My Kambo experience
I tried three Kambo sessions in a moon cycle and this is what happened...
Before I share my experience, you can read a sum up about the medicine first or if you don't want to, you can scroll down below the frog picture and start with my story right off the bat.
What is Kambo?
Kambo is a very powerful medicine that resets the nervous system, and deeply cleanses toxins and accumulated bad energy. It is said to purify, detoxify, cleanse, and reboot the immune system.
Kambo is a traditional shamanic practice, that uses the secretion of the giant green monkey tree frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) from the Amazon to bring about a deep physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual cleansing process. Indigenous tribes have used this frog poison to increase stamina, strength and clarity, as well as to bring luck and other good things upon themselves. https://www.lifegate.com/kambo
How is the frog's secretion collected?
The giant tree frog, where Kambo comes from, is pretty easy to track down because it makes a distinctive singing sound. Without harming them, the frog’s legs are tied with straw; the skin is then gently scraped with a stick—the collected secretions are put on bamboo sticks, where they dry, ready for future use. (The Kambo remains stable for a long time.) After all this is done, the frog is released and won’t get harvested again for at least three months. This way, he still has enough of his own Kambo to protect himself.
How is Kambo applied?
To create openings for the Kambo to go into our body practitioners burn gates on the skin. They burn the top layer of the skin with a smoldering piece of vine or incense stick. The area is small—about a 1/8″ diameter. Once the gates are made, the practitioner scrapes the Kambo off the stick, using a little water then places the little yellow balls on the opening of the gates where it enters the body. The bioactive peptides cross the bloodstream within seconds. The frog’s venom quickly enters the blood and lymphatic system beginning the ceremonial purging process. After a few minutes, you’ll often feel some nausea, or your stomach may start to hurt. At that point, some people throw up, some use the toilet, and some do neither or both. The purging is thought to eliminate physical, emotional, and energetic toxins.
I also heard that there's no poison in Kambo but only bioactive peptides. Kambo has around 12 different active peptides with medicinal effects. One of them is Dermaseptin B2 which has great potential in the treatment of cancer. Dermaseptins are powerful antibiotics found to be rapidly and irreversibly effective against a range of parasitic microorganisms, they're also entirely non-toxic to mammalian cells.
Three Kambo in a moon cycle, why?
I read that "A basic treatment consists of applying the frog's sweat in three consecutive sessions before the end of the month, and with 8 it is already a complete one." While I was educating myself about the power of this medicine online, I knew I wanted to try the 3 sessions, if not the 8, as long as I have the opportunity and the money to do it on the islands. I was disappointed at first because I didn't find any practitioners on the Canaries but I waited patiently, trusting that it would come if it was time. Then close to the end of March, I saw a post on Facebook about an upcoming Kambo retreat in Tenerife and I immediately got in touch with the organiser. It was a Friday when the Moon and Sun had the same ecliptic longitude a.k.a it was New Moon, the best time to kickstart my Kambo journey.
New Moon spiritual meaning: The new moon is a time to set intentions and launch new projects. Since new moons happen once a month and signify the beginning of a cycle, you can think of them as a cosmic reset. The new moon is an ideal time to set intentions and goals that you'll develop as the moon waxes toward fullness. The AstroTwins
Kambo no. 1
It was meant to be a group session but I was the only enthusiastic candidate who turned up thus I got a private session. Prior to the retreat, I had read a story of a girl who cleared out the Epstein-Barr virus from her body with the medicine. I also know that Kambo works through the lymphatic system and because I have been living with symptoms caused by the active Epstein-Barr virus affecting my lymph nodes, I wanted to focus on clearing this issue. I also noted down some other intentions and stuck the piece of paper on my fridge: Request to Kambo - raise vibration; - cleanse intestines/ energy field; - clear negative energy/ blocks/ ancestral pain; - heal subconscious; - attract a literary agent. Then a few days before I travelled to the retreat, out of the blue I was verbally abused and intimated by the husband of my employer at the school where I worked, which shook me to the core leaving me confused, vulnerable, alone in the experience, feeling helpless in one moment and angry in the other. These feelings were still so active in my vibration that I couldn’t avoid bringing them with me to the retreat and eventually, they became the centre of my Kambo journey.
