Frequently Asked Questions
– Is Sapo safe?
Although Sapo is very safe when responsibly administered by a knowledgeable, skilled and experienced practitioner, there are just some people that aren’t fit to work with this medicine.
Due to the contraindications, cautions and considerations, it’s extremely important for all people to disclose any current or historical health issues prior to taking Kambo, to ensure this medicine is the right medicine for you.
This is the critical to ensure the utmost safety for all who take Kambo, and to avoid accidents and mistakes from those with contraindications who should not have been taking Kambo in the first place.
– Is Sapo legal?
There is no prohibition against the use of Sapo anywhere in the world. Sapo is not an illegal substance.
This is one of the reasons why Sapo is such an incredibly healing tool in our current day and age. With a growing number of professionally trained Sapo Practitioners around the globe, it can be accessed by many people without having the underlying concern of breaking the law.
– Do the Sapo burn marks scar?
The burn marks will fade in time, but depending on your skin type and colour, you may have small circular visible scars. These Sapo markings are often seen as a badge of honour, but for those who are concerned, Sapo can be applied to a suitable body position to reduce visibility.
– Is Sapo a Psychedelic / Hallucinogenic?
While it’s often talked about and used by those with an interest in psychedelic medicine, such as one of it’s jungle counterparts – Ayahuasca, Sapo itself is not a psychedelic or hallucinogenic substance.
There are those who have a strong connection to the world of spirit, or might be neurologically wired to access non-ordinary states of consciousness with more ease, so while Sapo is not a psychedelic, it’s not entirely unheard of for some people to experience the sense of ‘journeying’ with the spirit of the frog.
– Is the frog harmed during the process?
There are various ways of collecting the secretion from the frog. Some are considered ethical, and some aren’t.
Traditionally, the frogs are called out of the forest by mimicking their songs. To collect the secretion, straw strings are delicately tied to each leg, spreading the frog into an X shape, where the secretion can be carefully scraped off and dried onto small sticks. Sometimes the frogs toes are massaged to help it release it’s secretion.
When properly collected, only the first lot of secretion is taken. This ensures the medicine is strong, and that the frog has plenty of secretion left incase it needs to defend itself against predators. The frogs are passive when handled, and aren’t dangerous or defensive; even being known to come back the following days when the tribesmen call them out by singing their songs.
While it’s arguable that the frog is irritated in some instances, it’s important to remember that many indigenous people working with this medicine have a strong connection to the Earth – including the animals spirits, plant spirits and spirits of the land. To upset the frog, is to upset the spirits. And they definitely don’t want angry spirits when it comes to protecting and looking after themselves, and their communities!
Sapo is in the IUCNs ‘least concern’ category when it comes to being endangered. Their population is widely distributed across the Upper Amazon, with their only current threat being deforestation and destruction of their natural habitat.
– Will I be fine to drive after a Sapo treatment?
Absolutely. You might be a little tired or exhausted after your treatment, but once you’ve had a short rest, you’ll be fine to drive.
– Can I take my medication on the day of a Sapo ceremony?
If you’re taking medication of any sort, it’s important to let me know what you’re taking and why you’re taking it, prior to your treatment. To ensure your safety, please let me know and we can discuss this further.
– What are the origins of Sapo?
Each tribe has its own legend or story about how they came to use Sapo.
The most prevalent legend regarding the origins of Sapo comes from Brazil.
This Kaxinawá legend tells that the Indians of the tribe were very ill and their medicine man (Pajé in Brazil) had done everything that was possible to cure them. All medicinal herbs known were used, but none helped.
Under the effect of sacred plant medicines, he entered the forest and whilst there received a visit from a female spirit of the forest. She brought in her hands a frog, from which she took a white secretion, and taught the Pajé how to apply it.
Returning to the tribe and following the guidelines that he had received, the Pajé was able to cure his brothers and sisters.
From then on he was known as Pajé Kampu or Kampum.
After his death, his spirit lived on in the frog where it continued its mission to protect the health of those who defend the forest. The secretion became known as Sapo but in some tribes it is called Kambo, Dow-Kiet, Kampu or Vacina da Floresta. Its usage spread and for thousands of years, Sapohas been used as medicine by the Kaxinawá people, and by many other indigenous groups including the Amahuaca, Katukina, Kulina, Yawanawá, Matses, Marubo and Mayoruna.
It is still used widely amongst indigenous people in the Amazon to this day, although the rituals vary from tribe to tribe.