Kambô is known as an “ordeal” medicine, it is intense but fast, and the unpleasant effects are strong and immediate, and only last for about 20-30 minutes.
Before the application, health issues, intention, and any other questions will be discussed. If the session is happening in a group environment you may request to discuss it in private. Specific treatments and point locations will also be discussed.
The practitioner will proceed to burn the dots. The top thin layer of skin is blistered with an incense stick and the skin is peeled off to expose the epidermis underneath; this is not as deep as when you have a blister and the skin rubs off. There is no blood.
At this moment you will start drinking about two liters of water while the practitioner prepares the Kambô. You need to drink the water only a few minutes before applying the Kambô otherwise it will start being processed by the body and won’t be available for the purge.
The dried Kambô is mixed with a small amount of water and divided into small dots that have a glue-like texture. Then small points called gates are placed on the surface of the skin. The points are approximately 1/8 inch across but can be smaller or slightly larger, depending on the treatment.
Kambô enters directly into the lymphatic system so the effect is almost immediate. Most people experience a warm to hot flush on the upper body and face along with increased heart rate right after the first minute of application.
Within a few seconds, most feel a slight prickly feeling, along with hot flushing in the upper body and face along with increased heart rate. Some clients feel tingling sensations in their hands and feet and may experience slight swelling in the face, ears, and throat.
Kambô works with your intention and what is needed in the moment. It moves quickly within your body, scanning for problems and then going directly to work on those areas. You may experience throbbing or burning sensations in the places where the medicine is working on them.
Blood pressure will rise and then fall, at which point nausea is experienced and the desire to purge will occur. As blood pressure slowly falls, many will feel dizzy, weak, foggy, shaky, and may even briefly faint. The discomfort present is the accumulation of toxins (physical and emotional) in your body wanting to exit. Purging can take a number of forms including vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, crying, and sounding.
After purging, nausea will subside and the medicine is taken off of the skin. Within a short time (usually 20-30 minutes or so) you will feel much better and will desire to eat and drink.
Directly afterward many feel an increase of energy, stamina, clarity, and wellbeing, for some, it may take a few days of feeling a bit more tired and weak, but within a day or so, depending on your state of health, you will begin to feel the real lasting benefits of your Kambô treatment.
After the dots of Kambô are removed, the points are dressed with a Peruvian tree sap solution ‘Sangre de Grado’ (Dragon’s Blood). This helps them to heal faster and ensures they stay free from infection until they scab naturally within a day or so.
The burn marks will heal and fade with time, but depending on your skin color and type you may always have small visible scars. Most people see their Kambô marks as a badge of honor to be worn proudly and many ask to have the dots arranged on the skin in a pleasing artistic pattern. The same burn points can be reused after 2-3 months.