Common Misunderstandings And Dangers

Some people are under the false impression that Kambo is a psychoactive substance because there is some wrong information in the internet about this. Sometimes the Kambo frog is confused with „bufo alvarius“ toad also called sapito. Kambo contains no psychoactive components that could trigger visions whatsoever. Instead it is a very physical experience. Interestingly enough, sometimes the person receiving the treatment feels connected to the frog mentally. Through this connection, you get insights about things you should do differently or let go of all together in order to have a better life. Sometimes even memories from childhood that have been buried deep inside may emerge.
Everybody that has ever used Kambo knows that it is anything other than that. To the contrary, Kambo can help people with substance-addictions like alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Kambo itself is non-addictive – to be exact, it is quite the opposite of that.
If it is used in the right way, Kambo is very secure. Nevertheless it is important to be aware that this is a very potent secretion and one has to know how to work with it. Several factors have to be regarded for a secure intake. Statistically speaking, many more people could suffer side effects from common medication, to use an argument often heard however this should not be an excuse to use it irresponsibly. The biggest danger could be when a treatment is done by someone that has no experience in this area – neither as a physician, natural healer or shaman. A white gown and a syringe does not turn every human into a doctor. Equally, a few feathers and a rattle does not make someone a shaman. You should always be mindful to be treated by someone who has experience in this field and this sort of treatment. It is best to be careful when taking Kambo with natives in the jungle as some of the local practitioners are not used to working with Westerners and it could happen that they misjudge the state of health of the person being treated. Some tribes traditionally do not use Kambo when they are very weak or sick.

No, Kambo is not suitable for everyone and that is why we do not suggest to take Kambo if one of the following conditions applies to you as there could be possibly some contraindications:

  • Very low blood pressure or when on medication for low blood pressure 
  • General heart problems 
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Aneurysms or blood clots
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Esophageal varices
  • Pancreatitis
  • If you taking immune-suppressants for organ transplant
  • If you are recovering from a major surgical procedure 
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Pregnancy 

There could be a couple of other cases where it is not recommended to take Kambo, and it is therefore always good to talk beforehand with the practitioner and see if a harmless treatment with the Kambo medicine is possible.

It is a very common misunderstanding that one uses the dot or the burn for measurement of the dose, different tribes would have a different size of the tamshi to do the burns, and that is why some tribes may sometimes use 10 dots while the  other may use 2 and achieve equally strong effects. The strength of the medicine may also vary from frog to frog and that is why the dose needs to be adjusted every time specific to the person that is taking it. 

One of application methods growing in popularity is the application on the meridians or the chakras. Usually there is nothing wrong with this method, but there is also nothing that makes this method more powerful then the regular and traditional application form, especially when taken with a proper intention.

Burning the skin superficially over a meridian does not have the same effect as sticking a needle on that acupuncture point.  If so, then the burning alone would already have a great healing effect and would not need the Kambo.  The meridians are located deeper in the body, so that they can’t be reached when burning the skin superficially.  In addition, stimulating the meridian with heat that is produced when burning a Mugwort incense (a commune TCM method known as moxibustion) is also very different then just burning the skin superficially and should not be confused.