Updated: Apr 21
The Amazon jungle is a veritable treasure trove of medicines, cures and remedies, with many yet to be discovered. Psychedelic forest brews, peptide-rich frog slime and gun powder strength tobacco snuffs to name but a few. Amongst the more obscure treatments is a little known eye medicine called “Sananga”.
But with so much mysticism, lack of research and hocus-pocus surrounding this intense alternative eye remedy, it understandably leaves many sceptical about its efficacy, benefits and safety for personal use.
In this article, I will dispel the myths and provide an easy to follow protocol to ensure you can enjoy all the optical enhancements of Sananga without risking your eyesight.
What is Sananga?
Made by soaking the roots and bark of the Tabernaemontana Undulata shrub in water for 24 hours, Sananga is essentially the jungle equivalent of Optrex eye drops. Much revered by the indigenous tribes, it’s said to cross the boundary between the spiritual and the physical and heal in multiple dimensions. Sananga is used in various ways by the indigenous, primarily as a hunting medicine to enhance visual acuity but also to provide spiritual insight, provoke third eye visualisation and heal various maladies.
Does Sananga improve eyesight?
First and foremost Sananga is renowned for the way it enhances eyesight. Used by many hunter-gatherer tribes as a hunting medicine to increase visual acuity, sharpen ocular perception and improve concentration, Sananga is an essential asset in the successful indigenous huntsman's survival tool kit.
It’s said that Sananga allows the user to detect subtle movements in the visual field thus allowing the hunter to stalk camouflaged prey at night when the jungle is dark and visual cues are at a premium. This alone would make Sananga invaluable to the hunter but furthermore, it’s claimed it can provoke strong visualisations of the animal being hunted giving the hunter inside information about the upcoming event allowing for a faster and more humane kill.
As well as cleansing the eyes’ corneal layer, Sananga is said to decalcify the pineal gland, allowing one to activate the 3rd eye and access higher levels of spiritual insight.
Hunters believe that channelling these powerful premonitions grants them a competitive advantage when stalking prey in treacherous jungle terrain.
This 3rd eye-opening attribute is also why Sananga is often used in preparation before working with other psychedelic medicines such as Ayahuasca. Many users report that their visual experiences with these medicines are heightened by the use of the shamanic eye drops in the hours before.
What are the benefits of Sananga?
Sananga is also claimed to be a true tonic for the eyes and helps maintain optimum ocular health through its antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects. These effects make it an alternative medicinal treatment for styes, infections, glaucoma and cataracts. Obviously, the Amazon jungle is not the most sterile environment in the world so having a natural medicine with easy access for treating such sensitive conditions as eye infections is a very valuable asset.
Aside from being an eye-enhancing medicine, it is also considered by the indigenous to be a general remedy for human health and can be applied in a multitude of ways.
It is taken orally in only a few instances; when used to treat fevers, as an antidote for snakebites or poisoning and when used for digestive problems. In the case of the fevers and poisons, it is reduced down to a liquor and swallowed, and for digestive issues, it's made into a tincture and taken in drops.
Other uses include treatment for wounds where it is applied topically to the skin, and as a malaria remedy, where it is brewed and then applied as a nasal rinse. Additionally, it can be brewed into a tea that is said to have aphrodisiac effects and will also intensify lucid dream states.
What does Sananga feel like?
The Sananga experience is short but very intense, to say the least. When the drops are applied to the eyes they cause an immediate, intense burning and stinging sensation much like one would imagine the experience of having lemon juice and chilli squeezed into the eyes. This is followed by an energetic rushing feeling that moves over the whole body, confirming the claim that Sananga is not just working on the eyes but rather working on the energy field of the whole body.
From my personal experience using this medicine I’ve come to realise that the key to getting the most out of the Sananga process is to relax and “surrender to the sting”.
The natural reaction from a Sananga first timer is “Holy f*ck my eyes are on fire!”
