Kambo Science

The source of Kambo is the secretion of the Giant Green Monkey Tree Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor).  The nocturnal and arboreal frog has no known natural predators and is found in abundance throughout the upper Amazon.  The IUCN endangered species database lists them as being of "least concern" due to their wide distribution and large numbers.  The only threat to the population of these frogs is the potential destruction of their habitat.  We source our Kambo from the Matses tribe with the guarantee that all frogs are treated ethically with care during the gentle collection process and that we only receive the freshest and strongest first secretion of the frog.  The frog is then returned to the wild unharmed and is not collected again for at least 2 months.  The Matses tribe has a rich history of use of Kambo and it is believed that to harm any frog will anger the spirit of the environment bringing 'panema' or negative energy to the tribe. 


Kambo contains...

"a fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequaled by any other amphibian"

-Dr. Vittorio Erspamer



At first glance, using a chemical deterrent from the gland of an amphibian may seem unorthodox, however modern science has been utilizing animal venoms and poisons for many decades now with profound efficacy for treating a variety of diseases and symptoms ranging from hypertension and other heart conditions to chronic pain and diabetes. There are currently 7 FDA approved medications that have been derived from animal venom peptides and proteins and many more in clinical trials currently ongoing. Common prescriptions include Captopril (used to treat hypertension), Eptifibatide and Tirofiban (used to treat acute coronary syndromes), Bivalirudin (anti-coagulant used to prevent blood clots), Ziconotide (used to treat chronic pain), and Exenatide (used to treat type 2 diabetes).

Vittorio Erspamer, twice nominated for the Nobel prize and the discoverer of serotonin, was the first scientist to analyze kambo in a laboratory. What he found was described as “fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian”. He was able to identify individual bio-active peptides responsible for kambo's effects in triggering chemical reactions in the human body and these studies have been integral for understand the functional role of opioid receptors. Since his initial discoveries, several of the peptides have been both isolated and synthesized. There are currently over 70 patents lodged related to the peptides discovered in kambo.

Peptides found in kambo include:

  • Phyllocaerulein – Produces smooth muscle contraction, reduces blood pressure, moderates satiety, sedation and thermoregulation as well as being a potent analgesic
  • Phyllokinin – Indicated to produce a long lasting reduction in blood pressure
  • Phyllomedusin – A vasodilator which stimulates gastric secretions
  • Dermorphin – A hepta-peptide that acts on and selectively binds to mu opioid receptors acting to reduce pain without causing a chemical dependence