Kambo: A Powerful and Transformational Process By Samantha Pierson
My story with Kambo began in 2018. My husband Geoff and I had been on the hamster wheel of life for a while. Trying to buy a bigger house. Trying to get the biggest sales. Trying to be the perfect parents. Try, try, try. Until we just had nothing left. No life force. And our ability to try fell short. And heavy emotions that had been suppressed for far too long started to rise to the surface. This was hard, and a gift. The greatest gift we have ever received because of all the experiences we have had since that time.
This heavy time for Geoff and I brought us to plant medicine. In January of 2019, Geoff and I embarked on a new adventure. We both felt the call to sit with Ayahuasca, the teacher plant.. And it opened my mind and showed me just how “boxed-in” it my perspective on life had been. But it also brought me to Kambo.
During my last Ayahuasca ceremony of the weekend, I was sitting with the other participants. As we were receiving blessings before the ceremony, a frog hopped right over to me. I reached out my hand and the little guy hopped right in! I held him for a moment, and then he hopped away.
During that weekend, there was talk of a Kambo ceremony following the plant medicine ceremonies. Fortunately (or unfortunately, who knows), those were canceled. When I got back home, Kambo stuck with me, like a song you just can’t get out of your head. And after a few months of this message being replayed over and over, I reached out to Master Kambo Practitioner Juls Broadhead, of Peace Love Kambo.
I sat with Juls for three consecutive sessions, Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday. The process that took place feels difficult to fully explain. Kambo was unlike anything I had experienced. If I could sum it up in two words, it would be ‘powerful’ and ‘transformational’. I felt the warrior spirit of Kambo give me courage. I felt more energized physically, but also spiritually. And after those sessions, again, Kambo stuck with me.
Eventually I had the honor of becoming one of Juls’s mentors (along with my husband Geoff) and was able to develop a deep love and connection to the frog that guides me as a practitioner today.
But what is Kambo? And why am I so passionate about it?
Well, in simplest terms, Kambo is a secretion from the Phyllomedusa bicolor, also known as the Giant Leaf Frog or Giant Monkey Frog. It resides in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Venezuela. The secretion has been studied in the scientific community and it’s been discovered that it contains bioactive peptides. These peptides have an usual effect on the body when administered through the lymphatic system. The peptides strongly affect the intestines and bowels and can contribute to deep purging. They can also increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier which allows access to the brain. This is very special and scientists hope to learn how this process takes place because this process is extremely difficult to replicate synthetically. These peptides also stimulate the adrenal cortex and pituitary gland, which contributes to heightened sensory perception. There are other benefits being studied and discovered and the research is ongoing on exactly how Kambo does what it does.
There are different ways to administer Kambo, depending on what part of South American lineage you are working through. I have also noticed a Westernized version of serving Kambo, that pulls away from some of the traditions. But essentially, a participant sits with a practitioner who prepares the space through the use of smudging and shares prayers for the safekeeping of those in the space. The participant then receives light burns on the skin to remove the outermost layer of skin. This is called a gate. The practitioner reconstitutes the Kambo secretion, which is dried on a stick, with water and prepares the Kambo into small points, roughly the size of a pencil eraser. The points are then placed on the participants' gates. The amount and timing will depend on the training of the practitioner.
The participant will usually feel flushed and may feel nauseous, emotional, cold/hot, sometimes slight swelling, and the need to purge. When it is time, the Kambo is removed and the participant is advised to rest. This is a beautiful time. It is a time of deep meditation. I have noticed my own ability to go inside and think more deeply is highest after the Kambo sessions. Bring a journal to your sessions, because you will want to write down insight that comes to you.
The after effects of Kambo are really amazing to see with our clients. One of the most consistent gifts we see is our clients are able to face difficult situations while maintaining a regulated nervous system. It’s incredible. This might look like having a routinely-triggering conversation with a parent, but being able to stay calm, say exactly what you want without your brain going 1,000 MPH and staying at peace in your body.
Geoff and I started our wellness practice Apah Wellness because we love the Kambo process. The connection we make with our clients brings us joy and helps facilitate our growth. We have seen the most incredible transformations happen because of the spirit of this peaceful-warrior frog. If you feel called to sit with Kambo, connect with your practitioners. This is a must. Follow your intuition, and work with someone who honors your intuition.
Resources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllomedusa_bicolor https://apahwellness.com/?page_id=778