Natural Performance Enhancement Modalities : Kambo Cleanse

By Ben Sheard

This article is the second installment of my series on natural performance enhancement modalities. The first, on Floating, is an excellent read for those looking for a mental edge.  Kambo, on the other hand, is a little more in-depth and requires some commitment by the athlete.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be or is this is in any way medical advice.  I do have extensive knowledge of medication and treatment methods, but everyone and their reactions to treatment methods are different.  This information may include those thinking of using holistic approaches to performance enhancement in general. Please, do further research, and come up with your responsible conclusions with medical supervision under a professional.   Always consult with your physician before considering any of these treatment concepts; I’m merely sharing my personal experiences which have helped me and those I know much. 

Kambo is the venomous secretion of the Phyllomedusa bicolor (Monkey Frog) native to the Amazon rainforest.  Having these toxic secretions administered to you by a professional can have many benefits to your physical and mental health.  Typically, once the secretion from this frog is harvested, a small stick is heated up and burn marks are applied on to the skin of the person receiving the treatment.  Then, the medicine is applied on top of the burn marks, which is absorbed directly into the lymphatic system. This traditional medicine consists of many powerful peptides beneficial to the human body.  Having Kambo administered will cause some unpleasant effects due to the body’s interaction with the peptides.  Fortunately, the negatives are short-lived and decisive benefits slowly begin to occur.

Kambo is one of the most potent natural ways to fortify the immune system and one of the most potent anti-inflammatories, antimicrobial, antibiotic and anesthetic substances on the planet.  It is becoming better known in recent times for its healing properties and evidence of people overcoming a wide variety of illnesses.  The secretion of the frog contains dozens of peptides including but not limited to Phyllocaerulein, Phyllomedusin, Phyllokinin, Sauvagine, Dermaseptin B2, Adenoregulin, Deltorphins, and Dermorphin.

Phyllocaerulein stimulates the adrenal cortex and pituitary gland and has a role in the medicine’s analgesic effects.

Phyllomedusin regulates the functions of dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. Phyllomedusin contracts smooth muscles while Phyllokinin relaxes them, causing a vasodilation effect.

Sauvagine functions like a hormone and are involved in stress, anxiety, depression, and addictive behavior.

Dermaseptins, including Adenoregulin, are potent antibiotics found to be rapidly and irreversibly effective against a range of parasitic microorganisms; they’re also entirely non-toxic.

Adenoregulin may be useful in the development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and strokes.  Anecdotal evidence supports Kambo’s use in depression treatment, anxiety, and addiction.

Deltorphins and Dermorphin are both powerful opioid receptor agonists. Although Kambo contains these opioid receptor agonists, it does NOT contain any opiates.  Other conditions that may benefit from Kambo include chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, hepatitis, diabetes, rheumatism, and arthritis.

The immediate effects of Kambo are intense and unpleasant, but short-lived, usually lasting less than an hour.  They include a feverish rise in temperature, sweating, shivers, and dizziness as the heart rate becomes rapid (up to 200 beats per minute). Blood pressure may rise or fall dramatically, accompanied by an increased awareness of the veins and arteries.  Many people report a tingling or burning sensation like electricity that starts from the points of application and spreads throughout the body. Overwhelming nausea and purging are generally unavoidable with Kambo.  Other effects include a feeling of pressure in the head, neck, and torso, stomach pain, inflammation of the throat, dry mouth, blurred vision (or temporary blindness), difficulty moving, and numb, swollen lips and tongue. Fortunately, these adverse side effects are not for nothing.

User experience may be enhanced following the Kambo purge.  You may feel great physical strength, sharpened senses, and heightened mental alertness. Desirable after-effects like these may take a day to materialize, or they could be immediate.  They also tend to include a consistently elevated mood, increased physical and mental energy, decreased stress, and enhanced focus. I have friends and an immediate family member who has reported an endless wave of stamina for a few days following a Kambo Cleanse.  Along with newly acquired endurance, increases in strength have also been reported.  Chronic fatigue syndrome, or just fatigue in general, has been eliminated after a single session.

What the Kambo Cleanse is NOT:  Kambo is not a hallucinogen.  It is not a toad that you can pick up and lick for a recreational drug experience.  It is not a recreational drug.  It’s used as a healing concept and has been for a very long time by South American and African Tribes.  Kambo is NOT illegal; it is legal everywhere around the world and not tested for within recreational or competition testing, nor will it cause any false positives.

Anyone can see how these positive effects can improve an athlete’s performance. Whether it is simple fatigue and a lack of desire to go to the gym or more profound, more medically rooted issues negatively impacting one’s well-being – Kambo can offer a solution.  Assuming this piques your interest, I would suggest finding a licensed practitioner of the medicine and scheduling an appointment with them. Purchasing Kambo sticks online is risky, and there are no guarantees regarding the quality and safety of the practice. Be vigilant and judicious in your quest for ideal performance enhancement for your individual needs.


There are a lot of ways to improve your performance, and most of them work best when you take action!  Be your own coach and learn how to plan your training with 10/20/Life.

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Ben Sheard

Ben Sheard started powerlifting at age 13, competing in single ply from 1999-2004 back in his home state of Ohio. He started powerlifting again in 2014 after struggling with substance abuse/addiction for over 10 years. Competing as a raw powerlifter, he achieved an Elite Total at 198 lbs. Best raw lifts at 198 are 611 squat, 352 bench, and a 606 lb deadlift. Recently made a transition to Multi-Ply in 2017. Coached by Brian Carroll using 10/20 Life, he achieved a Pro Total in his most recent meet at 198lbs. Best equipped lifts in a meet are an 804 squat, a weak 463 bench, and a 700lb deadlift. He is a NASM certified PT, but works full time as a Supervisor at a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Deerfield Beach, FL. Currently training out of Boynton Barbell Center in Boynton Beach, FL. Ben will be competing next at the XPC Pro Day in Columbus, where he looks to secure a 2,000+ lb total at 198.
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