Bugs as Drugs, Part 1: Insects: The "New" Alternative Medicine for the 21st Century?
Altern Med Rev, 2010 Jul;15(2):124-35
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.