Medicinal

Insects, or chemicals extracted from them have been used for thousands of years to help us with medical issues.  This is called Entomotherapy.

Some examples:

1. Apitherapy.   More commonly known as bee venom therapy.   Bee venom is a complex composition of enzymes, proteins and amino acids, which simulates the release of cortisol (a hormone the body secretes when stressed).  Studies suggest bee venom may improve symptoms of: 

  •      Rheumatoid Arthitis
  •      Gout
  •      Osteoarthritis
  •      Bursitis
  •      Tendonitis
  •      Post herpetic neuralgia
  •      Painful or keloid scars
  •      Multiple Sclerosis
  •      Fibromyalgia
  •      Chronic fatigue syndrome 
2.  Surgical maggots (maggot therapy).  A wound to an animal or person can lead to problem with infection.   If let untreated, these wounds can attract certain types of blow flies that may lay their eggs in the wound.  The maggots that hatch from the eggs feed on the dead tissue in the wound and clean it.  

The beneficial effects of maggots upon the healing of infected wounds have been recognized since the time of the Mayans, and perhaps before that.   With humans, maggots found their way into wounds when left untreated for too long.  This happened frequently under battlefield conditions.  But surgeons observed that wounds infested with maggots healed more quickly and with fewer complications than comparable wounds that had not become infested. 

3.  Suture ants.   When skin is cut deeply, stitches are usually needed to close the wound.   In some cultures, ants were used to stitch wounds.   They would hold the skin together, grab an ant with big jaws (like an army or leaf-cutter ant), put its mouth to the wound and wait for it to bite down.   Then the body would be removed and the head left with the ant mouth pinching the skin together.