The plant-based eye drops brewed from the Tabernaemontana genus of shrubs
native to the upper Amazon are said to enhance eyesight and have long been
used by indigenous tribes to prevent and treat ocular diseases like glaucoma,
cataracts, near-sightedness, and blindness. But sananga is also commonly used
to treat skin diseases, infections, arthritis, cancer, and perhaps most
interestingly, to clear a person of what is called panema—anxiety, depression,
bad luck, negative energies, and laziness.
In fact, it’s by clearing this panema that sananga is said to promote overall eye
health. As a shaman would explain it, sananga does its work not at the physical
or cellular level but rather on an energetic level. While shamans may describe it
as energetic healing, scientific studies dating to the 1970’s show that shrubs in
the Tabernaemontana genus have a variety of pharmacological properties that
could help explain sananga’s ability to foster healthy vision.
A 1998 study on medicinal plants in Ecuador showed that a species of Sananga
had anti inflammatory properties , which would support the popular idea that the
medicine is an effective treatment for arthritis. Another study from 2007 showed
that sanaga was effective in treating skin infections thanks to its antimicrobial
“ I often use Sananga prior to a treatment to help ground clients before receiving Kambo.“
Our eyes are a particularly sensitive organ, which means a sananga ceremony might be painful. Sananga causes an intense burning that might last a few minutes; some say this pain is a part of the healing process. It’s advised to breathe deeply into the pain, to put your body in a relaxed state, and gain the most from its benefits. It’s by embracing the pain that you can cleanse not only your eyes but your mind and spirit as well. After the process, you’re left with a feeling of immense relaxation and you will feel ready for your Kambo treatment.
Tobacco snuff or Rapé is a sacred shamanic medicine or tool, that has been used by tribes of the Amazon basin for thousands of years and is an essential part of their tribal culture and history. Rapé is the name for one of many of these snuffs, and it's foundation lies by numerous indiginous tribes in Acre, Brazil. Curiously, Rapé administered (blown) into the nostrils with a special blowpipe called "Kuripe" (self administration) or "Tepi" (another person administers). This "blow" is quite forceful and not specifically pleasant.