By Sebastian Hansen
Mahalo Kambo for being present with us.
Your strength, sensitivity, awareness, grace, boldness, and peacefullness are an inspiration.
Thanks for connecting us to the earth mother with your guidance
Thanks for empowering our adaptation with your medicine.
Thanks for helping us to release and cleanse and for clearing the way to our highest destiny.
Kambo comes from a miraculous frog in the jungle with a secretion which is gathered and distributed by tribal peoples of the Amazon such as the Yawanawa in Brazil and the Matses in Peru. The tribes revere Kambo as a powerful ancestor and respectfully gather the venom. Kambo, the Waxy monkey tree frog, is also known as Phyllomedusa Bicolor. There are other Phyllomedusa species which are occasionally used for medicine as well. Kambo has a waxy coating on the skin, allowing extended time away from water in the upper jungle canopy. Kambo venom is rubbed from the skin without harming the frog and is dried and stored for later use.
Kambo is a deeply effective physical, mental and spiritual medicine which both carries a protective spirit as well as an amazingly rich medicinal biochemistry. The biopeptides in kambo have many synergistic effects which assist the process of adaptation. Kambo is very persistent in the physical and subtle bodies and raises the kundalini while balancing the nadis and opening the chakras. Many have found a refreshed artistic inspiration with this medicine's sense enhancing qualities.
A childlike joy can arise out of the lush visceral experience of life after kambo.
Kambo is also known as doctorcito (little doctor) and can be connected with directly in subtle realms. Many experience the energetic presence of Kambo remaining in the space where kambo ceremony is held. This can be especially strong in spaces that hold circle on the full moon. This frog medicine is powerfully connected to our waters and seems to well up inside oneself as the moon expands. Many also experience Kambo subtly entering their system before it is physically administered.
The venom is the strongest natural antibiotic ever discovered, a very powerful analgesic, helps to clear addictions especially with opiates, creates a peaceful alert state, enhances the senses, quickens the reflexes, strengthens the immune system, lowers inflammation, increases fertility and with multiple applications is a wide ranging vaccination.
My friend from Brazil described receiving kambo vaccinations from childhood up into adulthood without ever getting sick. He then left the jungle for the city and had an illness for the first time in his life after stopping the use of kambo.
An alpha predator living in the most bio-diverse part of the world, Kambo has an incredible pallete of ingredients to transmute into its medicine. In fact, when Kambo was brought to france for breeding inside of a greenhouse, there was found to be no activity in its venom. Kambo needs the jungle in order to work this high alchemy. How appropriate for the master of waters to be extracting this earth medicine! Kambo distills the essence of patchamama into a form which can sink into the deepest layers of our being.
Kambo in Ayurveda - Dosas
Kambo holds the power of "visa" (poison) which penetrates the body unobstructed, reaching all of the tissues, organ systems, glands and sheaths of the body.
"Visada" is a phrase for sadness in Sanskrit. With Kambo, we see a process of the visa (venom) clearing the vissada (sadness). In the Amazon this is described as the clearing of stuck energy, sadness, bad luck, lethargy or heaviness all known as "Panema". These are also all characteristics of Tamas (inertia, toxicity and density), which is also decreased by Kambo. Kambo clears ama (toxic buildup) from the body which can help to clear infection and tumors.
The cleansing qualities of Kambo access the primary sites of accumulation for both Pitta and Kapha directly.
Kapha (earth and water) primarily accumulates in the stomach and lungs and is present as phlegm and saliva. Typically this is cleansed in the initial vomiting of a kambo purge which is more clear or white in color. Clearing the kapha accumulation allows for its balanced functioning which promotes the healthy growth and lubrication of tissues and organs. This is especially seen in the nervous system, saliva, lungs, stomach and joints which are supported by kapha. These represent the five primary forms of kapha and act as containers for various levels of reality in the physical and subtle bodies (koshas).
Kledaka kapha (of the stomach ) is a container for our food which feeds our physical body, the annamaya kosha.
