Because of the effects of Kambo on the body, ceremonies are practiced with a safety first mindset. Detox from all alcohol, caffeine, drugs, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, medications, alternative medicines, animal products, including meat, and dairy for at least 24 hours. It is considered a health risk to have alcohol the days before or after Kambo and it can be good to abstain for a week before and a week after for deeper cleansing. It is also recommended to cut out sugar and any other processed foods, taking time to really simplify and tune in to healthy diet 3 days before ceremony (the longer the better)
Do not attempt to water or dry fast 7 days before or after Kambo, or begin any colonics or enimas.
Ceremonies start with drinking about 1 ½ – 2 liters of water to help with purging. You will have no more than 15 minutes to drink the water before Kambo is applied, otherwise it will start being processed by the body. Due to the dangers of hyponatraemia we ask that on the morning of your treatment you only drink a small glass of water or a very small amount of herbal tea 2 hours before your Kambo treatment. Oil pulling (swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 20 mins) the day before is also a good idea to protect the enamel on your teeth.
The room will be set up to provide a safe setting. Participants will have a bucket, water, and towels to hand. The floor is often lined with yoga mats. You are welcome to bring your own mat, a light blanket, any small stones, and any flowers that you may want to place on the altar. There are no distractions in a Kambo ceremony. The challenging ritual is meant to purge, cleanse and heal, and that is what you will focus on throughout.
You’ll be asked to fast for at least ten to twelve hours before the ceremony, with no recreational drugs and alcohol for at least 24 hours beforehand. Active people with a quick metabolism are fine with an 8-hour break from food, but most will require 10-12 hours. We typically have kambo in the morning so it only really requires skipping breakfast.
Ceremony will begin with a smoke-purification ritual called smudging. The smoke of white sage will be fanned over all participants & practitioners, as well as throughout the ceremony space. The purpose is to cleanse impurities, sadness, anxieties, dark thoughts, or any unwanted energies or emotions that may be lingering.
Opening ceremony may also include breathwork, opening spiritual prayer, and oracle cards (to clarify intention). We will have the opportunity to solidify our intentions for the work in our Kambo ceremony. What are you calling in and what are you releasing? It is good to start meditating and journaling on this beforehand.
Depending on the client/circle, rapé may also be served for grounding.
The top layer of your skin is mildly burned using a tiny hot stick or incense which allows it to be peeled off, exposing the epidermis underneath. Just to put your concerns at ease, this peeled off layer is nowhere as deep as a blister. There is no blood whatsoever. Then the dried secretion is mixed with a little water to form small fine dots. The finely divided Kambo dots are then applied directly to the burns (gates) marked on the skin.
The number of dots will vary depending on your previous experience with Kambo. Beginners usually start with between three and five dots, while more seasoned veterans can have up to eleven applications. Your gate number and location will be discussed and determined with your practitioner prior to ceremony.
The effects are felt immediately since Kambo enters the lymphatic system directly. You may experience an increased heart rate along with a warm to somewhat hot flush around the face and upper body. Others have reported feeling spaced out, dizzy or generally foggy. You may even experience mild skin tingling and a bit of swelling around the face and lips – this is a perfectly normal reaction as the secretion is rapidly circulating around the body, detecting problematic areas and getting to work on them almost immediately.
Kambo is a non-hallucinogen – its job is to only find trouble areas and work to purge the body of toxins. This purging process not only works on a physical level but an emotional one as well, as some have reported receiving messages from their body that signal a healthier sense of existence.
Removal & Reflection
A Kambo ceremony usually lasts 2 hours. The time it takes to perform cleansing and purging may require as little as 20 minutes or as much as 40 minutes. However, the average time required for most individuals is anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.Once the Kambo dots are removed, the burn points are sealed and dressed up using Peruvian tree sap, known as Dragon’s Blood, Croton lechleri. This will help them heal optimally, while ensuring they remain infection-free. After the process, you’ll either feel invigorated or completely wiped out. In any case, we will hold space for guests to rest and recover after the medicine is removed. This will be a space of non-interference, mindfulness, presence and pure love. I personally find this period to be incredibly powerful and profound. It is a magnificent opportunity to explore, reflect and fully embrace the experience.
It’s important to rest after treatment to let the full potential for Kambo’s mind-body-spirit healing power to unfold. Try not to make plans post-ceremony. Take time to honor the experience and yourself. The subsequent days after a treatment are when people generally begin to feel the powerful and profound benefits of Kambo.You may feel that you have sharper senses, stronger physical strength, and heightened alertness in the days following the ceremony. People also report greater focus, reduced stress, a marked increase in mental and physical energy, and a consistently better mood.
Traditionally the Tribes Used Kambo in 3 Ways
After taking Kambo, tribe members were able to hunt fearlessly, with more energy and focus. They believed that Kambo cleansed and strengthened the minds and bodies of hunters.
Kambo has been used to treat Malaria, snake bites, fever, and various infections.
When Panema, dark/negative energy, is cleared, obstacles are removed, and life flows more naturally. Traditionally, there are stories of Kambo being used for fertility, sexual attraction, and good fortune.