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Authentic Medicine training, and why it matters!

Author-Aubrielle Benton

Twenty years ago, if you had brought up the topic of ayahuasca, plant or frog medicine, most people would have either had no idea what you were talking about, or if they did, would have seen it as taboo. Times have changed.

With health conditions on the rise, especially in the realm of mental and emotional health, plant, frog and toad medicine are rapidly emerging to be of assistance. However, with the increase in popularity has come an unregulated and sometimes dangerous terrain regarding who to work with, where to find a pure source of each medicine, and how to become trained to serve others.

These plants and frog secretions have been used for a long time, some for centuries, by tribal members who go through years of training and many initiations to serve them. As these medicines make their way to the U.S. and beyond, an important question to consider becomes: is it safe, ethical and truly of service to the world for people who are not native, and who have not been trained by those with a direct connection to these medicines, to be serving them?

This is one of the questions Omar Gomez, founder of KamboHub, Certified Kambo Practitioners International (CKPI) and Akasha Shamanic Medicine Academy found himself asking during his time as the owner of an ayahuasca healing center from 2011 to 2021. As a native-born Mexican who grew up primarily in the U.S., he spent time during his young adult years traveling through all of central and south America. While traveling he connected with the natives in each country, and cultivated a heart for the people, along with a great sense of desire and responsibility to uphold the traditions of their medicines.

Knowing he did not grow up in the Amazon, and was not a native of a tribe that holds the traditions of the medicine, he consciously and respectfully worked to build a strong connection with the people and the main medicine he now instructs others to serve- Kambo. To do this, he spent considerable amounts of time in the jungle, learning from the elders of the Matsés tribe, where Kambo originated.

What he discovered was that yes, as a non-native, you can energetically and align with and embody the ability to serve medicine and stay true to the traditions. However, it takes a deep and devoted commitment to purging and becoming free of conventional world programming and conditioning that causes a person to think they can create their own version or practices around serving medicine.

As he teaches his students, “There is no room for ego here,” because he is acutely aware of how fast a medicine ceremony can go haywire and re-traumatize the client or cause them physical harm, when the authentic and proper “set, setting, intention and grounding,” aren’t practiced.

There is a sneaky layer of ego that often exists in non-native aspiring medicine practitioners that doesn’t apply to native medicine men and women. This layer is a lack of connection and trust in the medicine, due to a lack of connection with the spirit world in general.

Growing up in a world of materialism, institutions, government, and success being measured by the size of your house and your bank account, creates a very different idea of who we are and why we are here. Being and feeling disconnected from our emotional body and our hearts and Source/God/the universe/our higher self is programmed early on, which causes us to rely on our minds to navigate life.

However, our minds are filled with programming- most of which isn’t true- created from trauma, which keeps us tethered to our reptilian brain (a.k.a. survival mode), not Divine guidance. By the time we become adults, it becomes necessary to re-program and detach from our minds in order to reconnect with the spirit world, and fully trust we are safe to do so.

When raised in the tribes where these medicines originate, it is part of their culture to be connected with the spirit world. They are taught as children how to honor and respect the spirits of the medicine and how to become allies with them. Pachamama (Mother Earth) is seen as the Great Mother who provides and sustains life, and they consciously and intentionally choose to treat Her with respect, devotion, love and care. As a result, this programming is built in before they begin their training to serve medicine.

The path to becoming a true medicine man or woman in the jungle involves years of grooming and training that includes multiple master plant diets. This is when the student is placed in seclusion for a designated amount of time, generally a week or more, with all forms of stimulation removed, to fully connect with the spirit of a specific plant. Here the student faces fears head on, and receives messages from the plant they are communing with and integrating.

Once the diet is complete, the student has become one with the plant, and carries the spirit of that plant within them as an ally when assisting and serving medicine in ceremony. A shaman’s ability to facilitate healing for someone comes through his or her connection with the spirit world, which includes the plants and animals they have spent time and intention connecting with, and feeling within, throughout their training.

This connection cultivation is often the missing and critical component in many of the emerging shamanic practitioner trainings outside of the jungle.

In an effort to bridge the gap and strengthen the connection between the jungle and the conventional world, Gomez has dedicated the better part of his adult years to creating shamanic medicine training opportunities for non-native people who feel called to serve. A while back he was given the vision of plant and frog medicine becoming more mainstream, and knew this would also cause more people outside of the jungle to feel called to facilitate medicine ceremonies.

To deliver training outside of the jungle, with a strong connection to the native training from the jungle, he holds the spirits of many plants and animal spirit guides in his heart, and works to transfer and foster this same connection in and for each of his students. He maintains a high level of integrity to upholding the traditions of the natives, and continuously instructs his students to get out of their ego minds, see the client through their third eye, feel what the client needs through their heart space, and maintain a strong connection with the medicine and the spirit world.

Going through training with CKPI and Akasha Shamanic Medicine Academy also involves receiving the medicine to heal trauma and set the student free of their negative ego. This freedom opens up the space for trust and connection to form and solidify, allowing non-native students the ability to serve with the authentic connection that is needed to serve these medicines safely, and in integrity with the spirits of the medicine and the natives who discovered them.

Students who study under Gomez also have the opportunity to do their advanced training in the Amazon. This ensures they experience how it feels to connect with the spirits of the medicine, in the jungle. Sitting with Kambo in the jungle versus in a modern-day setting in the U.S. or Europe has a very different feel. From experience, Gomez knows that connecting with and receiving from the medicine in the jungle, is the only way to establish a deep, authentic connection with the medicine, as a practitioner. Students are often amazed at how much they gain from their time in the jungle, and how much the experience exceeds their expectations.

With growing interest in learning to serve plant and frog medicine, it will be paramount for non-native students to find training that honors the cultures, traditions, and connection to the spirits of the medicines, in order to truly be of service. This will be what helps keep these medicines being served safely, effectively and with integrity outside of the jungle.

If you’d like more information about upcoming trainings for CKPI and Akasha Shamanic Medicine Academy, please email for more info.

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