Harvesting Kambo medicine is dangerous. It starts with a trip into the jungle to a lagoon at night. Our trip included trying to avoid alligators, giant biting ants, and termites; but you may also easily run into Viper snakes as our guide, Victor, did the next day. You must listen for the call of the Monkey Frog; which can be provoked by calling to the frog yourself. Then you must find the frog, usually located high in a tree, from listening to where it is calling from. After that, you climb the tree and catch the frog. The frog seems apathetic to capture as they have no real predators. We took our frog home for the night on a branch to harvest the medicine in the morning. The frog is tied up and provoked slightly to release it’s stress secretion and the blunt part of the back of a knife is used to scrape the secretion gently from its skin. When the secretion is on the blunt part of the back of the knife, it is wiped onto a wood pallet to store it for the medicinal application of it later. The frog is then untied, and thanked, and gently released back to the lagoon again.
All photos Copyright Hayley Murphy Photography