Avalumboka kapha (of the lungs) is a container for our prana, which feeds our pranic body, the pranamaya kosha.
Bodaka kapha (of the saliva) is a container for our sense impression of taste which is one of senses feeding our mental emotional body, the manomaya kosha.
Tarpaka kapha (of the nervous tissue) is a container for the awareness of our reflexes and higher discrimination which feeds our intellect body, the vijnanamaya kosha.
Sleshaka Kapha (of the joints) is a container for gravity and for the minor chakras. This form of kapha allows for spontaneous posture flow and authentic movement, feeding our bliss body, the anandamaya kosha.
In a vomiting purge we can directly see Kambo's effect on the first three of the forms of kapha, releasing the stomach contents, phlegm from the lungs and saliva. Kambo effects the nervous tissue and reflexes with biopeptides that make us both more relaxed and more responsive. This is also a result of the greater electrical conductivity in a clean system after clearing the channels and bodies. This cleansing of ama removes toxicity from the tissues which strengthens the joints. Healthy cleansed kapha dosha then enables proper lubrication of the joints to occur. Proper saturation and dispersion of food in the stomach, proper lubricated elasticity and compressive strength in the lungs, and juicy salivation are all supported by healthy kapha dosha. Increased salivation has been linked to the access of alpha, delta and theta brainwave states. The salivation of kapha connects us to deep meditations and a sense of union.
Ayurvedic Alchemical medicine reflects this as it is often called Rasa medicine or taste medicine. Rasa is also the name for pleasure, which is a major cause of the grasping and aversion of the mental emotional body. This pleasure of kapha is like the sweetness of venus. The sanskrit name for venus, "shukra", also means sugar. We can experience a more profound inner sweetness in meditation when we are able to taste our inner amrita or nectar. This takes us beyond the dual mind state into an experience of the bliss body.
Healthy kapha brings us to a peaceful sattvic state and gives us great determination and a great memory. These factors all help in the all important practice of responsible eating. Kapha is greatly enhanced by proper food combining and needs the therapeutic use of taste for elemental balance and digestive strength.
Pitta (fire and air) primarily accumulates in the small intestine and is present as bile in the liver and gallbladder. Bile can be cleared in the vomiting purge of a kambo cleanse, often appearing yellow or green. This movement of bile can intensely burn on the way out and sometimes even moves out through the nostrils! Preparing with the use of a nasal oil to protect the sinuses and sesame oil pulling to protect the teeth can make this an easier experience. Kambo often cleanses through the bowels as well, and this kind of purge is also used in ayurvedic practice to cleanse fire and bile from the body. This cleansing can be very deep for pitta, refining the internal fires to burn very clean, like a ghee lamp that burns with no smoke. When this happens the pancreas doesn't have to work as hard, the blood sugar is more balanced, digestion is efficient, and there is less billiousness making a more peaceful (sattvic) disposition.
Pitta (fire) has 5 primary forms in the body. The mental fire, Sadhaka pitta is used to digest our sensory impressions, emotions and thoughts. The fire of our eyes, alochaka pitta is used to digest and assimilate the light entering our eyes which also purifies our blood. All of the blood in the body is pumped through the eyes every 8 minutes in the average person. So the fire of the eyes is used to purify the fire of our blood! The fire of the blood, ranjaka pitta, is used to digest the contents of the blood such as sugar, or microbes or medicines which are absorbed directly in the blood such as kambo or other medicines taken sublingually. This fire of the blood is governed by the liver, gallbladder and spleen. The fire of the skin, bhrajaka pitta, is used to digest that which is applied to the skin. This fire of the skin also governs it's temperature and lustre. The fire of the stomach and small intestine is called pachaka pitta and it is used to digest food.
