Cuba's scorpion pain remedy
Researchers in Cuba have found that the venom of the blue scorpion, whose scientific name is Rhopalurus junceus, appears to have anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, and may be able to delay tumor growth in some cancer patients, Reuters reports.
Thousands of patients treated with venom
Cuban pharmaceutical firm Labiofam has been using scorpion venom since 2011 to manufacture the homeopathic medicine Vidatox. The remedy has proven popular.
In Cuba, where tens of thousands of patients have been treated with Vidatox, each vial costs under a dollar. On the black market abroad it can cost hundred times that - retailers on Amazon.com are seen selling them for up to $140, Reuters reports.
Scorpions in the lab
In a Labiofam laboratory in the southern Cuban city of Cienfuegos, workers tend to nearly 6,000 scorpions housed in plastic containers. Every few days they feed and water the arachnids. Once a month, they apply an 18V electrical jolt to their tails using a handcrafted machine in order to trigger the release of a few drops of venom. The venom is then diluted with distilled water and shaken vigorously, which homeopathic practitioners believe activates its “vital energy.”
After two years of exploitation in the “escorpionario,” they are released back into the wild.
The homeopathic drug is also given to patients with cancer. Still, Labiofam recommends Vidatox as a supplemental treatment and says it should not replace conventional ones.
Read HERE the story of the farmer Pepe Casanas who treats his rheumatism pains with scorpion venom once a month.