Kambo is the name given to the poisonous skin secretions of the Giant Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor). This Amazonian creature is revered by local tribes for its cleansing and healing powers. Traditionally Kambo is used to provide holistic support by purging the body and spirit of negative energy.


How does Kambo work?


The Giant Monkey Frog is a shy nocturnal creature whose nest is hidden away deep in the jungle. The Shaman alone is able to follow it’s calls and gently extract the poison before returning the frog to the wild. The secretions are collected and dried on wooden sticks to preserve them for later use.


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The Kambo ceremony itself is performed by the Kambo practitioner making a series of superficial burns on the user’s body then applying the reconstituted poison. The Kambo generally has an immediate effect – the user will have a racing heart, vomiting and incontinence. These initial effects disappear after 30-40 minutes after which it is important to rest. Users report feeling physically stronger with heightened senses, and a sense of balance in the longer term.


If you’re considering having Kambo treatment ensure that you go to a properly qualified practitioner. The popularity of traditional medicine is on the rise and we are becoming increasingly more open to biomedicine but you should research your practitioner before you go ahead with any treatment.


After the initial ceremony the effects of Kambo can prove long lasting. There seems to be effects on both the physical body and on the users’ mind and emotional well-being.


What are the benefits of Kambo?


Over 60 separate chemical compounds have been isolated in Kambo which have a variety of beneficial effects on the body. The reported benefits of Kambo are wide ranging and all have been linked to a particular component in the secretions.


  • Phyllocaerulein stimulates gut flow and stomach acid production.
  • Phyllokinin lowers blood pressure with its vasoconstriction effect.
  • Phyllomedusin can alter consciousness and behavior as it is one of the few substances which can cross the blood/brain barrier.
  • Sauvagine causes dopamine release.
  • Dermaseptin B2 fights microbes which cause infection.
  • Deltorphins / Dermorphin similarly to opioids like morphine to relieve pain.


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What Are the Long-term effects of Kambo?


In traditional societies a Kambo ceremony is used by hunters to prepare themselves before they enter the jungle. The long-term effects of the Kambo are a heightened sense of awareness of oneself and the environment. This makes it a valuable tool to this day for both indigenous tribes and modern urban dwellers.


Improved mood is frequently reported, as is a reduction in feelings of anxiety which is why many people are interested in finding out more about Kambo. Being able to cleanse and reduce negative energy is an attractive one, and anecdotal evidence suggests that Kambo can help you do this.



Indigenous users continue to use the procedure to feel connected to nature and each other. Kambo practitioners and Shaman in other parts of the world report that users also appreciate the support of the group during the ceremony. The emotional connection Kambo provides to those around us, bolsters the dopamine release effect and allows positive energy to flow.


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