I was a little sceptical when I was first told of kambo – a medicine derived from Amazonian frogs – and its success in treating pain. However, curiosity got the best of me, as it usually does and after doing more research online, I decided to give it a go. I guess after 30 odd years of severe lower back pain  you’re prepared to try anything that might help, even the whacky stuff. Kambo is a secretion from the giant monkey frog that lives in the north-west part of the Amazon. Traditionally it is used by tribes as a medicine against malaria and to gain strength and stamina. The frog is not harmed in the process of collecting the secretions and they’re collected on wooden sticks. Scientific research started on this frog in 1980 and it is currently the subject of much research in medical use, although there have been studies of tribes using kambo since the 1930’s. It’s been found to contain several peptides that cause dramatic reactions in humans. The potent opiod peptides Dermorphin and Deltorphin are many times stronger than morphine. Hence the powerful analgesic effects of the medicine. Kambo also has anti-inflammatory effects, can heal infections and regulate blood pressure. There are potential uses for the treatment of Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease, depression, migraine, blood circulation problems, vascular insufficiency, organ diseases, cancer, and fertility problems in women, AIDS, hepatitis and more. Kambo day arrived and I had a very light juice breakfast and drank loads of water as advised. I also took some time before Bruno, the medicine man, arrived to quieten myself and set an intention for the medicine to help   my lower back pain, depression and also to cleanse and re-charge my immune system. The medicine is administered by burning very small holes in the first two or three layers of skin either on the arm or the leg. I opted to have eight small circles burnt on my upper arm. Bruno mixed the dried serum with water and rubbed a small amount into each burn. Within seconds I felt it stinging and then a quickening of my carotid pulse. My face swelled a little and I felt a bit of a “rush” but these were not alarming feelings. My arms and face went very red, this was the “hot” fever I’d been told about and why I’d drunk so much water beforehand. Those feelings then subsided and I felt quite weak. I’d been told to expect quite a lot of purging but I had very little vomiting; maybe because I’d had such little food in the past 20 hours? Bruno seemed surprised that the medicine seemed to take a while to work for me and we even considered doing some more but decided against it when low stomach cramps kicked in as the medicine moved through my body. These were like really bad period pains but I found that relaxing and breathing into it helped the pain subside. Upon visiting the bathroom for another purge I noticed that my face had gone deathly white. Even my lips were drained of blood and my face was still a little swollen. Not exactly a good look – even for an ex-goth! After about ¾ hour all of the feelings passed. I took it easy for the rest of the day and I had a good night’s sleep. The following day I felt great, very upbeat and energetic and received a few compliments on how well I looked. My back pain has been substantially reduced. The effects of kambo lasted seven days and during that time I took the same amount of medication – a range of dihydrocodeine, tramadol, anti-inflammatories and amitriptyline muscle relaxants that I’d usually take over two days, and that was during an incredibly stressful week with little chance to rest. Interestingly I suffered very few withdrawal effects during that week, just a couple of sweaty disturbed nights. To me, this is a mini miracle. It’s been over 15 years since my body was that free of narcotics and it loved it. My metabolism returned to normal and I slept much lighter and I’m sure I could hear my poor liver singing for joy. I don’t think this is something to be undertaken lightly and obviously it’s not going to be for everyone. But I’d done my research, and had found someone knowledgeable whom I trusted. Bruno was great, very patient, attentive and informative. If you wish to try Kambo, I would suggest finding a trained practitioner and asking questions about who and where they trained with and what styles of kambo they’re trained in as well as how long they’ve been working with the medicine.  I will definitely be trying this again as it was worth feeling uncomfortable for 45 minutes for. 


“Nothing but good news. There is a frog in South America whose venom is a cure for all the suffering that mankind must endure. More powerful than morphine and soothing as the rain. A frog in South America has the antidote to pain. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way I like it.” Paul Simon – Senorita  with a Necklace.


