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“Kambo” or “Sapo” is a traditional medicine used by Amazonian tribes indigenous to the western Amazon region. Unfortunately, some tourist guides are attempting to commercialize this traditional medicine as a recreational medicine. This is unfortunate in that they are abusing indigenous people in the process in that they are not sharing any significant portion of their profits with the Matses people. In an effort to commercialize this native ritual, they state that it is not dangerous and that no one has died from it. They even go so far as to say it is good for your health. These are clearly false statements, in that several personnel of  the Brazilian Indian Foundation (FUNAI) in Brazil died of acute myocardial infarction (heart failure) after experimenting with this traditional Matses medicine. Another danger is anaphylactic shock in response to the toxins contained in the frog poison. One must keep in mind that poison frogs are among the most toxic animals on Earth, and using them in an attempt to achieve euphoria or imitate indigenous Amazonians is pure foolishness.

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Text © 2007, Photos © 2007, Bjorn Svensson, all rights reserved, Traditional Medicine.