As different the two issues (1) my intention of clearing the lymphatic system & Epstein Barr, (2) verbal abuse by a loud, narcissistic, self-centered, dominant man seemed at first, I believed that they were somehow connected but it’s really an area where I couldn’t completely connect the dots yet. What I know is that my father is a loud, selfish, dominant man. At least this is how I experienced his presence as a child. I was intimidated by his loud, deep, angry voice until I grew old enough to understand that this was his natural way of speaking to everyone. But also my father had a way of staring that made me not want to get close to him when he wasn’t in the mood of spending time with his children or just generally with his family. He, however, was not abusive. I would say he was distant, impatient, and unavailable but not intentionally hurtful or violent. I understand, though, that the way I experience the two incidents is very much alike and that can be the connection. Clearing out my fear of masculine/ authority figures from my vibration to stop attracting these types of people who want to dominate and shut me up. I want people around me who are kind and sharing. I want to feel equal, I want to feel seen & heard. No more ego bullshit.
During the first session, we went the traditional way and I received the medicine on the leg. “Traditionally shamans placed these scars on a hunter’s (men) shoulders, chest, or arms: all areas associated with strength and virility. In order to promote fertility in women, shamans applied the frog secretions to burns on the legs and stomach.” I didn’t work with an Amazonian shaman but an IAKP (International Associations of Kambo Practitioners) trained individual. Some practitioners can intuitively choose a specific area on the lower limb (for women) that they believe is the best way for you to receive the gates but my practitioner didn’t have such a skill. We went with what she learned during her training: women’s first session on the inside of the ankle. She opened four gates with a burning incense stick and applied the medicine dot by dot on the gates leaving sometime in between each application to observe my reaction and level of sensitivity. I gradually got drifted away into an inner experience with gentle waves of heat sensation, a racing heart, and the build-up toward vomiting. I managed to stay calm with breathing and embraced the experience with curiosity and dignity. I trusted it was for my higher good even when my esophagus was burning from the bile and my mouth was bubbling with the bitter taste. After the treatment, I felt a bit cold and my stomach trembled until I ate the vegan soup that the practitioner prepared for me. Soon after that, I felt perfectly well. I took the day easy, walked around in nature, and explored the farm where I was staying for the weekend.
During the session, the two cats who lived on the farm came into the room and sat on my side. I didn’t notice them next to me, I was deeply focused on my inner journey but at the end of the treatment, I asked the practitioner to take a picture of us because it felt so special sitting between them. They were my guardians, my support team. The practitioner told me that the cats had not sat next to anyone on the mattress before.
After the 1st Kambo.
I became more confident in deciding to leave my current work environment and received a new idea about my next direction. I felt as if my vibration had changed and I could attract better opportunities that were in alignment with my desires. I was a proud owner of Kambo scars. They were like badges of honuor and I was tempted to show them off. As for my physical symptoms, I didn’t notice an improvement in my body.
Kambo no. 2
A week later I was back at the same place to undertake the second treatment. The night before the ceremony, a brown bear appeared in my dream. It was guarding the gate on the finca where the practitioner lived and where, also, I was camping. I spent a full week here between the second and the third Kambo. The bear’s presence appeared important. I felt protected by it.
My request to the frog was pretty much the same as before but this time I wanted the Kambo dots close to the Solar Plexus chakra, so they were placed on my back along the spine. To increase the volume, the practitioner opened 6 gates and applied 4 dots at once. The intensity of the peptides entering my body showed symptoms within seconds: red face and slightly swollen, a short period of racing heart, and cramps in the abdomen. I lost my strength but didn’t get the feeling to throw up yet. Then soon after the first wave, I received the medicine on the fifth and the sixth gates too. This is when I vomited. The practitioner made me drink more water and then again, I could bring up some more stuff. I kept feeling rather unwell but didn’t have any triggers to throw up more. My body went into resting mode and I knew I was done with purging but the practitioner suggested leaving the medicine on for another 5 minutes and I just kept lying on the floor in child pose, exhausted. When the Kambo was removed from my skin I started to tremble, partly because I felt cold. When I lay on my side with the blanket on, I was still shaking. And I kept shaking while I was eating the soup. This is when I realised that I wasn’t even cold, yet couldn’t stop shaking. The practitioner told me that shaking is a form of release. It can happen when the body releases trauma or some kind of emotional experience.
This second experience hit me stronger than the first one and my body needed more time to recover. I lay down in the shade of the papaya tree and even fell asleep for a short while. I was physically well but I took my time and about 4 hours later I was ready to eat and socialize again.
I am absolutely in awe of my dots by the spine! They look so cool and quirky!
After the first and second ceremonies, I saw lots of dragonflies around me similar to the experience after Ayahuasca. There was one giant blue dragonfly that caught my eye. It must have been the Emperor dragonfly that is able to grow up to 7-8 cm in length. It landed right next to me and I could just admire its colour and size with astonishment.
Kambo no. 3
Previously I requested clearing stuff out from within me and around me, and now my focus was on bringing in positive changes. I focused on specific issues relating to my health and the book I wrote. During the short meditation at the start of the session, I saw myself as a butterfly. Butterflies are signs of transformation.
