Our Kambo sticks have a thick layer of venom on one side. This should be enough for at least 60 to 100 dots. Two burnsticks are included.
We travel to the Ticuna tribe in the deep amazon of Peru to buy the Kambo sticks ourselves. We are grateful being allowed to bring this traditional remedy to the world. Because there are no middlemen involved we know for sure that we have fresh stock and we guarantee ethically harvesting.
Each stick has the Excretions of 3 to 5 large frogs. The sticks are 14 cm long and 2 cm wide. Two application sticks are added.
Our Kambo is collected by Ticunas who learned the kambo tradition by living as neighbors with the Matses. They know how to collect and give the kambo also. They live in the Oje Chico Comunity at the base of the Yavari River, in Loreto. The name of the comunity comes from the name of a tree of the Moraceae family, with many medicinal uses for the comunity.
How they collect the Kambo
We went to look for the Phyllomedusa bicolor right before sunrise. Our indigenous friends knew how to identify their song very well. Once found, they took a few of them and by holding them from their feet they started scratching their back. They do not harm the frog, it is not like hurting her, more like tickling somebody, some frogs stressed and some seemed more relaxed. The Ticunas are very aware to no to harm the frog as they believe if the frog is hurt they would have bad luck. This last is very important, as not all the groups or tribes share this belief. And we support this belief deeply.
It is important to look for the frogs after a rainy night, so they are easy to find and more happy to be there.
Who collects them
It is beautiful to see that in this tradition all members of community are involved. 25 families belong to this group, but it are the elders who collect the venom from the frogs. A young apprentice can also do it as part of his training.
An alternative income for families
Although only the elders apply the kambo, everybody in the comunity can help finding and catching the frogs. It has allowed families to have an income by doing their traditional activities. At the same time we are working for it to have an impact not only in the preservation of the species but also on the preservation of its habitat.
Phyllomedusa bicolor is a friendly and nocturnal tree frog that lives high in the trees of the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon rainforests. Males can grow to be 91-103mm long, while their female counterparts are 111-119mm. The dorsum of the frog is a dark green and the under belly is a light yellow white or cream color. There are two large prominent glands extending from behind the eyes. P. bicolor can be found throughout the Amazon rainforests of northern Bolivia, western and northern Brazil, southeastern Colombia, eastern Peru, southern and eastern Venezuela, and the Guainas.
Among the many tribes who use this frog poison as medicine, the Panoan tribes call it Kambô or Kampo in their language. The tribes who harvest the venom from the Phyllomedusa bicolor frog revere it and go to great lengths to protect it. The frog is treated with utmost respect. The tribes fear that if the spirit of the frog were to become angry, they would face serious consequences.
Venom / Secretion
The venom is harvested by first catching the frog, which is easy, as the frogs have few, if any predators and are therefore not afraid. Very gently, the frog is tied up by its four legs and the glands are stimulated to secrete the venom. This is then gathered on a small stick from the Mulateiro tree and left to dry. Once the venom has been gathered, the frog is carefully untied and released. Once the venom is dry on the stick, it is carefully wrapped where it is protected until it will be used.
Kambo has been found to contain various peptides, which have been proven to strengthen the immune system. The peptide rich venom also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that kill viruses and pathogens in the body.
Other tribes as well have found a great use for this frog. The Matses tribe, which traditionally utilized the secretions from the glands behind the eyes of the frog. They did so to increase stamina and endurance, strength and dexterity for hunting as well as to bring good luck. Other tribes who use the venom include the Matis, Kanamari, Kaxinawa, Katukina, Kulina, Yaminawa, Marubo, and Ticuna tribes. The venom was extracted from the frog and used as a coating on the blow darts that were used to maim their prey while hunting. Once the dart hits its animal target and the venom enters into the blood stream, the animal becomes incapacitated and experiences the physical discomfort similar to that of the shamanic experience that the people practice. The animal is then captured and killed for food.