fbpx
MEDICINES > BUFO ALVARIUS

The medicine of the Sonoran Desert toad

The Sonoran Desert toad produces the most powerful psychedelic medicine currently known to humans. It is a natural source of 5-meO-DMT, which is 5-6 times more powerful than its cousin the regular DMT molecule.  


It has developed the reputation of the king of medicines to experience ego dissolution and extraordinary states of consciousness beyond the human experience. It is not to be approached lightly, it can often generate intense feelings or fear in early parts of the experience. As Joe Rogan has said: you often cease to exist in the experience.


5-meO-DMT has been used for thousands of years in Central and South America and is only in recent decades beginning to re-emerge in modern society - perhaps one of the most beautiful gifts to humanity nature has ever provided.


The Toad is a beautiful combination with an Ayahuasca experience, the two medicines work together in a very complimentary way. It can also be used on its own over the course of a week in a more dedicated format to go deep with the Toad specifically. It is the medicine of choice for those looking to explore far off states of consciousness or tap into profound states of healing. 

What is the Sonoran Desert toad? 

The Sonoran Desert toad (Bufo Alvarious) is found in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, where extremes of weather are frequent and the land often appears inhospitable. It has leathery, mottled brown or olive-coloured skin and can grow to 190 millimetres (7.5 in) long, making it America’s largest native toad.

Despite its enormous size, the Sonoran Desert toad hibernates below the ground for most of the year. In early May, when the rainy season begins. Then, the sound of the rain awakens the toad and it emerges to the surface. For the next three months, it completes the circle of life: feeding, reproducing, and, for some, death.

From its mouth, the Sonoran Desert toad produces “a weak, low-pitched toot” that is heard across the desert when the rains come: the healing properties of this song are somewhat questionable. However, from the glands on its head and legs, the toad produces a combination of psychedelic substances: and, for natural healers, there are few more potent medicines. 

What gives the Sonoran Desert toad medicine its power? 

The secretions of the Sonoran Desert toad contain two significant molecules. The first is 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-meO-DMT), a tryptamine (or serotonin-like compound) that is structurally similar to psilocybin (the active chemical in Psilocybin mushrooms) and DMT (which is present in ayahuasca). The second is bufotenin (5-HO-DMT), another tryptamine that works symbiotically with the 5-meO-DMT.

Because the chemicals in Sonoran Desert toad venom resemble serotonin—a neurotransmitter that occurs naturally in humans and many other animals—they are able to interact with the serotonin receptors in our brains. This gives rise to their potent psychedelic effects.

Harvesting medicine from the Sonoran Desert toad

It is critical that harvesting the Sonoran Desert toad’s medicine is done without harming the toad itself. This is done by squeezing the toad’s glands above a crystal to produce the psychoactive secretions. When the secretion is dry, the healer scratches it off the crystal: the medicine itself is a powder that is heated in a special pipe so that it can be inhaled as a vapor. 


There is no chemical process involved in producing the toad medicine, and no need for any violence against the toad itself. We believe that the medicine must be harvested with kindness and respect. After all, the toad is giving us a great gift.

What are the effects of the Sonoran Desert toad’s medicine? 

When inhaled as smoke or vapor, the toad medicine has almost immediate effects: within fifteen seconds it causes a strong sense of euphoria, as well as intense visions that last for up to half an hour. Toad medicine affects our perception of duality: the separation of I and you disappears, delivering us into a pure experience of unified consciousness.


The divine nature of this experience has led to 5-meO-DMT becoming known as the ‘god molecule’.

Resources to learn more?

This little box is a work in progress :) but we will include resources here that we have loved:

Want to learn more about Bufo?

It's not very common for people to share their phone number online.. but we know that a deep earth medicine work is a deeply personal experience and deserves deeply personal attention. One of my roles here is to talk to anyone interested in learning more about our experiences. -- Chris