Kambo effects all the five forms of pitta. The mental pitta (sadhaka) is made to be more peaceful and obstructions to full awareness are eliminated. The pitta of the eyes (alochaka) is made more receptive with reports of heightened visual acuity and faster refocusing upon moving objects. The pitta of the skin (bhrajaka) is used to absorb the kambo after it is applied and many then experience a warming followed by a cooling of the skin. Many experience enhanced lustre of the skin after receiving kambo, especially after a full vaccination. The pitta of the stomach and small intestine (pachaka) is cleansed by the kambo whether through emetic vomiting or purgation through the bowels. The anti parasitic quality of the medicine helps to clear the GI tract of entities which bring toxicity to all of the tissues. This can greatly assist the internal fire to burn bright and clean. The pitta of the blood (ranjaka) is cleansed by Kambo as it increases circulation.
Kambo brings movement into the 5 forms of vata, also know as the five pranas or winds.
The wind or vata that moves inward is called prana. This channel is called Pranavaha srotas in ayurveda. Kambo clears kapha from the stomach and clears the respiratory tract and allows for greater pranic absorption into the heart center. The nostrīls also absorb prana in this channel and this can be profoundly effected by the amazonian tobacco snuff called rappe.
The wind that moves downward is called apana. This prana allows us to cleanse and release and controls the bowels. This organ system is called the Purishavaha Srotas and kambo activates it, often bringing a purgative bowel movement as its prīmary cleanse.
The form of prana that spirals and balances is called samana. This prana harmonizes the solar plexes and the digestion, metabolism, hydration and blood sugar levels. Kambo cleanses and balances the juices in the stomach and the bile in the small intestine . It also has been said to lessen hunger. Kambo brings a peaceful disposition through its neurotonic properties. Kambo increases the function of Samana prana in all of these actions.
The form of prana that moves upwards is called udana and is present in the exhale of our respiratory system, the pranavaha srotas. This prana allows us to vocalize our intentions and prayers and send them up through our astral bodies to the celestial source. Vedically this is seen in the chanting of the gayatri mantra to the sun. This prana also creates the ability to vomit, cleansing our system with it's upward moving power. Kambo activates udana prana for healing. For some, Kambo has been found to have positive effects on the singing voice, both refining articulation and increasing tonal sensitivity.
The form of prana that expands and radiates outwards is called vyana. This form of prana has similarities to air or water in its spreading movement. Vyana allows one to experience union with all that is in the surroundings as the energy body spreads out. Many experience this as a merging of consciousness that creates a unified electromagnetic field. Meditating on this field helps to calm the local environment and all who are in it. This has been proven in the Transcendental Meditation Movement's research on the regional effects of group meditation.
Kambo clears and strengthens our chakras and electromagnetic field. The sensory enhancement of Kambo brings a sense of bliss which spreads from the heart. The relaxation of the nervous system that Kambo offers helps in the expansion of energy. Kambo also brings greater awareness of the body, helping our consciousness to spread inward.
All of this doshic healing creates great stability in all of the bodies. Kambo helps us to achieve healthy balance that creates a powerful platform for our evolution to unfold. The Sattvic temperment that is often found with Kambo brings us to a state of sat - chit - ananda, combined being, consciousness and bliss. Kambo helps us to acquire true knowledge, vidya. This true knowledge is simply the full realization of our unified state of being. May we all know the light of our infinite nature and may Kambo continue to assist in this vision!
Turmeric and Jupiter
Turmeric is known as, "Haldi", in India and, "Olena", in Hawaii. Curcuma Longum is the primary species of turmeric and has spread across the globe. There is also a white Turmeric called, "Zedoary", Curcuma Zedoaria, which used to be very popular in the ancient spice trade and is very mild in taste. My personal favorite is the Black or Blue turmeric, Curcuma Caesia, which is very different from regular turmeric and contains camphor. There is also a new Curcuma which is emerging in Hawaii that seems to be a cross between the well known orange turmeric and the endangered blue species.