...and they will sit up and start rubbing their eyes. It’s important to explain to them before it’s applied that they will feel this urge and that they must resist it, breathe deeply and relax into the process. The more one can breathe, relax and surrender to the experience the more pleasant it will become. After some repeated sessions using Sananga where one has become very comfortable surrendering to it, the user will find that it can become quite a blissful experience.
Sananga Dosage. How much should I apply to each eye?
The dosage for Sananga is one or two drops in each eye depending on the strength of the solution, the previous experience of the receiver and what kind of experience one is looking for. One drop in each eye is enough for most people and should be your starting dose only increasing to two drops once one is more experienced with it.
Sananga can be taken sitting with the head tilted back or lying down, although I recommend lying down to new users as it makes the process more comfortable and easier for one to surrender to the experience. After applying to the first eye, apply to the second eye immediately, there is no need to wait in-between applications.
Sananga can be applied by oneself but it’s much easier to have someone else apply it for you so I would suggest those less experienced with it have an assistant apply it for you.
Sananga usually comes in a glass dropper bottle with a pipette or in a plastic squeezy bottle. In the case of the glass dropper bottle suck up some of the liquid into the dropper and apply it one drop at a time. For the squeezy bottle just squeeze the bottle gently to apply in the same way. The whole Sananaga experience should last 3-8 mins with approximately another 5 mins of mild effects after.
How is Sananga made?
The vast majority of users buy Sananga preprepared as a liquid, although Sananga is very simple to make if purchased in its raw form as wood. Sananga is made by soaking the shredded or powdered roots and bark in near-boiling water and then this solution is agitated periodically and left to cool for 24 hours in the fridge. The resultant brew is filtered to remove any residue and then your Sananga is ready to rock. You can control the strength of the solution by how much water is used to soak the wood and of course, you can dilute overly strong mixes later, once they have been made and tested.
How should I store Sananga?
When Sananga is made in the West, colloidal silver is added as a preservative and then the liquid is kept refrigerated to preserve its potency.
Sananga made in this way should last 3-6 months when kept refrigerated and 2-3 weeks unrefrigerated.
Sananga is fine if let out of the fridge for short periods such as leaving it out overnight but ultimately will lose potency when kept unrefrigerated for longer periods. In the jungle, obviously, refrigeration is not an option but there is an abundance of this shrub which grows wild so it is made and used immediately.
Is Sananga Legal in my country?
I’m pleased to say that Sananga is legal globally. There are no restrictions whatsoever so you can purchase and use it without breaking any laws. That being said, like any imported product, customs checks and delays are still a possibility but should not be a problem in the short term. Only packages that are held for more than 2 weeks in warm conditions will cause a potential loss in potency.
The science of Sananga?
Before we look at the science it’s important to acknowledge that there are multiple species of the plant with slightly differing ingredients. The Sananga that is mostly used today is from the species Tabernaemontana Undulata which is used in the Matses tradition. Other tribes use closely related species such as Tabernaemontana Sananho, which although similar in effects is said to be more gentle.
Although Sananga is most famous for its ability to enhance vision, the science to back up this claim is sparse.
There simply hasn’t been enough research done to make any concrete claims about how it could have these attributes. That being said, Sananga clearly has been shown to have strong antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which would reinforce the theory that Sananga is an effective treatment for eye infections.
Sananga is said to contain a plethora of indole alkaloids, including coronaridine, 3-hydroxycoronaridine, heyneanine, ibogamine and voacangine. These have shown the following in the human body; analgesia, antibiotic activity, respiratory depressant and central nervous system stimulant effects.
Is Sananga Safe? What are the risks?
Currently, there are no reported injuries, deaths or studies that prove Sananga is dangerous in any way so it appears that Sanaga is completely safe as long as it has been prepared correctly and doesn’t contain any ingredients other than the root bark and water. There are no contraindications for Sananga other than that contact lenses must be removed prior to use and anyone who has undergone corrective laser eye surgery wait 6 weeks post-op before using it.
