While practitioners claim it’s safe, a study supported by the National Institute of Health isn’t as enthusiastic. The issue is that kambo has some really potent chemicals that can interfere with your central nervous system and your cardiovascular system. One report also says your kidneys, pancreas, and liver could also be damaged by the toxins.
Read more about Matses Kambo Training here. Kambo got down deep into the areas of my body where toxins had become stuck, and released them. The final day of the retreat Kambo medicine was offered, and I accepted it was my time and place to learn, as I felt comfortable with the practitioner who would be administering the medicine.
Next, the person conducting the ritual uses a burning stick to create a number of small burns on the skin of the person attempting kambo, usually in the shoulder area. This creates blisters that are then peeled off, and the minor wounds are smeared with kambo, also known as sapo, the poisonous secretion of the giant monkey frog. Then, the shaman adds Kambo—toxins extracted from a giant monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)—to the burn and leaves it on for about 15 minutes. The small burns makes it easier for your body to absorb the toxins.
What’s the process like?
After the burn, the practitioner gently rubs off the area to expose the epidermis below. These are called burns or gates and are made by burning the top layer of skin with a smoldering piece of vine or incense stick.
A test point is also used to monitor your initial reaction and to determine how much Kambo is going to be given (this is a safe practice for your first time taking Kambo). Ceremonies usually start with drinking about a litre of liquid such as water, cassava soup or diluted papaya juice. The challenging ritual is meant to purge, cleanse and heal, and that is what you will focus on throughout. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before participating in a kambo ritual. This is especially important if you have an underlying health condition or take any prescription medication. For starters, only highly experienced practitioners should administer kambo.