Thursday, April 04, 2019

The Importance of Drinking Water Prior to Sapo Use

Someone on facebook asked whether it was vital to drink copious amounts of water prior to kambo use. Kambo is the Brazilian name given to the frog medicine that the indigenous Peruvian Matses call sapo (a misnomer, but that's another story). The style of application of the medicine is different. Kambo practitioners drink 1-2 liters of water prior to the medicine to encourage a purge. Sapo users do not. Here was my response to the question of whether water was imperative.
   In my 32 years of using sapo with the indigenous Matses, I never once saw them drink anything prior to sapo use. I'm told that some villages are now drinking masato--fermented yucca--prior to the medicine, but I believe that is a fairly new phenomenon, taught to them either by Westerners or contact with other indigenous communities. It was not as though they fasted, however. They did the sapo (kambo) whenever they wanted: IF they happened to eat a few minutes earlier, that was okay. If they happened to have some i-san or masato prior, that was okay. If they had nothing, that was okay too. There simply was no protocol at all: Pablo and Alberto just did it when they needed to do it. So did Mauro, and so do Pepe and Jaime and a host of others. I've never paid attention to what's in my stomach--other than if I've had wine--prior to sapo use, and no, it is not an issue. You will tend to vomit less frequently, and if vomiting is important to you, then drink the water by all means. If the purge is not important to you, and with sapo style it is not, then there is no need to flood your system with water prior to medicine use. Just my experience, of course. Do what you are taught and what is right for you.

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