Bugs as drugs, part 1: Insects. The "new" alternative medicine for the 21st century?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Insects and insect-derived products have been widely used in folk healing in many parts of the world since ancient times. Promising treatments have at least preliminarily been studied experimentally. Maggots and honey have been used to heal chronic and post-surgical wounds and have been shown to be comparable to conventional dressings in numerous settings. Honey has also been applied to treat burns. Honey has been combined with beeswax in the care of several dermatologic disorders, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, tinea, pityriasis versicolor, and diaper dermatitis. Royal jelly has been used to treat postmenopausal symptoms. Bee and ant venom have reduced the number of swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Propolis, a hive sealant made by bees, has been utilized to cure aphthous stomatitis. Cantharidin, a derivative of the bodies of blister beetles, has been applied to treat warts and molluscum contagiosum. Combining insects with conventional treatments may provide further benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-135
Number of pages12
JournalAlternative Medicine Review
Volume15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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