Some forms of eastern medicine have made their way into the United States. In China, and many other Asian countries, eastern medicine yields desirable medical outcomes, and many eastern medical treatments are steeped in centuries of tradition. However, when eastern medical practices are adopted within America, it does not take long before these practices become fads among American health gurus. For example, one particular cough remedy, Pipa Tangjiang, has been prepared and administered to sick people for centuries in China. Eventually this remedy became a fad among health nuts living in New York.


Several types of eastern medicines contain centipede venom. Centipede venom has long been purported to treat a variety of different medical conditions. In fact, practitioners of eastern medicine claim that centipede venom can be used to treat or even cure cancer as well as many other types of “incurable disease.” Although, this claim may sound dubious, western medical researchers are currently studying centipede venom in order to determine its usefulness as a medicine.


For ages, centipede venom has been used in Asia as a medicine to treat a variety of different maladies. These maladies include convulsions in children, twitching, seizures, lock jaw, hemiplegia resulting from stroke, tetanus, and rheumatism, just to name a few. Surprisingly, centipede venom is already utilized in the manufacturing of different medicines that are commercially available in the west. Centipede venom is used as an active ingredient in western medications that treat cancer, fungal infections, tuberculosis, esophageal cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, uterine cancer, lip cancer, herpes and many more. In the west, centipede venom is also used as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic. Centipede venom is one of the “five deadly venoms” along with the venom from scorpions, toads, snakes and geckos. In rural areas of China, medicinal centipede species are captured in the wild and are then dried on a skewer before they are consumed as medicine. At the moment, American researchers are investigating centipede venom for the histamine-like compounds and the hemolytic proteins that it contains.


Do you think that medical research into different insect venoms should be a collaborative effort between the east and the west since each region contains different venomous insect species that could be useful in medicine?