If you are in the Austin, Texas area or are planning a visit we offer both group and private Kambo treatments. Contact us to inquire about this. We are now also offering Kambo inoculation retreats in South Padre Island, Texas. Please check the Buffalo Medicine Lodge website for scheduled retreats. We will do our best to keep this updated. However, if you’re interested and don’t see any upcoming retreats, please contact us.
What is Kambo?
Kambo is the medicinal secretion from the phyllomedusa bicolor (South American Giant Waxy Monkey Tree Frog– not to be confused with the poisonous Dart Frog). Kambo, also known as Sapo, has been used for centuries to cleanse the body. It is still widely used in the Amazon to treat malaria, modulate the immune system, increase fertility, reduce physical pain and body aches, and heal viral and bacterial infections. Kambo is also used for spiritual healing, and is widely regarded for its ability to restore personal sovereignty through the clearing and release of dark, heavy or negative energies that manifest as bad luck, depression, and lack of motivation, clarity, direction, and purpose. Kambo is not a hallucinogenic medicine, but it can produce feelings of euphoria and elation as the purgative phase begins to wane. There are many benefits from Kambo treatment, but it’s not appropriate for everyone. We’d be happy to discuss this with you and whether Kambo is the right treatment for you. Please note that you will be asked a series of health questions to assess whether Kambo is an appropriate medicine, and prior to your encounter you will be asked to sign a waiver.
Is Kambo legal?
In the United States Kambo is currently unregulated. Being unregulated there are no laws restricting it’s use or making it illegal.
What is a Kambo experience like?
Each person will have their own experience. We work together as a team, bringing trained practitioner training and a wealth of shamanic experience. We respect the medicine and the sacrifice that each frog must make, and the incredible process to get the medicine to the United States. We honor this within the context of proper ceremony, and so all Kambo encounters are done within a gently held ceremonial context. We will ensure all of your needs will be met during your treatment, and that we provide a safe and comfortable space. We approach your care with the highest level of integrity, and are committed to maintaining a mind + body + spirit + soul approach to your treatment.
After you have consumed at least 2 liters of water on an empty stomach, the shaman/practitioner will use a fire source to heat up a small stick or incense and will gently apply the hot stick onto the skin to burn the top layer of skin so that a ‘gate’ is opened for the medicine to enter the bloodstream. This is the traditional and only manner in which Kambo may be administered. The practitioner has been trained to do this so that injury is minimized and scars are not likely. It may produce a mild discomfort. The number of gates opened will depend on the unique needs of each person and is a decision made by the shaman/practitioner and the client. Once the gates have been created the medicine is directly applied to the open gates and will remain on the skin until the shaman/practitioner removes it by wiping it off. It enters the body directly into the bloodstream, and fairly rapidly. Soon after the Kambo has been applied you will likely feel a warm sensation, followed by a reddening of the face as vessels dilate and blood is drawn to the head. After a few minutes most will begin to feel a strong nausea, which will induce purging of stomach contents. However, the purging can come in many forms, and your comfort will be attended to as much as is possible. The heart rate begins to speed up and the body temperature will likely rise, as Kambo is a vasodilator. This may cause perspiration and/or shivers. Eventually the intensity of the experience will begin to wane and you may feel the need to use the bathroom and also to lay down and rest. Again, we will do everything we can to be attuned to your needs and to assist you through the treatment.
Where does the medicine come from?
Kambo is harvested by catching the leaf frog and scraping the surface of its skin, putting the jelly-like secretion on a flat plate-like surface. When enough secretion has been collected, the frog is set free. Kambo is obviously NOT a ‘vegan’ medicine, as it is directly derived from the outside surface of the skin of the frog. However, no frogs are killed in the harvesting process, and they can quickly produce additional secretions. Once enough has been collected, the poisonous secretion is then allowed to dry and it is stored until it is needed. It is reconstituted using saliva or water, and when it is in a jelly-like form again it is balled-up, and then divided into ‘buttons’ or doses coinciding with the number of gates that were produced by the skin-burning process. The number of gates and/or the dose will depend on the individual needs. Saliva has natural enzymes that offer stronger reactivity with the Kambo, but purified water works as well, and you will be given the choice of which method of reconstitution you prefer.
We only source our Kambo from reputable shamanic harvesters in the Amazon and we personally test the batch prior to administering it to gauge it’s quality and strength.
Kambo As An Initiatory Crisis: The “Warrior Medicine”
Each Kambo treatment brings you into a unique relationship with the Spirit of the Frog and it’s medicine. Your first treatment is an initiation and we honor the sacredness of such an experience. And yet each following treatment is a deepening of the relationship, which is equally honored. While the sacred Amazonian medicines all have legitimate medicinal properties, we also recognize that the relationship with the medicine itself provides an encounter with the Spirit of the medicine and can offer a deeper soul healing. We honor all who seek to be in relationship with this healing Spirit.
“One of the reasons that you traditionally take Kambo and one of the reasons I think that Kambo is so important right now in Western context is because it’s a medicine of taking back your personal sovereignty. It is an ‘ordeal medicine’, meaning that some of the energy that it delivers, and the medicine that it delivers to you is the challenge of going through the experience itself. So you really learn to surrender to the forces that are greater than you and embody them at the same time. And it’s really, really powerful for that. ” ~ Jess Poitra
|Meet the Practitioner|
Al Shaw was trained as a Kambo practitioner in July 2020, after having had previous experiences with Kambo himself. He was drawn to Kambo for it’s psychospiritual healing properties. Al spent nearly two decades in management, so has worked extensively with people. Through those experiences he was able to develop a coaching style of leadership. He also has an M.B.A. and is an Army veteran. While in the Army Al spent a year in Germany. He has been in the Austin, Texas area since the summer of 2013. He is a certified Dive Master (scuba), former member of PADI, and a former volunteer fire fighter. Al brings calmness, attentiveness, and his natural intuitiveness to his Kambo practice, yet can also lighten the situation with his down-to-earth sense of humor. If you’re interested in Kambo, feel free to contact us, and Al will get back with you.