Silicon Valley executives and other West Coast dandies have found their latest craze — the deadly venom of an Amazonian frog.
Kambo, a gluey substance secreted on the skin of the Giant Monkey Frog when it is threatened, is being taken by the jet setters for what they say is its curative physical and psychological properties — but it comes at a cost.
“It was the worst experience of my life,” Julia Allison, a San Francisco-based media strategist told The New York Times “And I can’t wait to do it again.”
The treatments begin with a person’s skin being burned and then the venom is applied to the wound. It causes immediate and severe short-term symptoms including projectile vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and a swollen face.
Many of the faithful — who analogize these symptoms to an intensive “cleanse” — later analyze their bodily fluids after the worst has passed to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.
Hospitalizations and even deaths have been reported, a problem exacerbated by a lack of trained professionals able to administer Kambo — though that may be changing.
The International Association of Kambo Practitioners — a nonprofit based out of the Netherlands — has now certified more than 400 specialists according to its website.
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