About shivanifox

I live in Bristol and am into holistic health - especially herbalism, yoga, shamanism. I love great music, Mexican food and hanging out with friends :-)
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  1. Kerrie drake says:

    What type of body frame and weight are you. Where you in reasonably average health and fitness at the time of consumption? What age are you and does your body accept narcotics or alcohol readily? Thank you

    • hi kerrie,

      thanks for your message. i’m 5ft 6inches, slim build and in good health and fitness at the time i did kambo. i’m in my early 40’s and although i rarely drink, my body is used to taking long term pain medication. i’m looking forward to trying it again next month to see how the effects will be this time. hope that answers your questions,

      regards, Shivani x

  2. alex jones says:

    If your lower back pain is bad enough to take the quantity and range of analgesics, anti-inflammatory and relaxant drugs you describe, and you are still taking the drugs, might I suggest that the drugs have caused the pain longevity problem.
    I have had lower back issues since adolescence – lots of back pain and mainly left leg sciatica which I treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
    By successfully moderating the pain my back has deteriorated to the point where the L5/S1 vertebrae are fused.
    On injuring my L4/L5 disc, on medical prescriptions, I attempted to moderate the pain to the point where three months from my first medical consultation I was taking twice the recommended max dose of codeine phosphate, tramadole, valium and anti-inflammatorys.
    I was almost a zombie, but still in a lot of pain.
    Faced with the only medical option of “more of the same” I took the option of going cold turkey and discontinued all medication.
    Once the pain masking was discontinued I realised that what I thought was “pain level seven” was on a true scale about “pain level four” as my pain level increased to an amount which had me reduced to a quivering, whimpering mess.
    Over the next two months my weight dropped from 70kg to 56kg, but the pain level began reducing as my body would not allow me to do anything to damage it further ….. and it began to heal itself.
    At the outset my physiotherapist stated that he could not treat my condition but that I should work my body to the extent that pain would allow and to “listen to my body”.
    I did just that. Start with a hobbling walk on flat ground in the morning and instantly stop any activity which caused a pain increase.
    A year later I was back to 68kg and increased ability – from 5% to approx 25%, still in constant pain but much reduced (pain level three).
    Over the next five years the healing process continued with minor setbacks along the way as I explored the extending upper limit of activity – to find your limit, you have to sometimes go a little too far.
    Ten years later I have virtually no residual pain, but if I work my back a little too hard the pain level increases and I stop the activity IMMEDIATELY.
    By not interfering with the body’s defense mechanism (pain) I have successfully allowed my body to heal itself.
    All medication does is allow you to continue to damage yourself.
    This has been born out in trials done on long term high analgesic intake patients in Australia recently when their medication was discontinued and replaced with gently exercise. There was a universal improvement in their mobility, mentality and quality of life.
    I will never take medication to alleviate back pain again in my life. To do so is to turn off the body’s only defense mechanism ….. very similar to turning off a fire alarm because it keeps reacting to smoke in the air.
    Most people believe that they should live their lives without pain and it is the medical industry’s duty to remove their pain. Doctors perpetuate this most unrealistic, damaging expectation. To remove pain is totally the WRONG thing to do.
    Working within the limitations of pain is the RIGHT thing to do.
    Pain is your friend as it tells you what you can and can not do.
    Interfere with this mechanism at your peril.
    Ten years down the track I still have a murmur of pain in my back, unless I overdo it. But when I do, I STOP doing the antagonistic activity and my body heals itself.
    As you have tried just about everything else to better your condition, you should try the ‘no medication’ treatment. Your body will heal itself if you stop damaging it by masking pain.
    alex jones

  3. that’s great you’ve had such great results with leaving off the pain meds Alex & thanks for taking the time to reply to the post. since last year i have been trying different therapies and have successfully reduced my pain meds and pain levels quite alot and yes there is a relation to how much activity you do as to how much pain you have. i’m hoping that by continuing to work with these new therapies i will still be able to enjoy reduced pain levels but also still enjoy my life. all power to you.

  4. jimidcricket says:

    I only have one comment.. from my experience and from repeated suggestion from other providers or from internet research.. its not that you want to take a month BETWEEN each session.. but suggested to have three session within a months time.. or before the moon goes thru all phases back to the phase it was in when you did your first session..
    other than that.. Kambo is a blessing

    • shivanifox says:

      that’s very interesting, thank you for yr comments, i will look into this. yes, kambo is a blessing. i did it again recently and was re-amazed at just how great i felt the following day – clear, fresh, light, positive, strong and with the clearest shiniest eyes i’ve ever had. this medicine can bring us so much.

      • wendy says:

        Hi can u tell me how to get it i have lyme disease..ill try anything! Thank u!

      • shivanifox says:

        Hi Wendy,

        Sorry to hear of your health problems. A course of Kambo may help with Lymes disease, can you tell me how your symptoms are manifesting? Also where in the world are you based?

