Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sapo/Kambo Letter to a Writer

A writer in Montreal published a story about frog sweat medicine that was fairly critical of the medicine's actual value to the humans who utilize it. I responded with this:

 
Joe: Hello, this is Peter Gorman, a journalist, and the person who brought the frog sweat medicine out of the jungle and into the Western World in 1986. One of the people who got my earliest reports on its use was Dr. Vittorio Erspamer of the FIDIA Institute at the University of Rome. He had been studying peptides in amphibians, including the Phyllomedusa bicolor, for years, and was thrilled that he finally had a report of someone who had personally experienced the frog's secretions in the human body, as there had been no previous reports of that.
   Erspamer went through my early paper describing what I claimed occurred to me while under the influence of the frog -- 99 percent of it physical -- then used some of the actual material I sent him to study whether what I was claiming could be explained by the peptides found in the frog secretion. He published his findings in Toxicon, a peer reviewed journal that can be found on-line (or I can send you a link). His early work discovered seven bio-active peptides in the material that easily explained all of the physical symptoms. There were two opiods, a vasodilator, sauvagine, a bradkinen that could jump the blood brain barrier, and others.
   The only thing he could not explain was my sensation of animals moving through me, which he chalked up to my having used a Theobroma cacao/wild black tobacco snuff just prior to the frog sweat.
   The indigenous who introduced me to the medicine were the Matsés/Mayoruna indigenous who live on the Rio Galvez, near the Brazilian/Peruvian border. They do not drink any water prior to the medicine use. They rarely vomit during sessions and never appeared to have any protocol regarding the medicine in terms of diet. They simply used the medicine when their arrows were missing targets, when they needed to take long hikes (sometimes days), got the grippe, among other reasons. I continue to work with a few Matsés and have for more than three decades, and still see no protocol.
    When the same medicine was later discovered to be used by nearby indigenous groups in Brazil, their methodology was claimed to include drinking copious amounts of water to induce vomiting. Gringos have since added layers of "spirituality" to the medicine's use because, well, that's what Westerner's do.
   I am belaboring things and I'm sorry. I just want to stress that there is certainly science behind why this medicine is being utilized by many people. My own account of that first use of the medicine -- including a lot of Erspamer's Toxicon material -- was published in Omni Magazine in the early 1990s with the heading Making Magic.
   Sorry to go on. If you wanted to do a follow up to this piece, I'd make myself available.
Thank you,
Peter Gorman
817-517-6620

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