Curcuma Longum connects us to the power of jupiter. This correlation is seen in the beautiful orange color of the curcumin which is the healing color of both jupiter and its associated sacral chakra, Svadisthana. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory qualities offer a relieving expansion and spaciousness typical of Jupiter. Jupiter is often seen as a cure to the forces of Saturn. In fact, this is seen literally in the interplay between a saturnian poison and its antidote from jupiter. Turmeric and some other jupiter plants such as plantago, Mellisa and Jakfruit are antidotes for poison.
Turmeric also cleanses the plasma and the lymph and the skin which are all seen to be deeply interconnected in Ayurvedic physiology. This action is also supported by other jupiter plants like plantago and dandelion.
The presence of Saturn can be seen in a hardened tumor. The persistent growth of a tumor shows saturn's earth (prithvi) influence. The disturbed circulation to that tumor shows saturn's wind (vayu) influence. The limited immune response the body has for the the tumor represents Saturn’s ability to limit Jupiter's response. Turmeric's dissolving, dispersing effect shows jupiter's expansive energy as well as the solvent, water energy of pisces and the digestive, fire energy of sagitarrius. These asterisms are ruled by Jupiter and show more subtle aspects of turmeric's functioning.
Saturn's influence can be seen in any constricted flow in the body which is considered a disturbance of vata in Ayurveda. The dry, cold nature of saturn increases vata and can be easily seen later in life, when the forces of saturnian time have developed in the body. This effects vata qualities such as the greying and drying of hair as well as the darkening, drying and increased thinness of the skin or stiffness and cracking in the joints. The drying saturn wind can also create very painful vata disturbances in the body such as in the digestive tract, the joints and the nervous system. This increase in vata can appear as restrictions in the proper flow of various organ systems or restricted tissue development. One example of this would be a weakened digestive fire and more dry wind in the colon which can lessen both assimilation and elimination in the gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to constipation, toxicity or the malformation of tissues. The typical tissue that would be especially effected by saturn is bone, called Asthi in Ayurveda. Bone is created in the colon and requires healthy colon function for proper development to occur. Too much wind element can create drying in the colon which prevents its nutritionally absorptive qualities. This connection of the colon and bone production is a major part of the earth element of the root chakra, muladhara. Bone is also seen as a container for the nervous system in Ayurveda and it is said the wind element exists inside of it. Truly the intelligence of the bone marrow affords much wind element transmutation in the body through its T-cells.
Turmeric’s warming digestive qualities help cold vata conditions and it's circulatory support helps to soothe dry vata in the body. Turmeric is even used as a snuff or infused in oil for Nasya, nasal medicine. This helps to support the balance of vata's healthy functioning in the head and through the sinuses reaches all the sense organs and higher energy centers. Turmeric infused in oil accentuates it's jupiter effect as the oleating quality of any oil holds a jupiter energy. Turmeric oil infusions are often used in ayurvedic treatment for their warm, relaxing, nourishing, oleating and expansive qualities.
Oil pulling in ayurveda is a wonderful example of jupiter's medicine of oil encountering the presence of saturn in the teeth. In oil pulling one soaks the teeth in a mouthful of oil for 5 to 15 minutes and then spits it out. This has both nourishing and cleansing qualities for the teeth and gums and various herbal infusions in the oil can assist in these actions greatly. The dry, hard, brittle teeth being soaked in a mouthful of oil which is wet, soft and malleable offers remedial opposite qualities. This pairing of opposite therapeutic qualities, or gunas, is the recommended practice in ayurveda. Often times sesame oil is prescribed for vata conditions as sesame has a very small particle size and is readily absorbed into the tissues. Coconut oil is also used and can help to lower inflammation in the gums for pitta (fire) conditions. One can also rub turmeric powder on the teeth for a whitening action. Fresh turmeric, however, has an impermanent staining action on the teeth, brightly showing that healing orange color of jupiter before leaving the teeth lighter.
