What is Kambô?

What is Kambô?

Kambô is the poisonous secretion of the Phyllomedusa bicolor, or giant monkey frog, and is a powerful medicine that has been used by tribes in Peru and Brazil for hundreds of years. For the last couple decades Kambô has found its way into western societies to successfully help with addiction and depression, the heaviness that the tribes refer to as panema, a negative entity or bad spirit believed to manifest physical sickness, and well as a lack of luck or prowess in the hunt.

The peptides found in this medicine reduce stress and anxiety, reduce pain with anti-inflammatory properties, help with cancer by reducing its ability to grow, lower blood pressure and aid in heart health with vaso-dilatory effects, widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow, as well as fighting fungal and bacteria infections with powerful anti-microbial properties. This medicine also repairs organs, assists in easing and even curing various diseases, and has significantly helped with fertility issues. The healing aspects that can't be scientifically documented are in the medicine's intelligence and ability to target areas and problems in the body that you may not even be aware of yet, as it does a deep cleanse and detox, reseting the body on a cellular level, and is often referred to as nature's vaccine. The frog purifies the spirit and the mind by purging toxins and negativity, leaving you feeling calm and clear.

Another important thing to note is that Kambô is a Brazilian practice. The Peruvian Matsés practice Sapo, which is a misnomer and causes confusion in western healing communities. The Matsés call this divine medicine Sapo for the same reason that Native Americans are still referred to as Indians, even though we have known for centuries that we aren't in India. The Spanish misunderstood the medicine, as they did many other things, and Sapo was likely the only way the Matsés could interpret where the medicine came from, which means toad in Spanish. The fragility of the western mind can not refer to this medicine as Sapo because it means toad. The word Acaté still eludes western understanding, but Acaté is what the Matsés call this prince of the jungle. There are notable differences between Kambô and Sapo that I feel have become a kind of elephant in the room, but quintessentially defined by Peter Gorman in a blog post from 2017. My personal opinion of Gorman aside, he did make some very important points which are still severely misunderstood, and Google has done a great job of confusing people more, as well as scaring people where there is nothing to be afraid of but unhealthy ego death. As web developers, we also have to use the word Kambô to show up in search results.

What is Sapo?

The purity and beauty of Sapo has been almost completely lost to the constant mutation and growing popularity of Kambô, to the point that Sapo practitioners have to use the term "Kambô," so as not to be lost with the practice. I want to be very clear that this is a powerful and intelligent medicine, the benefits of which will still have an impact on your body and soul, but the truly beneficial depths have been misinterpreted.

Rapé is a beautiful medicine, and has its own powerful and necessary ceremony and purpose.

Sananga is a beautiful medicine, and has its own powerful and necessary ceremony and purpose.

This western mutation of combining all these medicines in a single ceremony only confuses the spirits of the medicines, and lessens the power of Acaté. If you wanted to experience a psilocybin journey, would you get drunk before taking the mushrooms, then take a couple bong rips of cannabis before the mushrooms get into your system? No. I mean, Peter Gorman would, and that sounds like an entertaining journey, likely involving some healing and growth depending on your intention, but it's not a psilocybin journey, it's a journey that serves a different purpose, partially influenced by psilocybin. Same thing applies to Acaté. I love and respect Rapé. I adore and respect Sananga. I completely respect the spirit of Kambô, Sapo, Accaté, and I refuse to dilute or confuse the powerful healing abilities of this medicine with other medicines that don't belong in that ceremony. You are free to partake of this medicine however you like, and follow the practice of whatever Instagram neo-shaman you like, but the results and healing will be relative to the purity and respect of your intention. Sapo is an intention based practice, strengthening your relationship with the frog, and bearing deeper healing than you could have ever imagined, not something to check off of your adrenaline junkie bucket list.

The same concept applies to the application of the medicine. Traditionally, the medicine is applied to the arms and ankles. As previously mentioned, this is an intelligent medicine, and knows where to go and how to work with the body. The western mind has taken the purity and simplicity of that, the wisdom gifted by the spirit of Ayahuasca and passed down through generations, and has tried to marry it with the eastern medicine practices of acupuncture and energy center work. There are certain energy centers in your body that should not have close contact with this medicine, and are openly protected by a Mapacho ceremony before the medicine is applied. The immediacy of the medicine contact increases the risk of damaging your nervous system and body. Your "Kambô" experience will quickly turn into your body and immune system fighting to protect its nerve endings, instead of allowing the medicine to infiltrate the cells how it is divinely designed to. There are very few exceptions, none of which should be casually practiced, like the chest dose, or heart dose, which is traditionally a rite of passage and lineage transmission, something to be earned, not paid for with a practitioner who doesn't fully respect or understand the purpose or importance.

The mutation of the medicine practice is exactly why they didn't want us to have the medicine, and most medicine sticks are diluted with egg whites because we have taught these pure people that they can become western rich by taking advantage of how stupid we are. They are losing their own culture and tradition because of us, and I personally feel like there should be more of us fighting for the purity of these beautiful souls and their practice. Please be very careful who you trust applying this medicine to your body. Always find out where they trained, how they trained, and where they get their medicine.