I must admit that when I first heard about Kambo I was less than impressed. My initial research consisted of a quick search on youtube where I watched several short clips of people getting small dots burnt on certain areas of their body, a poison from an Amazonian frog applied to the burn marks and then within minutes what can only be described as hell took place. Swelling of the face, gut-wrenching cramps, and projectile vomiting was not my idea of a good time. I wasn't hooked.
But as with many plant-based medicines, they have a habit of finding you as opposed to you finding them; Much was my experience last year with DMT (Dymethaltriptomine). Over the following months, I happened to stumble across several websites and videos on Kambo where I carried out more in-depth research into the medicinal benefits of this fascinating medicine.
What is Kambo
Also, know as Sapo - The medicine is from the peptide secretions from the Phyllomedusa bicolor, an Amazonian tree frog. Kambo is made up of many different substances, all of which have their own effect on the human body.
Kambo contains a large number of peptides:
What are the benefits of Kambo
The medicinal benefits of Kambo cover a wide range of potential medical uses which include the treatment of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, depression, blood circulation problems, migraines, vascular insufficiency, skin and eyes issues, Organ diseases, fertility, AID’s, hepatitis and cancer to name a few.
But in addition to these, it's also an effective way of rebooting your immune system and boosting your cognitive functionality, shifting mindset, rebalancing focus and improving mood and overall wellbeing.
Why did I decide to try Kambo medicine?
I felt as if my brain needed a reboot. I had lost focus on my goals, my priorities and I felt as if my whole body needed a detox. I was running on empty. To say I have been burning the candle at both ends would be an understatement. Partying, getting back into the dating game, working long hours and boozing. For the best part, I was still watching my diet, albeit drinking excessively, training hard in the gym and to be completely honest having a great time. That was up until the last month or so. The diet gradually got poorer, swapping green smoothies for a McDonald's breakfast. Freshly cooked food for pub grub or a sandwich from Mark's and Spencer's. Now while I was able to counterbalance the poor diet with intermittent fasting and balancing my daily calorie intake. It's a worthy reminder that not all calories are made equal. 2000 calories made up of fast food isn't the same as eating fresh whole foods and vegetables. Brain functionality and your cognitive performance are greatly affected and I was all too aware of that.
It wasn't long before I said to myself 'Houston we have a problem'. But I was having a lot of fun and I found myself constantly saying to myself 'next week'. However, week after week went by and before I knew it, the weeks turned into a month. As much as I would like to take full credit for recognising my wrongdoing, I can't. It was a deterioration of my health that was the wake-up call. I caught a bacterial infection and my immune system just completely shut down. This was my wake-up call and I knew it was time to do something about it.
Fortunately, I knew some friends who held Kambo ceremonies at a studio in North London. So I decided to bite the bullet and attend one on a Friday evening. Firstly the surroundings and atmosphere at ceremonies like this play an extremely important role in the overall experience. Upon entering the studio I was confident I was in the right place. I see some familiar faces. People who I had previously met at DMT gatherings I had been to in Notting Hill. The group consisted of eight people and we were introduced to a guy called Marco who was leading the ceremony. He was extremely knowledgeable and I felt confident I was in safe hands.
We were given an introduction to the origins of Kambo and we were asked questions as to why we have decided to use Kambo medicine. Apparently, the reasons why played a pivotal role as to where the medicine would be administered. As my decision was based upon leading a hectic lifestyle with strain put on my liver due to partying, alcohol and a weak immune system it was decided that my spots would be placed along my liver meridian line which ran along the side of my shin bone. Anyone new the group was required to have an initial test spot to gauge their reaction and tolerance. We were instructed to start drinking water with the aim of consuming around two litres. This allows your body to process the water and when the medicine takes effect that's when you purge and clear the toxins from your body.