This session happened to be on the Full Moon and also my period was due this day, which the practitioner interpreted as “a lot of releasing would happen”. The medicine probably gave impetus to inducing my period in the morning and I underwent immense pain in the lower abdomen area, namely the uterus, throughout the session.
We increased the number of gates to 7 that got burned on my upper left arm. I received 6 Kambo right away which instantly made me hot and uncomfortable, and I threw up within 10 minutes. Twice. Then the menstrual cramps intensified to the level when I started to sweat heavily, my eyes were wet and my nose was dripping. My face was swollen and I was suffering with my eyes closed. I drank some more water (6 sips) at Lisa’s request but I could barely hold the glass between my fingers. I had no strength. I didn’t really feel sick but I had absolutely no energy to force more water in me. I felt horrible with the pain and the Kambo in me. I don’t even remember if I threw up after the 6 sips. But I remember sweating a lot and the pain in my uterus. The pain was so intense that it overshadowed the Kambo experience. I was asked to take down more water. I refused. When the practitioner told me she would give me the 7th Kambo, I told her I didn’t need it, but she did it anyway. She kept insisting I drink some more water to help out the last purge but I couldn’t. I really just wanted this experience to end. I was in so much pain. I could hardly speak because my lips swelled up, but I remember voicing several times that my tummy hurt badly. At some point, I asked the practitioner to remove the medicine but she said that the session was not over yet and I hated her for not trusting me that I know my own body. I felt unheard and unseen by her. I was out of strength, out of energy completely. I felt very vulnerable. I was lying on the floor in child pose and my focus was on relieving the period pain. I didn’t care about Kambo anymore. I needed comfort but Kambo brought a lot of discomfort to me. I wanted to curl up and keep my tummy warm but for the Kambo in order to bring up the purge, I should have sat up straight or moved/swung my body around, which I couldn’t. Two opposite forces were working inside of me.
Eventually, the session was over and I continued to lie on the floor in child pose taking long deep breaths like I did when I was a Whale during Ayahuasca, and my fingers and hands slightly moved to the music too reminding me of the Indian Goddess and the Spider I channeled under Ayahuasca. These movements and the breathing brought comfort to me but the pain was still sharp. Then I started to shake violently. I kept lying around on the floor, sweating, shaking, and breathing agitated while slowly on the path of regaining my strength. I consciously decided to shake as long as it stops naturally or until I can manage to calm my body and relax the nerves and the muscles. I couldn’t gain full control over the shaking that carried on for at least 20 minutes. Then I just thought I had enough of it and reached out for the lentil soup and started to eat slowly, feeling very weak and rubbish. My face and lips were still swollen. The spoon, I was eating the soups with, was shaking in my hand as I brought it closer to my mouth, which I couldn’t close properly because of its double size. I, honestly looked like someone after a facelift and lip augmentation. I took a picture of myself but I won’t show it because it’s too graphic.
Halfway through the soup, I scraped myself up from the floor and sat outside on the stairs. I didn’t finish the soup this time and I didn’t bounce back to normal as quickly as I did after the previous two Kambo sessions. I went down to my tent and I just lay there for two hours or so. I was extremely tired and I was still wearing out the period pain. A butterfly flew into the tent, flapped above me, and then left. Also, I was seeing a lot of butterflies in the garden after this session. Then I slowly started to feel I have strength and energy again, so I climbed up to the main house to have a shower, wash my hair, and eat something solid.
The swell-up started to reduce after 5 pm (the ceremony was at 10) when I consumed some magnesium and ate some yoghurt but it was still slightly noticeable throughout the next day. It was the first time since the covid-outbreak that I was happy to put the mask on to cover my face.
Throughout the next week, I continued to feel rubbish and cried a lot. I was in a deep, dark hole alone. My vibration was low, I was turned off, and my life was out of order. I was confused, which showed up in my eating habit too. I was eating like a teenager. Unhealthy food became my priority in all ways possible: sweets, crisps, biscuits, burger, pizza, etc. I felt I was further away from coming into alignment with my intentions. All of these were the opposites of what I requested from the frog.
Apparently, the medicine is still working in you for a week and stuff can come up. I found a clip on Youtube called Heal your Soul - Ancestral chants from the Native Americans that touched me deeply. I felt the vibration of these chants in my stomach which brought out a bucket of tears from within me and helped to release my sadness. I also reached out to another Kambo practitioner for advice and asked for her take on my experience. This other practitioner was so sweet, she called me from the UK and explained it was normal for me to be in this state, and I just had to feel it out. We were on the phone talking for half an hour, which brought a lot of comfort to me. Finally, I was heard by someone who cared.
