Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sapo frog, Kambo frog, Giant leaf frog, Phyllomedusa Bicolor, this wonderful creature goes by many names.

It is found in the Amazon rainforest. It is usually only active at night. It’s venom (which it secretes through pores on the skin) is used as a VERY powerful medicine by the indigenous peoples of Peru, specifically the Matse people.

When going out to collect the frogs, they first call out to the spirit of the frog. Then, they follow the incredibly deep and UNIQUE ribbit (if you can call it that? It’s more like a “BWAAAAAAAAAA” noise) of the frogs. They are incredibly gentle, and many are not fearful of humans. You can simply walk up and pluck them off a branch or leaf. Then the real magic begins.

A good shaman will collect a big number of frogs. One by one, they will tie the frogs legs (as shown in the second photo), spread them out, than poke the frog gently to encourage the secretion of venom. The first bursts are always the most potent, so true healers will only take the first batch from each frog. The venom is collected on a Sapo-stick, or kambo-stick, then dried for later use. NO FROGS ARE INJURED DURING THIS PROCESS. In fact, if they are, it’s a sign of terrible luck for the person doing the collecting.

When ready for use, a small jungle vine is lit on fire. While still hot, the vine is pressed to the skin, forming a small, circular burn on the surface of the skin. It’s nothing too painful, at least not compared to the medicine itself =) though it will leave tiny, white, circular scars that last for at least a few months

After applying as many burns as desired (the dosage depends on the number of burns, two was intense, though I’ve heard of people doing four to six, or more!) a small amount of spit (saliva) is applied to the dried venom on the stick. After being mixed up it will form a sort of foam, which is then scraped off and applied directly to the burns.

The medicine is instantly absorbed through the capillaries and you feel it within 30 seconds. You get HOT. Like sweating through every pore in your body hot. Your hearing begins to get strange. The closest thing I can relate it to is like having your ears full water. Your heart starts beating incredibly fast (or at least feels like it does). Then comes the nausea and body aches. You might feel like you’re dying for five minutes, but trust me. You’ll be fine. No one’s ever died from sapo.

Your stomach will gurgle. It feels like liquid is sloshing around all the way from your stomach to your small intestines. Most of the time you puke. And if you don’t, you probably spent the whole time TRYING to puke.

It’s best done on an empty stomach, and when you vomit while empty, it will be some of the strangest colored shit you’ve ever seen. Bright orange bile, black goo, etc. You are literally bringing up toxins, chemicals, left over residue, anything your body is trying to get rid of. The venom is composed of hundreds of different bioactive compounds (meaning they react with receptors in the brain) and only some have been properly researched and documented.

The intense nausea and purging lasts 5-10 minutes. You feel hot for maybe about 20. By the 30 minute mark you are completely back to normal. However, you will most likely feel an intense energy for the rest of the day. Not like a caffeine-tweak. More like a “I feel like I can run 10 miles!” energy.

The medicine frees up receptors that may be blocked, stimulates receptors that may not be as active as they should be, and promotes an all-around chemical equilibrium in the brain. As mentioned before, it also cleans out just about every system in your body. Our bodies store toxins, and sapo causes these toxins to break free. They float around an get absorbed into the soft tissues of the body. Because of this, many users will notice their cheeks, lips, and face swelling. Ironically, when fully swelled, the persons face looks uncannily similar to the face of a frog!

The sapo frog is a huge part of the way of life in the Amazon jungle. They use it to instantly cure colds, boost their immune systems, clean toxins out of the body, and plenty of other things. While it’s not for everyone, I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in jungle medicines and overall good health.

For more info, read this article written by Peter Gorman. The first white man to discover sapo and publicize it’s properties.
http://www.erowid.org/culture/characters/gorman_peter/gorman_peter_article2.shtml

Notes

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