Marco started by making a small circular burn mark on the chosen body part made by a small wooden instrument that had been set alight, and then put out I might add. Once this was complete he then placed a small amount of the Kambo medicine on the open wound. typically first timers need around four spots in order to bring on the purging and for the effects to take hold and be effective. Some of the group were experiencing the effects after only three spots. However, I felt nothing but a slight tingle in the area where it had been applied and a slight rise in temperature. Within fifteen minutes everyone appeared to be experiencing the effects of the Kambo, apart from me. The guy sitting opposite me face swelled up to cartoon-like proportions which freaked me the hell out and the girl next to him, who before the ceremony I thought to be stunning had experienced swelling which aged her by about forty years. I will state that this is common place and the swelling reduces within 15/20minutes after the Kambo had been processed by your body, although it can take longer in some cases.
However, the only problem was, I still wasn't purging but I was definitely feeling all the negative effects of the medicine such as flu-like symptoms, stomach cramps, and a strong head rush. This went on for a while whilst receiving spot after spot of the medicine and I continued to drink more water. When I finally did purge after ten spots and four litres of water later it was such a minuscule amount. I decided to go for broke and stuck my fingers down my throat to try to purge and finally draw the session to a close. Unfortunately, it was to no avail. Twenty minutes later when everyone else was sitting peacefully chatting amongst themselves or meditating, there was me shivering like a wreck bent over a bucket with my fingers down my throat feeling very emotional with tears streaming down my face.
Marco came over and gave me a hit of Rapé up each nostril which is a sacred Amazonian snuff tobacco which clears out your nasal passage and heightens your awareness. After receiving this I managed to purge a little bit more but considering I had drunk double the amount of water everyone else had and received more than double the amount Kambo they had, I barely filled a quarter of the bucket, whereas everyone else had filled theirs up. But after a while, the effects of the Kambo started to wear off and I started to feel better. One of the things to highlight here is that everyone reacts differently to Kambo. Every individual has a different biochemistry and I dare say lifestyle plays a significant part. The guy sitting opposite me face swelled up so much he looked like a characterture, the guy sitting next to me purged after only two spots were administered and yet another woman at the ceremony who was a late purger, but when she did she filled two buckets within minutes
After about ten minutes or so I started to feel better and spent the next half hour talking to other people in the group discussing our experience. As with my experience with DMT the atmosphere, surroundings, and the people who attend play a huge role in the overall experience. Fortunately, I was in good hands and the experience was extremely positive.
Later that evening
Within a few minutes of leaving the studio, I felt an overwhelming urge to go to the toilet and I am not talking about taking a piss. I feared the hour's journey back home. I pigeoned walked my way back to the tube conscious that one false move and I could be in deep shit, quite literally. Yes, it was that bad! Thankfully I made it home but it was a close call. Without getting too graphic it was like no other crap I had ever taken. Now I know where the four lires of water and frog poison had ended up. But it was also extremely satisfying and I felt amazing. For the remainder of the night, I chilled out allowing myself to take stock of the experience.
The following day
I woke up feeling so refreshed and clear headed it was unreal. I did truly feel detoxed and much better for it. I felt an inner calmness and didn't particularly want to be near big crowds or noise. I felt extremely relaxed and happy. I met up later that day with a friend in the West End for the Pride celebrations and I wasn't tempted to drink alcohol at all. Bearing in mind booze was absolutely everywhere and everyone was partying hard. Was it the magical effects of Kambo or was it willpower or a mixture of both?
All I can say is, that if I were at such an event a few days prior to my Kambo ceremony there would have been no doubt in my mind that I would have caved in and had a beer in my hand within minutes.
I write this post three days after my Kambo experience and I feel much clearer headed, happier and relaxed. Certainly more focussed that's for sure.
Is it for everybody? I honestly don't see why not. But then again there will be people who wouldn't dream of administering a poison into their body for the medicinal benefits. But I do believe the people who have been exposed to plant-based medicines and psychedelics will ultimately experience a life journey like no other. I truly believe they provide you with the opportunity to grow as a person and connect with people on a whole other level. And for that, I feel truly blessed to have experienced the magical properties of Kambo medicine.
Have you experienced Kambo? I would love to hear about your experience so please leave comments below or hit me up on Twitter
For further reading and useful information, I recommend visiting www.kambocleanse.com who's photo we use on the main blog post.
I’m walking over 2,500 miles across India to raise money for mental health and male suicide prevention