With many touting the benefits of Kambo frog medicine, it has left many curious about this traditional Amazonian ritual. We may have heard all the reasons to do Kambo, but what is the experience actually like?
What does it actually feel like to do Kambo? There are many physiological sensations that are common to experience in the Kambo ceremony, but every Kambo treatment and individual is different. It’s important to keep in mind that each ceremony may be very different for you.
The physical sensations of Kambo
Often within 1 minute of the Kambo being applied to superficial burns made on the skin, the physical effects start to happen. You may feel your heart beating faster and harder. You may feel a heat-flushing sensation in your body. You may have tingling in your hands, or legs. You may experience sweating, mucus secretion from eyes and nose, or shaking.
Nausea is very common and often purging through vomiting is understood as a healthy part of the experience. You may also need to have a bowel movement during your Kambo ceremony. The physical sensations of Kambo can range from extremely uncomfortable to even pleasant at times. Usually the effects last 20-30 minutes. The intensity may come in waves. Once the medicine is removed from the burns, you will return to baseline quickly.
Sounds pretty great right? So why on earth does anyone do this? You don’t necessarily do Kambo because it’s fun. It’s the after-effects and benefits that you get later that make the process worth the discomfort.
What Kambo does to your body
Based on the dramatic physical reaction from Kambo, one might make all sorts of assumptions about what this frog sweat is doing to your poor body. On the outside, it may be alarming and seem obviously not safe or beneficial. While it can look like the body is being “poisoned”, the physical reactions are actually very much a result of many peptides contained in the frog’s secretion, rather than a response to a toxic substance.
Kambo contains more than 24 different types of peptide molecules. Many have been studied scientifically and show incredible potential as medicines for a variety of ailments. Some peptides have analgesic, opioid-like properties that reduce pain. Others cause contraction of smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal tract as well as secretion of gastric juices such as bile. Some peptides display powerful antibiotic activity, effectively killing bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Other peptides lower blood pressure and influence the cardiovascular system.
Is Kambo dangerous?
While there is still only a small amount of research on these peptides, they display minimal to no toxicity to animals while showing tremendous promise as novel drug treatments. So while it’s easy to try and explain Kambo’s effects on the body as a simple toxic response, it’s actually the complex mechanism of the peptides that prompt these bodily functions. While no intervention is safe for everyone, most people are fit to safely received Kambo when administered by a trained Kambo practitioner with proper safety protocols in place.