I know that Kambo scans the body and works where healing is needed, and it may not be the area where you want it to work. You have to trust the medicine that it knows what is best for you. I didn’t actually have a problem with trusting Kambo but what struck me was the practitioner’s lack of empathy. Her answer “It’s not the end of the session yet” sounded cold-hearted which triggered a familiar feeling within me. I would have loved more kindness/ compassion, somebody who came to me and talked to me about why I think it was a good idea to abort the session. Somebody who would have helped guide me through my pain in some way. It would have restored my trust and it could have been a turning point for the better.
What could have gone wrong?
The signs that I ignored to pay closer attention to:
(1) The practitioner told me a day before that she had done enough Kambo for this week, meaning she was tired of it, but she still had me the next day.
(2) She placed the gates in uneven circles and counted 6 when she meant to give me 7. I told her that I counted the burns and they were 7. Eventually, she found the one missing on the top of the line which was somewhat smaller than the rest and that's why she missed seeing it.
(3) The first day of my period is always the most sensitive day for me when I usually feel a lack of energy, little appetite, and painful cramps. Normally, on these days I try to relax and rest as much as I can and have a slower day than otherwise, I would.
(4) The practitioner herself has been struggling with the absence of her menstruation for months which could have energetically interfered with my experience. Her possible jealousy on a subconscious level.
(5) The practitioner had other, unwanted responsibilities in her life and I could feel that her heart just wasn’t in it this time. I, however, thought I was strong enough and would be able to guide myself through the journey. It was enough for me to have somebody who applied the medicine. It’s an inner, solo journey anyway. I am not sure how much practitioners are allowed to help the clients during the session apart from holding space for them, anyway.
Could all of the above be part of the healing process?
Something was pushed to the surface through this experience for me to see. Later I realised how much the practitioner reminded me of my mum (caretaker). Me having my period could have brought up unconscious jealousy and she wanted me to suffer because she couldn’t have what I had (fertility). At least that’s how I experienced her energetically. Exactly the same feeling that my mum used to make me feel when I was a child. Her underlying jealousy and not being happy about herself resulted in emotional neglect and a lack of sensitivity toward me.
As a child, I felt unheard and unseen by my mum. I remember one particular case when I was quite small, crying in the back of the car because I was taken to hospital and I was scared. My father was driving and asked my mum to shut me up and my mum didn’t react. She could have sat with me in the back to comfort me or talk to me about my feelings but she stayed at the front and pretended she didn’t hear me.
Another time when I was 9, I complained that my tooth hurt, but my mum ignored me. Then some months later I told her that I think a piece fell out of my tooth and she didn’t believe me. She didn’t even check it. A few months later I was sent home from school because I almost fainted in P.E. from dizziness and headache. I told the teacher that I had a broken tooth and she told my mum, and just then she took me to the dentist but it was too late by then and they pulled the tooth out. A private dentist could have saved the tooth, I believe, but my mum just wanted to get over it the fastest and cheapest way. When we got home with the hole in my jaw, I was alone with my pain and bleeding. I curled up next to the heater and the warmth provided me some comfort, not my mum. It makes sense why I love the Sun so much! After Kambo, I wanted to be in the Sun too, and during the Ayahuasca ceremony I heard “the Sun is my mum”. Although part of the Kambo aftercare involves staying out of direct sun ideally for 24 hours, my body was craving the warm sun rays.
After all, I realised this Kambo journey was about shifting the invisible child. If I want my book to be heard & seen by the literary agent, I have to be heard & seen first. I have to believe that I deserve to be seen and heard. But how? What else can I do apart from asking for help? Which I did. Obviously, I asked for help because I believed that I deserved to be heard. So this can’t be the issue. Maybe it’s more about how I feel when I am rejected for my need for attention. I can’t control other people’s reactions but I can control how I feel about it. Maybe THIS is something I need to work on. I let go of the pain from the past, so now I can implement a new coping strategy. And maybe that’s why I got here, to this particular school on La Gomera, teaching English to kids who are very loud and don’t pay attention in class, so that I can practice claiming and receiving attention.
Apparently, 3 Kambos are very strong and you should experience a shift or something that you call "better" in your life. I didn't notice positive changes within or around me apart from the physical move to a new location that had already been in progress before the ceremonies. The last, third Kambo messed me up and I feel I lost the connection to the path I was shown before. Healthwise, my arthritis is still active in my finger (Kambo can be effective against inflammation/ arthritis in the body), my chronic cough is still present, and my lymph nodes are still swollen, although as if they were less swollen than before. I feel like the deeper I go into healing, the worse my condition gets and the more challenges I start to have. It's not even me anymore. Right now I feel I am trying to overcome a lot of patterns that were passed down to me.
Thank you for reading. ♡
See you next time!