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Kambô Medicine

What is Kambô ?

     For thousands of years, Kambô has been used as medicine by the Huni Kuin (Kaxinawá) & Matses people along with many other indigenous groups. It is still used widely amongst indigenous people in the Amazon. Kambô is a secretion (not a poison) from the Giant Green Monkey Tree Frog , the Phyllomedusa Bicolor. While we cannot legally label Kambô as a "medicine" in the US, it has been considered medicine by the indigenous users for thousands of years. Originating from the need to cure ailing tribe members it became used as a "warrior" medicine by the hunters of the tribe to fortify and prepare the body for the many days of a strenuous hunt and to clarify the vision and psyche in preparation. Kambô can support and optimize the bodies natural systems and transcend the limits of the prescriptive western medical model to address the physical, emotion and spiritual needs of the body bridging  the gap of western & indigenous medicine. It can be extremely effective in supporting those with complex conditions such as Lyme Disease & other auto-immune issues, digestive disorders, chronic pain and fertility issues. As Kambô is not a medicine in the western sense, those that administer it are practitioners and not doctors. 

     An Italian scientist, Vittorio Erspamer of the University of Rome was the first person to analyze Kambô in a laboratory. In 1986, he wrote that it contains a ‘fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian’. 

     The chemicals he referred to are peptides. The peptides studied by Erspamer have become essential to characterize the functional role of opioid receptors. He was twice nominated for a Nobel Prize and was also the person who first discovered Serotonin. Sixteen peptides have since been isolated from the secretion and several have been synthesized. Currently there are over 70 Kambô patents lodged, primarily in the USA.  The secretion contains a complex mixture of bioactive peptides which offer significant benefits for both physical and mental well-being .The effects of Kambô are largely attributed to the bioactive peptides and neuropeptides present in its secretion.

     These peptides, when introduced to the human body, are known for their therapeutic properties. They induce several of beneficial effects from supporting immune function and addressing complex chronic illness to pain relief and digestive support.  Specifically, these peptides play pivotal roles in various systems such as the gastrointestinal (evidenced by anti-obesity and satiety peptides), cardiovascular (showcased by antihypertensive, antithrombotic, and hypocholesterolemic peptides), immune (including antimicrobial and immune-modulatory peptides), and the nervous system (such as opioid peptides). Some of the peptides that have been identified in Kambô are: Phyllomedusin: Produces contraction at the smooth muscle level and increases secretions of the entire gastrointestinal tract such as the salivary glands, stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas and gallbladder. These peptides work to induce the deep purge that can take place in a Kambô session. Phyllokinnin & Phyllomedusins: As vasodilators, these increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier for their effective entry along with that of other active peptides. They also have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Caeruleins + Sauvagines: These peptides have chains of 40 amino acids with myotropic properties on the smooth muscles, producing a contraction of the colon and urinary bladder. They produce a drop in blood pressure accompanied by tachycardia. They stimulate the adrenal cortex and pituitary gland, contributing to greater sensory perception and increased resistance. Both peptides possess a great analgesic power, contributing to the increase of physical strength, the capacity to confront physical pain, stress, disease, and diminish the symptoms of fatigue. In the medical field, this family of peptides contributes to improved digestion and has analgesic properties against pain in the renal colic, pain due to peripheral vascular insufficiency and tumor pain. Dermomorphin + Deltorphin: Small peptides composed of 7 amino acids. These are selective agonists of the opiate receptors, 4000 times stronger than morphine and 40 times more potent than the endogenous endorphins. Adenoregulins: These work on the human body through the adenosine receptors, a fundamental component throughout all human cellular fuel. These receptors may offer a target for the treatment of depression, stroke, and cognitive diseases such as  Dementia ,Alzheimer’s Disease ,Parkinson’s and general cognitive decline. Dermaseptins: These peptides are part of a broad spectrum of antimicrobial peptides involved in the frog’s defense against microbial invasion. These are the first vertebrate peptides that show lethal effects against filamentous fungi responsible for severe opportunistic infections which accompany immunodeficiency syndrome and the use of immunosuppressive agents. They also show lethal effects against a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and protozoa. Several years of research carried out at the University of Paris have shown that peptides Dermaseptin B2 and B3 are effective in killing certain types of cancer cells through restricting angiogenesis. More impressively- they are selectively cytotoxic- primarily targeting the malignant cells. Queens University in Belfast won a prestigious award for the innovative research with cancer, angiogeneis and Kambo- highlighting the potential promise of the secretion. Bradykinnins: These peptides have similar properties and structure to human bradykinin. They are hypotensive, and due to producing vasodilation, they support contraction of the non-vascular smooth muscle, increase vascular permeability, and are related to the mechanism of inflammatory pain. Bombesins: These peptides stimulate the secretion of hydrochloric acid by acting on the G cells of the stomach. They also increase pancreatic secretion, intestinal myoelectric activity, and smooth muscle contractility. Ceruleans: They stimulate gastric, bile, and pancreatic secretions, and certain smooth muscles. They may be used in the paralytic ileus and as a diagnostic medium in pancreatic dysfunction. Tryptophilins: These are neuropeptides consisting of 4-14 amino acids, which are opening up new perspectives neuroplasticity and brain function.


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