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Today, I’ve got something out of the ordinary for you. I recorded an episode with my friend Marcos about my experience with plant-based medicine during my recent trip to Costa Rica. Some of these substances may change in classification in the next few years based on research about their therapeutic use, and I hope to spur more conversation about these types of treatments.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice. The content of this podcast is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical recommendations, diagnoses, or treatment. The use of information in this podcast is at one’s own discretion and is not an endorsement of use.

We discuss:

  • Introduction to Marcos and his journey
  • What to consider
  • Lessons learned
  • How my journey began
  • Where I went
  • What I took
  • How I felt
  • My takeaway
  • Warnings

Or watch on YouTube:


Download the transcript.

Rock On!
Dr Mike

P.S. Catch up on any missed Flex Diet Podcasts!

For more information, check out:


Mike Bledsoe on IG

An Urgent Plea to Users of Psychedelics: Let’s Consider a More Ethical Menu of Plants and Compounds by Tim Ferriss

Amazon Conservation Team via Dr Mark Plotkin

Kambo Casita, Nosoro Costa Rica

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

Dr Rick Doblin of MAPS podcasts

Rick Doblin: Psychedelics | Lex Fridman Podcast #202

Joe Rogan Experience: Dr Rick Doblin

Mitchell, J.M., Bogenschutz, M., Lilienstein, A. et al.MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Nat Med27, 1025–1033 (2021).

Selected References


Kambo (10-18)

1.         Dos Santos RG, Valle M, Bouso JC, Nomdedéu JF, Rodríguez-Espinosa J, McIlhenny EH, et al. Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immunological effects of ayahuasca: a comparative study with d-amphetamine. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology. 2011;31(6):717-26.

2.         Hamill J, Hallak J, Dursun SM, Baker G. Ayahuasca: Psychological and Physiologic Effects, Pharmacology and Potential Uses in Addiction and Mental Illness. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2019;17(2):108-28.

3.         Estrella-Parra EA, Almanza-Pérez JC, Alarcón-Aguilar FJ. Ayahuasca: Uses, Phytochemical and Biological Activities. Nat Prod Bioprospect. 2019;9(4):251-65.

4.         Orsolini L, Chiappini S, Papanti D, Latini R, Volpe U, Fornaro M, et al. How does ayahuasca work from a psychiatric perspective? Pros and cons of the entheogenic therapy. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2020;35(3):e2728.

5.         dos Santos RG. Immunological effects of ayahuasca in humans. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014;46(5):383-8.

6.         Zeifman RJ, Palhano-Fontes F, Hallak J, Arcoverde E, Maia-Oliveira JP, Araujo DB. The Impact of Ayahuasca on Suicidality: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1325.

7.         Dos Santos RG, Grasa E, Valle M, Ballester MR, Bouso JC, Nomdedéu JF, et al. Pharmacology of ayahuasca administered in two repeated doses. Psychopharmacology. 2012;219(4):1039-53.

8.         Winkelman M. Psychedelics as medicines for substance abuse rehabilitation: evaluating treatments with LSD, Peyote, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca. Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2014;7(2):101-16.

9.         Palhano-Fontes F, Barreto D, Onias H, Andrade KC, Novaes MM, Pessoa JA, et al. Rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Psychol Med. 2019;49(4):655-63.

10.      Schmidt TT, Reiche S, Hage CLC, Bermpohl F, Majic T. Acute and subacute psychoactive effects of Kambo, the secretion of the Amazonian Giant Maki Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor): retrospective reports. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):21544.

11.      Roy R, Baranwal A, Espiridion ED. Can Overuse of Kambo Cause Psychosis? Cureus. 2018;10(6):e2770.

12.      Majic T, Sauter M, Bermpohl F, Schmidt TT. Connected to the spirit of the frog: An Internet-based survey on Kambo, the secretion of the Amazonian Giant Maki Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor): Motivations for use, settings and subjective experiences. J Psychopharmacol. 2021;35(4):421-36.

13.      Rali P, O’Corragain O, Oresanya L, Yu D, Sheriff O, Weiss R, et al. Incidence of venous thromboembolism in coronavirus disease 2019: An experience from a single large academic center. J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2021;9(3):585-91 e2.

14.      Byard RW. Is voluntary envenomation from the kambo ritual therapeutic or toxic? Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2020;16(2):205-6.

15.      Peleg Hasson S, Shachar E, Kessner R, Shpigel S, Wolf I. Kambo-Induced Systemic Inflammatory Response: A Case Report of Acute Disease Progression of Cholangiocarcinoma. Integr Cancer Ther. 2021;20:1534735421999106.

16.      Junior VH, Martins IA. KAMBO: an Amazonian enigma. J Venom Res. 2020;10:13-7.

17.      Silva F, Monteiro WM, Bernarde PS. “Kambo” frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor): use in folk medicine and potential health risks. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2019;52:e20180467.

18.      den Brave PS, Bruins E, Bronkhorst MW. Phyllomedusa bicolor skin secretion and the Kambo ritual. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2014;20:40.

Download the transcript