Phyllomedusa bicolor skin secretion and the Kambô ritual

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


The ritual of Kambô or Sapo is a type of voluntary envenomation. During this purification ritual a shaman healer, from various South American countries, deliberately burns the right shoulder with a glowing stick from a fireplace. Excretions of Phyllomedusa bicolor (or Giant Leaf Frog, Kambô or Sapo) are then applied to these fresh wounds. This ritual is used as a means of purification of the body, supposedly brings luck to hunters, increases stamina and enhances physical and sexual strength. All the peripheral and most of the central effects of the secretion can be ascribed to the exceptionally high content of active peptides, easily absorbed through burned skin. This article describes the ritual and the bio-active peptides from the secretion.




den Brave, P. S., Bruins, E., & Bronkhorst, M. W. G. A. (2014, September 2). Phyllomedusa bicolor skin secretion and the Kambô ritual. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases. BioMed Central Ltd.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free