Kambo is a secretion of the giant leaf frog, Phyllomedusa bicolor. When stressed out, the frog releases a milky fluid which can have psychoactive effects in humans. Traditionally, kambo is used to treat illness, boost immunity, or purge the body before other plant medicine ceremonies.

The typical process of taking kambo involves making burns on the skin, and applying the kambo toxin to these burns, allowing it to be rapidly absorbed into the body. The experience lasts around half an hour, but can last longer; and usually involves strong nausea, discomfort, and sharp rises in heart rate and blood pressure.

Although the experience is very unpleasant, and can sometimes be fatal, proponents of kambo report that it can dramatically improve lives. It has been used to treat a wide range of illnesses, and as a general practice for spiritual wellbeing by many.

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Ouch! I practically jump out of my skin as the medicine woman burns me with a stick. She does this twice more. She then spits on a piece of bamboo, vigorously scrubbing it with a small knife. As she scrapes, small globules that resemble boogers start to form. She then applies the blobs to my…

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