When we taste, see, smell, hold or plant turmeric, we are connecting with the healing forces of our metabolic system and the sacral chakra. We can feel ourselves relaxing and slowing down our metabolism to move at the slower pace of Jupiter. We can picture our tissues relaxing and being nourished and softened especially around the spine and joints. We can feel our digestive power increasing as we are gently warmed and we can smile at our pancreas and feel its relaxed healthy functioning as we maintain our sugar balance. We can smile at our liver as well and feel its bile being purified and refined by the turmeric. We can also experience greater flexibility and vitality in our asana practice with the help of this amazing plant.
Turmeric can be used in the practice of Bhakti and helps to call in the higher spiritual forces of Ganesha. The bija mantra for Ganesha, Glaum, can help call in this energy. Jupiter is called, Guru, and turmeric calls in this force of the teacher both internally and externally. The mantra for jupiter, Om Gurave Namaha, helps to draw in this energy. Turmeric can be used an an astrological remedy to increase joy, memory, strength and to destroy obstacles. It increases both tejas and ojas in the body, and is a very sattvic medicine.
We can feel the support this plant ally offers for the immune system and its learning. Just as Ganesha is the scribe, jupiter is a scribe recording the knowledge of both our immunological response and our genetic material. Our DNA is recorded in the body with guru (meaning wisdom or jupiter) and is a foundational part of reproduction which is central to the watery sensual sacral chakra.
Turmeric is a digestive and clears ama. Turmeric helps cure poisons and lightly raises pitta. It balances all the doshas and is very sattvic. It is antifungal and invigorates and cleanses the blood. Turmeric helps with spasms, sprains and muscle pain, especially in the shoulders. It is tonifying to the ears and sinuses. It is antibacterial and expectorant. It is anti carcinogenic and can help dissolve tumors and is antiengiogenic. Antiengiogenic herbs can inhibit red blood cell production and tumor growth. Turmeric also helps regulate sugar absorption and is one of the best anti-inflammatory herbs especially for the tendons and ligaments. Turmeric has liver tonifying properties but can inhibit the flow of bile from the liver with constant long term use. Turmeric is great externally for bites, wounds and sores. Turmeric is said to be many times more medicinally potent with the addition of pipali, long pepper. Pipali is commonly used in the trikatu spice formula with ginger and black pepper.
Wildcrafting Class from the Sacred Valley of Peru. Lecture was presented on March 16th, 2015, at Nidra Wasi, Divinitree Pisaq.
Fresh plants were harvested locally and made into teas and a soup. Fresh plants were also passed around at lecture to have tactile examples.
A big Mahalo to David Bruce Leonard and the Earth Medicine Institute.
Plantago Major/Lanceolata/Speciosa - "Plantain"
family is plataginaceae - from latin "planta" meaning sole of foot
- Used since prehistoric times - whole plant used internally and externally.
- Seeds contain psyllium husk which is laxative, emollient, manages cholesterol and helps bowels.
- Leaves cure infection, are a respiratory tonic and a styptic and make a great poultice for sprains.
- Leaves and roots cure insect bite, poison ivy, boils, sores, rashes and general skin issues.
- Antiemetic, meaning if prevents vomiting.
- Cholagogue, meaning it encourages bile flow. It also helps with Jaundice.
- Also said to cure snake bites!
Sonchus Arvensis/Oleraceus/Asper - "Sow's thistle"
family is Asteraceae
- Not for pregnancy
- Given to sow's traditionally for milk production
- The leaves are edible but can have mild toxicity from high nitrates in environment
- Is almost the same medicinally as dandelion
- Sonchus is anti-inflammatory, a blood purifier, heart tonic, anticancer (angiogenic), abortificient, emmanagogue, prevents infection, used as general poultice and a styptic.
- Is an over all tonic specific for the liver and is sometimes used for toothache.
Tagetes Minuta - "Marigold" - from "Tages", the Etruscan diety who is grandson of Jupiter
- As tea it is a remedy for colds, reps infection, the stomach, and liver.
- Tagetes are antimicrobial and anti fungal
- Tagetes oil is bronchodilatory, spazmolytic, anti-inflammatory, tranquilizing and hypotensive.
- All Marigold species have edible flowers.