        I organise and assist in Kambo circles with one of the world’s Master Practitioners and she travels frequently giving this medicine. At the moment she is in the UK but it is coming to the end of her stay here. She will then be based in Southern Europe for most of the summer.

        If you email me directly, I will see how I can help you further: shivanifox@gmail.com

        Best wishes,


  5. Peter says:

    Great story, i’m looking into doing this myself, how can i get in-touch with Bruno?

  6. Anna says:

    Kambo was so much help me. I was have cyst 4sm and before i was have 8 month with aurveda. But its was help so less and only 0.5sm was gone. And doctor was recommend me do laproskapia. But i belive in alternative natural medicine only, thanks for my mom. And i was have 3 procedure with kambo for 1 month. Minimum need have 3 days between, maximum 1 month. Wow, after 3th procedure come back full all my energy, what i was more and more lose in this sickness. And i was check after with doctor – it’s gone:). And now i’m pregnant and i know, what this was so much help and this medicine-medicine future.Come back to root.
    Be Happy!

  7. Claudio says:

    Hi can i traduce your article in italian ? I would like to post it in my italian facebook page about kambò. I will post the source and your credit. Let me know, thank you. Claudio.

  8. wendy says:

    Hi can u tell me where to go for this?

  9. Vanessa says:

    hi im from Aruba , and me and my brother were the first one who did kambo here, i must say since i did the kambo im cured of my hands. and i will keep doing it , and ill also keep talkin to people about it, cuz it is a medicine a blessed one!!!! NO DOUBT

    • shivanifox says:

      Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for your comments – great to hear that you and your brother have had such positive experiences of it and how it helped your hands. I wasn’t aware that Kambo was available in Aruba so good to know that and to hear about how this busy little frog is spreading around the world. Thank you for spreading the word. Love n peace, Shivani

  10. Fas says:

    Nobody in Oregon ?

    • shivanifox says:

      Hi fas,

      thanks for visiting my blog. there are no Kambo practiotioners in Orgeon that I’m aware of. You just missed one of our International Association of Kambo Practitioners visiting California but not sure when they’ll be another one visiting. Will keep you posted if I hear of anything. Shivani

  11. DavidC says:

    Please is it safe for people with heart failure and sclerosis of the liver. Any practitioners in Norwich Norfolk.

    • shivanifox says:

      Hi David,

      thanks for stopping by my blog. Kambo is NOT safe for people with serious heart problems sadly. At the moment there are no trained practitioners in Norfolk. London would be the nearest place although I think there may be a regular circle running Sussex way by a Brighton based practitioner.

  12. val says:

    would you be interested in coming to Bournemouth

  13. Andrew says:

    Actually the shamans in south America actually give it to people with heart conditions but they give very tiny doses and slowly build over a period of days or weeks. The Kambo actually strengthens the heart, but of course it is the persons choice and risk, not the shamans. There is always a risk, most IAKP aren’t willing because of liabilities and the litigious world we live in. My blood pressure is perfect because of Kambo. I am around 111 dots atm, and yes it is a miracle for back pain, and pain killer addictions. Instead of relying on Kambo forever you should be using it along with exercises that build back and core muscles, after you have a nice firm core/back then you won’t need Kambo as much.. I worry about the long-term addictiveness of Kambo. So far there is no addiction.

    • shivanifox says:

      Hi Andrew, yes Kambo can be used to strengthen the heart in minor conditions but not for major heart conditions as this is dangerous and could even lead to death. as a practitioner this is not a risk I’d be prepared to take whatever the client wants. i have many reasons to be grateful to kambo – i never dreamt i would get so free of all my medication but of course my recovery has been part of a long term programme which over the years has included yoga, pilates, swimming, physio, acupuncture, cranial sacral osteopathy, energy healing and chiropractic sessions so not just kambo alone. and yes – exercise has been a key part of that as you say, good core strength can really help. Viva!

  14. IAKP Practitioner says:

    Hi Andrew, you seem to be misinformed about how IAKP practitioners work. We do give Kambo to people with minor heart problems in increasing doses because it strengthens the heart. We do not give Kambo to people with serious heart problems because all deaths from Kambo so far have been people with serious heart issues who should never have taken Kambo. So, nothing to do with litigation, just common sense and a desire to do no harm. If someone with a serious heart condition wants to self-administer than that is their choice; one man who did this recently did in fact kill himself, but as practitioners, its our choice not to participate in that.

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