Dr Octavio Rettig

Dr. Octavio Rettig Hinojosa is a pioneer in the treatment with toad medicine, also known as Otac, Sapo or Bufo Alvarius. He has successfully assisted thousands of people in recovering from abusive conditions associated with addiction to stimulants and other psychological afflictions such as PTSD and depression.Octavio is also the author of The Toad of Dawn, 5-MeO-DMT and the rise of Cosmic Consciousness.


Otac is the Seri Comcáac word for toad. This word has been adopted as a term for the gland secretions of Bufo Alvarius, the Sonoran Desert Toad of Mexico. Otac has the ability to powerfully transform the mental and physical health, deeply enhancing the perceived reality and wellbeing.  Correctly aministered Otac carries a message of wisdom and empowerment that directly delivers immense benefit to the recipient. Octavio cured his own drug addiction with the help of Otac and recognised an ancient message in the history of indigenous cultures that is still applicable today.

The Seri people

Octavio initially served the Seri people of Sonora as a medic but he quickly developed a relationship of mutual respect. When he reintroduced the tribe to the forgotten medicine of Bufo Alvarius, the elders and shaman blessed him with the use of their sacred ancient chants.  The results of the treatment with the toad medicine have been extremely encouraging since the development of a medicinal neoshamanic fusion that includes the traditional chants of Seri origin.


The Abuelo Jose Antonio Bolivar, elder shaman of the Piaroa people of Venezuela initiated Octavio in 2016. Since that moment Octavio also carries Yopo medicine as part of his healing service. Yopo is a snuff that is derived from Anadenanthrina peregrine (which contains DMT) and Banisteriopsis caapi (the ayahuasca vine that contains an MOA inhibitor). Together they create an experience that is somewhat simular to ayahuasca.
According to the Piaroa shaman this medicine generates a vast awareness concerning current and future environmental, social and personal circumstances. This expansive state of consciousness is a highly complementary addition to the Otac expererience.

Dr Rettig now travels extensively, healing people all over the world with these powerfull medicines. He regularly attends conferences and shares his knowledge with other doctors, scientists, ethnobotanists and other professionals. He is a firm believer in the immense potential that Otac offers humanity.

The toad medicine

Anthropologist Peter Furst traces the use of Bufo toad venom all the way back to Neanderthal Man, as far as 100.000 years ago. While Bufo toads and Man have been in close contact from the day we started to irrigate a field, there is no evidence that Bufo alvarius toad venom has been smoked before some time in the 1970’s. The Bufo Alvarius toad venom was found to contain 5-MeO-DMT in 1965; this was published in a paper in 1967. From all the 285 types of Bufo toad world-wide,  only  the venom of the Bufo alvarius or Sonoran Desert Toad contains 5-MeO-DMT (up to 15% by volume). The toad venom is ‘miliked’ from live Bufo alvarius toads by stroking the areas around their paratoid glands. This causes the toad to excrete its venom. The toad venom is caught on a piece of glass and left to dry into a crystal-type form which can be smoked.

Toad venom

In 1983, Albert Most wrote a booklet titled “Bufo Alvarius: The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert (Venom Press, Denton, Texas). This was the first widely distributed description of smoking the Bufo alvarius toad-venom for its 5-MeO-DMT content.

When vaporized by heat and inhaled into the lungs in the form of vapor, this indole-based alkaloid produces an incredibly intense psychedelic experience of a short duration. There are no hangovers or harmful effects and most people experience  a very pleasant psychedelic afterglow after smoking the venom of the Bufo alvarius.

Tryptamine cocktail

The venom contains a very peculiar and constant spectrum of biogenic amines. Biosynthesis of the amines is accomplished via a genetically regulated enzyme system. The metabolic pathway is unique within the Animal Kingdom in that it produces large amounts of 5-methoxy indole derivatives. The predominant alkaloid among these is 5- methoxy- N,N- dimethyltryptamine (5-MEO-DMT). Next to that the venom of the Bufo Alvarius contains a cocktail of at least 15 or more additional tryptamines that vary per individual toad.

The psychedelic toad

5-MeO-DMT is a extremely potent hallucinogen that is psychoactive at doses of three to five milligrams. In 1959, 5-MeO-DMT was identified as the predominant alkaloid in the hallucinogenic snuffs of several tribes in South America. These indigenous people have long prepared mind-altering snuffs from flowers, seeds, bark, and stems of indigenous plants. Bufo alvarius became notorious as the “psychedelic toad” when its venom was shown to contain enormous amounts of this indole-based alkaloid. As far as science knows today this is the only animal in the world that produces 5-MeO-DMT.

DMT comparisson

5-MeO-DMT has ten times the relative potency of dimethyl tryptamine (DMT). It should be mentioned, however, that 5-MeO-DMT differs from DMT in one major way. Whereas 5-MeO-DMT has a methoxy group in the 5 position on the indole ring, DMT does not. The presence of this methoxy group greatly increases the lipid solubility of the molecule. This allows 5-MeO-DMT to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and reach sites of action more rapidly than DMT.

Toad medicine ceremony

How do I prepare for a toad medicine ceremony?

Important: never do a ceremony with toad medicine when you have taken antidepressants in the last 3 months! If you have recently used antidepressants or if you are on any other kind of medication, always inform Octavio before the ceremony.

It is recommended to abstain from using recreational drugs and drinking alcohol in the week before and after the toad medicine ceremony.  We also advice you not to drink coffee in the days before and after the ceremony. Eat a light breakfast on ceremony day, keep in mind that you might purge during ceremony.

A toad medicine ceremony can be a profound and powerful experience. Make sure you are well rested and fit on ceremony day. If possible, it would be nice if you have a couple of free days after your ceremony. This is not necessary but it can help you with the integration of the experience.

What is the toad medicine ceremony like?

All ceremonies with toad medicine are individual and usually last somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes. During this time Octavio will be present with you. When it is your turn, you face the sun, stand straight and hold your arms out wide. Octavio will hold the pipe with the medicine in front of your mouth so you only have to inhale the vapor. Inhale slowly, long and deep, Octavio will tell you when to stop. Try to keep the smoke inside your lungs for as long as possible. This will help the medicine to enter your bloodstream. The medicine will start to work within 10 seconds. Don’t fight it, just relax and let the feeling wash you away. During your ceremony, Octavio will  watch over you and chant the sacred traditional chants of the Seri people to help you in your process. After the ceremony climax Octavio will often times blow rapé up your nose to bring you back to your bodily senses. This potent and powerful snuff can help you purge and physically release heavy energies that came loose during your ceremony.

What does it feel like to smoke the toad medicine?

Every ceremony is different. Depending on the state of consciousness or accumulated intoxication, a participant can experience some of the following sensations during the ritual climax:

  • Massive liberation of accumulated stress
  • Connection with Consciousness
  • Experience of non-duality, sensation of Oneness with all that is
  • Dissolution of unconscious or repressed cellular memories which may create addictions, compulsions, psychosomatic illnesses , mania’s and suffering
  • Sensation of the body exploding in millions of particles
  • Partial or total disconnection of physical or visual reality
  • Fusion with Presence, to be completely in the Now
  • Sensation of being launched into the void at high velocity
  • The reconstruction of synaptic networks in your brain
  • Liberation of emotions and feelings
  • Disconnection of the ego as principle player and lack of egoic control