Most recently was in 2019, when a 39-year-old Australian woman had a fatal heart attack at a private ceremony, thought to have involved kambo. She had taken kambo several times before, and was herself a certified IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners) facilitator. This case garnered a lot of publicity, and led to the Australian government banning two unrelated kambo practitioners from serving the medicine for 12 weeks. The case brings to light a number of questions regarding best practices in ceremony and in vetting medicine practitioners beforehand. To better understand what happened, we spoke to S, a California-based facilitator who’s been administering kambo for the past six years and has served thousands of people in ceremony. If you are looking for a kambo ceremony, search for an educated and responsible facilitator who will take your safety and wellbeing as a priority. This will not only maximize the chances of you having a positive experience, but will also raise standards of kambo facilitation and help the medicine become available to all.
Even modern qualifications, such as those offered by the IAKP, do not necessarily confer trustworthiness with a medicine we know so little about. All initial sessions reserve an hour and half for an easeful experience. After the initial treatment, you’ll have the option to continue working with Kambo through a package or curated plan. Allow your intention to arise in your heart, take note and bring it into the forefront of your consciousness.
Is Kambo dangerous?
“Part of that is because a lot of dietas ask for no salt to be consumed, so the sodium levels in the body are already low if they’ve been on a traditional dieta,” S says. Read more about Rapé here. It’s recommended to drink two liters of water within 20 minutes of receiving the kambo, he explains.
Kambo holds incredible potential to support well-being, thought proper preparation and personal responsibility is crucial.
There have been cases of liver toxicity, seizures, psychosis, and prolonged vomiting after kambo use (da Silva et al, 2019). The secretion is then applied to small burns on the skin, to allow it to enter the bloodstream. The effects are felt after a few minutes, and last up to an hour. Usually people will vomit or defecate within the first few minutes, and the nausea and disorientation will continue for some time afterwards.
Yoga encourages mindfulness and self-awareness through breathwork and physical postures, while kambo can bring about a sense of clarity and focus. Both practices can help to quiet the mind and bring the practitioner into a state of deep relaxation and inner stillness. It is best to abstain from alcohol 24 – 48 hours prior to ceremony, depending on amount consumed. But alcohol can make for an uncomfortable treatment and this helps show respect for the medicine…And give the Kambo the space needed to do it’s best work afterwards.