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ethically harvested 

The source of Kambo used by the IAKP comes from the original Matsés tribe where the frog is treated very well. It is believed by the Matsés tribe that if the Kambo frog is harmed it angers the animal spirit that is so closely associated with Kambo.


The Kambo frogs are passive and allow themselves to be picked up. They are unafraid of humans despite being harvested and once called from the tree can be seen crawling up the legs of humans.

Kambo frogs are carefully tied by each leg with straw strings into an X shape. The strings leaves a tiny white line on each leg which stops anyone from harvesting the frog again until it has faded which takes at 2-3 months. It is not painful for the Kambo frog in anyway. The Kambo frog is naturally covered in the secretion, which is gently rubbed off the skin. Sometimes the Matsés rub the toe of the Kambo frog to produce more secretion.


Only the first layer of secretion is ever taken from the Kambo frog leaving it with some protection should it be attacked and to ensure potency of the medicine. It is considered that this source is ethically harvested and sustainable because the frog can be reproduce easily. The frog is then released to continue living a healthy life in the jungle. It is not damaged in any way.

There are a group of outcast Matsés that have been exiled from the main tribe that do abuse the frogs by sticking metal sticks in the nose of the frogs to obtain more secretion. There are also tribes that blow smoke at the frog to antagonise and cause it to produce more secretion.


The higher the commercial value of Kambo comes, the more untrained people are involved in the harvesting of Kambo and they only concerned with getting the highest yield from the frog leaving it defenceless against predators.

IAKP practitioners do not agree or endorse this approach and choose to pay more for Kambo than to exploit the frogs in this way.

Kambo 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.