Whether you are working in the steamy jungles of Brazil or the cooler climates of the U.S there are several tips that will improve your Kambo experience.
• Have an empty stomach and be free from stimulants. For eight hours prior to Kambo please do not eat anything and avoid stimulants such as coffee.
• Be completely honest with your Practitioner. By making a full disclosure of any medications or serious medical conditions that you may have you protect both yourself and the practitioner. Please take the time to share and to let the practitioner know of your special needs prior to the ceremony.
• Menses. Women on their period are more comfortable if they avoid Kambo. The Kambo medicine tends to rush upwards to the head (opposing the downward flow of the menses) and it can often cause lightheadedness and sometimes even fainting.
• Sit up straight and focus only on your breathing ! When we slouch over we constrict the organs and the flow of chi up and down the spine. It’s much better to stay open, receptive and trusting when working with Kambo. There’s also a little known bonus to sitting up straight, you will lessen the swelling in the face and throat.
• Dress loosely, warmly and in layers. Once your Kambo goes on you may get hot, so you’ll want to remove layers. Prior though you want to stay warm, cosy, receptive and open. Please make sure you feel no restrictions, remove your belt for instance, get very comfortable before you begin Kambo.
• Drink warm water, not cold water. Again we want the body comfortable, open and receptive. Drinking 1.5L of water that is less than body temperature puts an unnecessary strain on the body.
• Look behind you. Make sure that in the unlikely event that you pass out (it happens from time to time) that you will not hurt yourself if you fall backwards. Either lean against a wall or place a pillow or blanket behind yourself before you begin your Kambo.
• Less Bravado! Sometimes less is more and there is no need to use large amounts of Kambo when it is applied properly. A general starting dose for a woman is 3 points and for a man 4 points. When people are sensitive it is best to start with as little as 1 point. When is doubt start small and work up.
• Getting up during Kambo. Steady on, Kambo is known to lower blood pressure and therefore if you get up to use restroom, please move cautiously and slowly. Please make sure somebody walks by your side and supports you even if you do not feel lightheaded.
• Once first water comes. In some traditions such as the Yawanawá of Brazil, once you pass (throw up) your first colored water, they wash off the Kambo and soon afterwards the effects of the Kambo diminish. In other tribes, such as the Matsés of Peru, they leave on the medicine until it effectively dries out and naturally drops off. Their process then is somewhat longer than that of the Yawanawá. I suggest you have a conversation with your Practitioner about their unique approach to Kambo as everyone works with Kambo a little differently.
• After Kambo. Really take the time to rest, lie under a warm blanket and let yourself fall into the depths; drink in the silence and you may receive some valuable guidance. In the coming days, take time to be in nature, sleep early, take long baths, love yourself up and listen for your higher consciousness.
• Kambo Scars. Its often better to not dress the openings created by the Kambo application as this often causes them to fester. Leaving them open to the elements helps them to heal fast. If scarring is of concern to you then the daily application of Calendula or Aloe can reduce/remove the traces of scarring. Most peoples scars fade after 6-12 months and cannot really be seen , although everyones skin is quite different.
• Optional Dieta. After the inoculation there is strong guidance from the tribes to observe a ‘dieta’. The diet can be seen as what you give to the Kambo spirit in return for the gifts it gave you. Practically speaking, you are removing those things which make you more course, or remove your energy, so that you may rest, heal and receive the gifts of your Kambo. If you choose to do the dieta you’d remove alcohol, salt, sugar, sexual pleasuring and sex from your life for 30 days.
Best wishes for a beautiful Kambo ceremony.