The following article about kambo healing is a guest post by Master Kambo Practitioner Davina MacKail.
The Great Waxy tree frog from the arboreal regions of the upper Amazon seems, at first glance, to have leapt too far when found in the inner cities of Europe and America. Its use has spread widely since the investigative journalist Peter Gorman first brought it to the attention of those outside the Amazon in the 80’s. In its natural habitat, the officially titled Phyllomedusa Bicolour has no predators due to its extraordinarily effective defense mechanism. When threatened or stressed it releases a secretion that acts as a rapid onset, purgative deterrent to its potential enemies. The opportunist snake that fancied frogs’ legs for lunch gets a nasty surprise and the frog leaps clean away.
In its natural habitat, Kambo (or Sapo as it is commonly known) is used by those living in the forest to support their immune systems by eliminating toxins and preventing infectious diseases such as malaria or dengue fever. Different tribes have adapted the use of Kambo for different purposes. For example, it is predominantly used by the Matses to increase hunting prowess. It does this by increasing stamina, reducing the need for food and sleep, and masking human odor to make them less obvious to the forest creatures. At the same time, it heightens the hunter’s perceptive ability to tune into a specific prey. Other tribes utilize the secretion in cases of laziness, bad luck, or what is known as ‘panema’- a sense of being energetically attacked. Kambo healing is known to effectively clear the energetic body of such negative attachments.
One might ask, how does this relate to Kambo today? It seems an unlikely international traveller, until we jump to the meta level. Our planet does not see itself as separate pieces; rather, it is a constantly mutating, interconnected wholeness. This transposition of one culture’s practice to another isn’t new, and has been often proven by archeologists. Customs, medicines and rituals have always crossed continents, carried by the innate human drive to explore beyond our boundaries. Perhaps this cross-pollination of knowledge is more intrinsic to our survival as a species than we have previously understood. Is it ultimately any different to the behaviour of migrating birds and beasts across vast acreages? Where it goes wrong is when humans turn to conquering rather than sharing.
What’s interesting is the timing of Kambo’s arrival in the West and its gathering popularity. Western medicines are failing us. Drug companies are constantly having to invent new antibiotics whose shelf life of effectiveness is becoming increasingly shorter. Research on certain bioactive peptides within the Kambo secretion has shown that it is a powerful antibiotic and painkiller that is entirely natural to the human body. Painkillers earn pharmaceutical companies fortunes every day as we succumb to endless chronic conditions that we are told have no solution, except a daily dose of heavy chemicals alien to our bodies. These same companies have been on a mission to synthesize Kambo’s health-restoring peptides since they became aware of the secretion. So far this has not proven possible, simply because scientists have yet to discover how to successfully induce the frog to produce its magic secretion outside of its natural habitat.
For those of us who are generally healthy, there is an aspect of Kambo where its cross pollination is of great benefit to modern industrial living. When I first visited the Amazon, I was not prepared for the extraordinary, non-stop noise. The jungle never rests and is never quiet. To an untrained ear it is virtually impossible to distinguish between one creature and another in this cacophony of sound. In a strange way, this is no different than our urban jungle, a cacophony of 24-hour noise vying for our attention. Perhaps the real reason Kambo has gained such widespread popularity is due to its potential to help us navigate our modern technological jungles. We are, after all, one human race existing within different environmental conditions.
Certainly, this is true from my own observations and from speaking with regular clients. We all notice an immediate increase in our ability to focus in the days following a Kambo healing session. The frog seems to wake up the Reticular Activating System of the brain, that part of our neurology that allows us to notice what we need to pursue amongst the endless distractions demanding our attention on a daily basis. The ability to simply ‘get stuff done’ after a Kambo session is a palpable, observable benefit.
In the Amazon jungle, the pervading ideology is that everything is connected, and everything has spirit, an animating essence. In our urban jungles, the pervading ideology is that the individual rules and that we live in an inanimate world. No wonder so many of us feel disconnected, dissatisfied and depressed. Here again, Kambo provides a balm to soothe the First World soul. The process may not be entirely joyous, but the aftereffects certainly are. Hence despite the strong process, we return to Kambo again and again. Knowing that this gentle creature’s medicine supports us in managing stress and increasing stamina exactly as it supports the Amazonian hunter in the increased ability to provide food for his tribe reconnects us to our joy and our hearts and gets us back in our natural flow with life.
Kambo’s natural affinity with the body’s amino acids and proteins—the building blocks of life which form the foundation of our material existence—helps us to reconnect, to find our center of navigation. With its help, we are more able to steer our own vessels through the maze-like waterways of life. Thank goodness it made the leap!
For more about Davina’s Amazon project visit www.sipapu.co