How to safely administer Sananga | 5 easy steps
In this guide, I will explain a simple protocol for self-application, however, if you are working with an assistant, simply adjust the instructions and get the assistant to do the administering.
Step 1 - Preparation
Remember to keep your Sananga refrigerated to avoid potency loss. Start by preparing a sacred space to work with this medicine. Burn some incense, play some relaxing music of your choice and make sure that the area you will be working in is neat and tidy. Lastly, make sure you have some tissues handy.
Step 2 - Shaken Not Stirred
Remove the Sananga from the refrigerator and give the bottle a good shake to make sure any sediment that has sunk to the bottom is evenly distributed throughout the liquid. Suck up a small amount of the liquid into the pipette if using a dropper bottle and place the bottle safely away on a hard surface such as a table. If using a squeezy bottle then remove the cap and gently grip the bottle between the thumb and first finger, but don’t squeeze just yet.
Step 3 - Dosage
Lie down on a bed, sofa or the floor. You can use a pillow for your head if you’d prefer but make sure your head is tilted back. Take the pipette or squeezy bottle in your dominant hand and hold a tissue in the other hand. Close both eyes and using the pipette or squeezy bottle place one drop into the corner of each eye by squeezing the rubber dropper or plastic bottle. One drop is sufficient for most people, only use two drops if you are a more experienced user and want a more intense experience. Once the drops have been applied, place the pipette or plastic bottle into the tissue you were holding in the other hand and place it next to you so it's safely out of the way.
Step 4 - Surrender to the Sting
Now blink your eyes a few times and rotate them around. The liquid will enter the eyes and the stinging will start. Once you feel the stinging, close your eyes, breathe deeply, relax and ride that wave of stinging until it subsides. It should last for approx 1-2 mins.
Step 5 - Eye of the Storm
Once the stinging has subsided blink your eyes a few more times and rotate them again to allow more of the liquid to enter. You will now experience a second wave of stinging more intense than the first. Ride this 2nd wave until it subsides and then repeat the blinking, eye rotations and relaxation process until all stinging has subsided. Each wave should last approx 1-2 mins and there should be 2-4 waves in total.
After the process has finished, feel free to wipe your eyes with a tissue. Your vision may be a little blurry for 5-15 mins but after that, all acute effects should be gone. Sananga works differently for everyone, some report an immediate improvement in eyesight, a heightened sense of well-being and an instant charge of energy, while others don’t notice anything that dramatic. Sananga is a subjective experience, individual results may vary.
Sanananga is a powerful indigenous medicine that appears to offer many physical, mental and spiritual benefits but is this shamanic, eye-watering jungle juice worth the squeeze? If we look at Sananga in comparison to other plant medicines it certainly ticks a lot of the boxes that make it an attractive option for the uninitiated; it’s legal globally, very safe to use in almost all conditions and is very mild in terms of psychoactive effects. That being said, those looking for a psychedelic or more consciousness-expanding experience will be disappointed, Sananga is not that kind of medicine.
Many users swear by its power to heal eye conditions, enhance 3rd eye visions and allow for greater spiritual insight...
but remember all reports on its effects are anecdotal and thus far there is no scientific data to back up these claims. That’s not to say it doesn’t do these things, just that currently there’s no scientific proof.
As with all medicines of this nature, whether or not you choose to use Sananga is a personal decision. You must do your own research and weigh up the pros and cons before you go ahead and apply this medicine to yourself or anyone else.
I hope you found this guide informative, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and I’ll answer them all personally.
That’s all from me for now, look after yourself and I’ll touch base again soon.
Planet Kambo Ltd.
Plant medicine veteran & Planet Kambo co-founder Jonathan Gold, left an unfulfilling 10 year IT career to pursue a higher path of healing, self-discovery & enlightenment uniting him serendipitously with the transformational healing power of Kambo frog medicine.
Now a skilled facilitator boasting thousands of recovery testimonials, Jonathan escaped the matrix of corporate enslavement & lives a life of service, duty & soul alignment.