An Italian scientist, Vittorio Erspamer, of the University of Rome was the first to analyze Kambo in the lab. Vittorio Erspamer was twice nominated for a nobel prize and was also responsible for first discovering the well known neurotransmitter Serotonin. Erspamer concluded that Kambo contains a ‘fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications, unequalled by any other amphibian’. His findings brought great attention to the area of peptides which have since become very important to the medical field.Vittorio Erspamer was an Italian pharmacologist and chemist, known for the identification, synthesis and pharmacological studies of more than sixty new chemical compounds, most notably serotonin and octopamine. (Wikipedia) The research activities of Erspamer spanned more than 60 years and resulted in the isolation, identification, synthesis and pharmacological study of more than sixty new chemical compounds. Among these compounds were polypeptides and biogenic amines, and also some alkaloids. Most of these compounds were isolated from animals, predominantly amphibians.
In the late fifties, his research shifted to peptides. In the laboratories of the Institute of Medical Pharmacology, University of Rome, he isolated from amphibians and mollusks more than fifty new bioactive peptides. These became the subjects of numerous studies in other laboratories in Europe and North America. In 1979, he focused on opioid peptides specific to Phyllomedusa tree frog from Central and South America. These were used by the native Indians in initiation rites, to increase their powers as “hunters” and make them feel “invincible”. They applied secretions from the skin of these frogs that resulted in analgesic effects.
The peptides discovered by Erspamer trigger a variety of beneficial chemical reactions in the human body. Kambo has the ability, unlike many other natural and pharmaceutical substances, to cross the blood-brain barrier, enabling it to reach deep into the body and bring support to otherwise difficult to treat areas. Human cells open up to the beneficial properties of Kambo unlike many substances that are filtered and eliminated by the body’s highly intelligent defense system.
Thus far, researchers have discovered nine peptides, some of which are bio-active – meaning that they perform specific functions in the body. These peptides perform hormone-like tasks while others provide support to vital cellular processes. Some of these peptides have a potent effect on the gastrointestinal muscles, gastric and pancreatic secretions, blood circulation, and on the stimulation of the adrenal cortex and pituitary gland. Many peptides have since been isolated from the Kambo secretion and have been synthesized. As a testament to their medicinal properties, there are over 70 Kambo patents lodged, mainly in the USA.Kambo also contains certain neuropeptides that are small, protein-like molecules used by the neurons to communicate with each other.
These neuronal signaling molecules are involved in a wide range of brain functions including:
- food intake
- social behaviors
Ongoing research on peptides, Kambo’s main components, continues to evolve and find medical applications in the world of medicine and pharmacology.
The major peptides identified in the Kambo secretion include:
Phyllomedusin – strongly affects intestines, bowels and contributes to deep purging of toxins.Phyllokinin and Phyllomedusin – both potent vessel dilators, increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.Caerulein and Sauvagine – cause a fall in blood pressure accompanied by tachycardia, stimulating the adrenal cortex and the pituitary gland and contributing to heightened sensory perception and increased stamina. These peptides have a strong analgesic effect, enhance endurance, increase physical strength, and in general, enhance the capacity to manage physical pain and stress.
They possess medical uses as digestive aids, and have demonstrated analgesic effects for those with renal colic, pain due to peripheral vascular insufficiency and cancer.Dermorphin and Deltorphin are potent opioid peptides 4000 times stronger than morphine and 40 times stronger than endogenic b-endorphines.Adenoregulin, discovered in the 1990’s by John Daly’s team at the National Institute of Health in the USA. The dermaseptins group, including Adenoregulin, are part of a family of broad spectrum antimicrobial peptides involved in the defense of the naked skin of frogs against microbial invasion.
These are the first vertebrate peptides to show lethal effects against the filamentous fungi responsible for severe opportunistic infections accompanying immunodeficiency syndrome and the use of immunosuppressive agents. Adenoregulin works in the human body through the adenosine receptors, a fundamental component in all human fuel cells. These receptors offer a target for treating depression, stroke seizures and cognitive loss ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific research on the various peptides of Kambo are opening up new perspectives on how the human brain works.
The bioactive peptides and neuropeptides present in Kambo cover a wide range of potential medical uses including:
- blood circulation problems
- vascular insufficiency
- organ diseases
- skin and eyes issues
- fertility problems
- brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Other interesting properties include Kambo’s anti-inflammatory effects and its capacity to destroy various types of microbes and viruses. Recent studies have shown that Kambo contains multiple antimicrobial peptides effective against drug-resistant strains of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, parasites and virus. This is exciting news for the development of new and more efficient therapies able to treat antibiotic-resistant strains of infectious diseases.Several years of research conducted at the University of Paris have shown the peptide Dermaseptin B2 to be very effective at killing certain types of cancer cells. Research at Queens University in Belfast recently won a prestigious award for their ground breaking work with cancer and Kambo.
- bradykinins (phyllokinin)
- tachykinins (phyllomedusin)