- "Wakatay" is the peruvian name for Tagetes
Taraxacum Officinale - "Dandelion"
family is Asteraceae
- Gathered since prehistoric times.
- Every part used and edible.
- Leaves have vitamins A, C and K and calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.
- Treats infections, bile/liver issues and is diuretic.
- Rarely some people are allergic to the pollen internally or topically.
- Plant is perennial so the leaves grow back when harvested.
- There are many species which look similar and are edible and medicinally similar.
- Hypochaeris radicata or "False Dandelion/Cat's Ear" includes 50-100 species.
- Crepis or "Hawksbeard" has multiple flowers and includes 200 species.
- Hieracium or "Hawksweed" includes over 10,000 species.
- Leontodon or "Hawkbits" include over 80 species.
- Agoseris or "mountain dandelion" is also edible.
Leonotus Nepetifolia - "Klip Dagga"
family is Lamiaceae
- Contains Leonurine
- Treats resp infections, staph, strep, bone infections, influenza, pneumonia, prostate inflammation and skin infections
- There is a calming effect from smoking the flowers.
- In trinidad it is called "Shandilay" tea and is used for fever, cough, womb prolapse and malaria.
- May be toxic in high doses.
- Klip Dagga is anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and analgesic.
- Klip Dagga looks a lot like WIld Dagga which is toxic in high doses.
- Klip Dagga has leaves which are cordate with ridges.
- Wild Dagga or Leonotus leonurus has leaves which are lanceolate with ridges.
Schinus Molle - from "Mulli" which is Quechua for tree.
family is anacardiaceae
- Fruits and leaves have potential toxicity
- Monograph made in Brazil in 1976 indicates it is nontoxic to use the oil.
- Bark and leaves used to treat wounds and infections.
- Fruit is digestive and antibacterial.
- Leaves and bark are antibacterial, antiseptic, antidepressant, anti fungal, diuretic, good for toothache, menstruation and heart problems.
- Resin is wound healer, purgative and is good for rheumatism.
Bidens Pilosa - "Spanish needle" - The seeds are the small needles which get stuck to our pants.
family is asteraceae
- The whole plant is used.
- Bidens is good for liver protection, ulcers, diabetes, infections, candida and malaria.
- Studies have shown anti tumor activity and the ability to inhibit the growth of leukemia.
- Helps with urinary tract infection and ulcers and is antiviral.
- White flowered species shown.
Desmodium Speciosa - "Amor Seco" or "strong back" or "Pua Pili Pili" in Hawaiian
family is fabaceae
- Contains astragalin and tyramine.
- Is an anti-inflammatory, a diuretic and a liver tonic.
- Treats infections, nervousness, diarrhea, venereal disease, digestion, asthma, antispasmodic, anti allergy, antioxidant, back pain and convulsion.
- Used as a love tonic or to heal relationship in Peru.
- Used to treat urinary tract infection.
- Has no toxicity or side effects.
- Has delicious edible seeds that look like small flat soy beans and are found stuck to our pants.
- Contraindicated for pregnancy.
Oxalis Tuberosa - "Oca or "Uqa" in quechua and "Ihi" in Hawaiian
family is oxalidaceae
- Alterative, meaning it's a blood cleanser.
- It is a sedative, a diuretic and it moves the blood.
- Sometimes it is used on injuries and sprains topically.
- One of the highest vegetable sources of carbohydrates and energy in the tuber.
- All parts edible.
- Leaves have high vitamin C, potassium, iron and iron.
- Also contains Vitamin B6, Valine and tryptophane.
- Leaves are heart shaped, making it easily distinguished from clover.
Commelina Tuberosa - "Wandering Jew", "Eye Grass" or "Hona-Hona" in Hawaiian
family is Commelinaceae
- Sap of plant is helpful with eye infections or irritation.
- Whole plant is edible.
- Antibacterial, diuretic and liver tonic.
- Contraindicated for pregnancy.
- Used to cool fevers and protect from the influenza virus.
- Poultice cools skin inflammation.