small holes on the top layer of your skin. The burned top layer of the skin will then be removed painlessly before applying the prepared Kambo dots directly into each of the openings on your skin. These wounds are sometimes referred to as Kambo ceremony scars.
Within seconds of applications, the Kambo substance will be absorbed into your bloodstream to begin its purgative effects. With the blood circulation, the medicine travels to different parts of the body in search of toxins. At this moment, you can expect to start experiencing the unpleasant reactions of the drug.
Kambo Ceremony: Self Application
As explained above, the medicine is usually administered by a shaman. However, if you don’t want to visit a shaman, you can have your Kambo ceremony self-application. In fact, more people are favoring the self-application idea majorly because they want to have the ceremony as often as possible. That said, if you are having self-application for the first time, we recommend that you observe the following precautionary measures to avoid complications.
- Ensure that someone else is there with you. Until you have become highly experienced in the self-application- method, someone must always be with you during each session of your Kambo ceremony. This is because you never can tell when unforeseen circumstances might occur, which will require a timely help.
- Have all everything you need in place before the application. Your Kambo ritual kit must have all the tools for the shamanic application as well as enough water. It will be difficult running around for those things when the effects have already begun in your body.
- Don’t be far away from your toilet.
- Don’t forget to keep a timer close. You need to know when to remove the points from your skin.
- Apply the Kambo slowly. Don’t rush the points into your system. Try to begin slowly and cumulatively. With that, you will have more control over the process and reduce the chances of adverse effects like fainting.
Apart from observing safety measures, you might also want to have your Kambo ceremony music handy if you would love some soothing sound to complete the cleanse. There are several Kambo ceremony songs suitable for this shamanic experience.
How Do I Feel After Taking Kambo?
Its immediate effect has been likened to that of the body’s reaction to acute food poisoning, by many users. The idea behind the application is to purge the toxins out of the body. The purging can be through vomiting, tears, and/or defecation.
Immediately after the application, you will most likely begin to feel overwhelming nausea. Other reactions may include sweating, dizziness, loss of bladder control, muscle, rapid heart rate, muscle contractions, and dry mouth. You may also experience difficulty moving, swollen tongue and lips, blurred vision, inflammation of the throat, pressure in the head, torso or neck, and stomach pain. Depending on your body and the manner it was administered, these feelings, though intense, will only last for about 5 to 30 minutes. After that, the body quickly recalibrates, and you begin to regain your calmness.
Does Kambo Make You Hallucinate?
No, Kambo does not make you hallucinate. This hallucination idea is one of the most common myths surrounding the effects of this giant leaf frog Amazonian medicine. Though for the ardent users and followers of this unique Amazonian ritual, it is not surprising to see such myths flying around. This is because the Phyllomedusa bicolor is sometimes referred to as psychedelic tree frog by some people.
However, findings have revealed that none of the peptides in Kambo produces hallucinogenic effects. Another possible reason for this myth could be due to the similar ritual and medicinal components Kambo shares with certain other traditional medicines, such as ayahuasca and psilocybin. Of course, they offer similar kinds of unconventional healing of the body and mind. But when it comes to how each reacts in the body, this medicine releases its effects without taking you through the mystical trip of “out of the universe” like some of those psychedelic drugs.
How Long Does a Kambo Ceremony Last?
The effects of the medicine begin immediately after the application of the substance. These effects are, however, short-lived and can last for as short as 5 minutes or at most 40 minutes, depending on the user. However, due to the purgative power of the substance, you should expect several unpleasant feelings in your body system within this short period.
Does Kambo Have Side Effects I Should Be Wary Of?
Apart from the immediate unpleasantness of the medicine, which is quite short-lived, there is a possibility of certain contradictions that could be somewhat adverse on the user. The risk of having these side effects is low, though, and the majority of people perform their Kambo cleanse safely. The chances of having adverse side effects can be eliminated or significantly minimized by following your practitioner’s instructions before and during the ritual. They include:
- Muscle weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Spasms and cramps
- Short-term memory loss
How Often to Do Kambo Ceremony
The frequency will depend on the individual user. One common belief in the Kambo world is that people should take three sessions within a month. However, because individuals’ needs and cravings are different, it is best to first gain familiarity with the substance and understand how your body reacts to it. After your first session, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether or not you need multiple applications and how often that should be.
What is Kambo Ceremony Cost?
The cost ranges, depending on certain factors. The fee will depend on the location, the experience level of your practitioner, and the kinds of services and perks offered during the session. For instance, some shamans go the extra mile to ensure you have a memorable experience. They make the atmosphere welcoming with pleasant smells like frankincense, a well beautified and serene environment, and soft shamanic music. All these will be part of what determines the price. You will also likely get some discounts for multiple sessions. In general, however, the cost is inexpensive, ranging from $75 to $400 in the United States.