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What is Kambo?

Vaccine of the Forest


Kambo is the secretion of Phyllomedusa Bicolor (the giant leaf or monkey frog), a bright green tree frog native to the Amazon basin. It can be found in the rainforest regions of northern Brazil, eastern Peru, southeastern Colombia, and parts of Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Guianas. In many regions outside Brazil, both the frog and its secretion are known as sapo (or ‘toad’).


Giant monkey frogs have a distinctive song that can be followed to collect them at night. Captive specimens are tied by the legs and harmlessly stressed to induce the secretion: a waxy substance scraped onto wooden splinters from the back and legs of the frog. Once dried, Kambo can be stored for upwards of a year without losing potency. For use, it’s mixed with water and directly applied to specially made skin burns.


Kambo has a range of traditional and potential therapeutic applications, both medical and psycho-spiritual. Commonly described as an ‘ordeal medicine’, the secretion is known for its powerful emetic or purgative effects. Despite its initial unpleasantness, Kambo is widely sought out to revitalize body and mind.

Calls of the giant waxy tree frog - Phyllomedusa Bicolor
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