How do Kambo and Rapè work?

Shamanic tradition
Amazon tradition

Kambô or Sapo as it is commonly called, has been used for centuries by the indigenous tribes of Brazil and Peru to sharpen their senses before a hunt, increase their physical strength, protect their immune systems from disease and ward off bad luck. 

Kambô is the name given to the waxy secretions from the Giant Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) found in the Northwest regions of the Amazon rainforest which are administered to the human capillaries after a quick jab from a burning ember.

The tribespeople are expert in the harvesting of the Kambô secretions. The man will gather at dawn to catch the Giant Monkey Frog; this is done by mimicking the call of the frog and gently housing it in a small box while returning to the community. The secretions made by the Giant Monkey Frog are incredibly powerful and capable of repelling and protecting them from all predators, this also makes them very docile and easy to catch. The secretions of the Giant Monkey Frog are harvested by tickling the frog, wherein it releases the potent wax like substance, Kambô. The frogs are not harmed in the process and are returned safely to the rainforest after the harvest

Our little green friend going back safely to the forest after the harvesting of the secretion.

Kambô the legend

There is a Kaxinawá legend that tells that the indians of the village were very ill and the Shaman Kampu had done everything that was possible to cure them. All medicinal herbs known were used, but none helped his people’s agony. Kampu then entered the forest and under the effect of Ayahuasca, received the visit of the great God. He brought in His hands a frog, from which He took a white secretion, and taught how to apply. Returning to the tribe and following the guidelines that he had received the Shaman Kampu was able to cure his brothers Indians. After his death, the spirit of Kampu has started living in the frog and the Indians began to use its secretion to stay active and healthy.


How does Kambô work?


Kambô can produce different effects in different people. It is common after the secretions have been applied for us to want vomit, defecate or cry to purge toxins of the body and spirit.


The main indigenous use of Kambô has been to lift Panema or negative energy from the human spirit and as “hunting magic” making tribes people invisible to predators by temporarily eliminating their odour.


Kambô has also traditionally been used to treat:


  • Malaria
  • Fevers
  • Infertility
  • Chronic pain
  • Snake bites
  • Infections
Kambô is believed to be one of the world’s strongest natural antibiotics and remains the most natural and direct way to strengthen and protect the human immune system.

Ayahuasca Retreats

Scientific studies over three decades have shown that the Phyllomedusa bicolor secretions consist of many amino acids (peptides) that are proven to stimulate healing and be genuinely beneficial to the health of the body. Some recent studies have revealed that Kambô contains antimicrobial amino acids that can treat common bacterial infections, fungi, parasites and viruses that have traditionally been resistant to drug therapies. Research at the University of Paris in France has revealed that Kambô is effective in destroying cancer cells. This is promising news for sufferers of chronic illness.


Kambô also has one of the world’s strongest combination of naturally occurring antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anaesthetic properties and is capable of rapidly destroying pathogenic microorganisms that can cause pneumonia, tetanus, typhoid and other infectious diseases.


Some of the short-term effects that result from receiving Kambô include:


  • Increased strength and resilience
  • Hunger
  • Thirst
  • Detoxification of the liver
  • Increased clarity and focus
  • A sense of lightness and mastery over your life


Over the long term, we can expect to experience:


  • An empowered immune system
  • An increase in clarity, motivation and focus
  • Increased courage and willingness to face and deal with difficult feelings
  • A letting go of negative and destructive habits


The effects both short and long term from receiving Kambô are profound, yet it takes great courage, maturity and commitment to invite the sacred medicine to heal those aspects of ourselves that are preventing us from realising our spiritual and physical potential.

Yoga and ayahuasca
Yoga and ayahuasca
Cooking ayahuasca
Elio Geusa

The author,
Elio Geusa

Rapé or Nu-Nu


Nu-Nu or Rapé is a sacred plant medicine used by traditional tribal cultures and healers of the Peruvian Amazon. It has been used by curanderos and tribes indigenous to South America for thousands of years, including the Matses, Kaxinawa, Yawanawa and Katukina peoples.

Rapé is a unique blend of carefully selected plants that are then pulverised and combined with a tobacco that is up to 20 times stronger than its Western equivalent. Cinnamon, Tonka bean, clover and mint are also occasionally added during the ritualistic preparation of the Rapé that involves drying the blend over a slow burning fire. It is common for the blend to be kept a secret by the curanderos whose task it is to craft it.

How is Rapé used?

The sacred administration of Nu-Nu is one characterised by great courage, intention and authenticity sharing little in common with the irreverent use of tobacco in the West. Rapé has been used in indigenous tribes for over centuries in rites of passage and initiation, to cure disease and to obtain the mental clarity needed to undertake a vision quest or deep spiritual journey.


A Rapé or Nu-Nu ritual usually involves two people helping each another to administer the blend. The Rapé is blown high up into the nostrils traditionally with a pipe made form bone, wood or bamboo. The two people are intimately connected by nose, mouth and breath and therefore their heart need to remain open to giving and receiving healing intentions between each other. This ritual involves trust, courage and a deep commitment to giving and receiving. It is itself a vital component in the healing potential of the Rapé

The intensity of the blow can help to clear the mind of any unnecessary mental chatter and help to clarify our intentions. Rapé also has the capacity to increase the healing potentiality of Ayahuasca and other sacred medicinal plants, thereby opening us up to experience profound spiritual transformation when taken together.


The ritual of Rapè intimally connects two people from their heart.

The unique antibacterial effects of Rapé can help to rid the body of unwanted toxins and congestion. If the body is overrun with bacteria and excess mucus it is common to experience vomiting, sneezing and coughing this however can be an extremely relieving and positive experience that restores the body to excellent health.


In scientific studies, Rapé has also been shown to act as an anti-depressant and stimulant increasing blood flow to the brain and helping to ease negativity, confusion, sadness and psychological distress.


Tribespeople also use Rapé as a gateway to access their higher self, renew their strength and cultivate their healing potentialities.



Lattanzi, Giovanni. “Kambô: Scientific Research and Healing Treatments”

Bolshaw Gomes, Marcelo. “Kambo, The spirit of the Shaman”

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