Could Cobra Venom Replace Opioids in Treating Chronic Pain?
The King Cobra’s bite can kill you within 30 minutes, however, the same substance has also been developed into a drug that can ease chronic pain that even the strongest synthetic painkillers can’t touch. And today, along with venoms from an array of other creatures, cobra venom is showing great promise in the fight against a number of deadly diseases.
People have used venoms as medicines for thousands of years; Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and homeopathy, and other traditional systems of medicines have all recognized the potency of venoms and used them to treat pain, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and more. Western medicine got involved in the early 1980s, when the first venom-derived drug Captopril, was approved by the FDA for use in hypertension. Today, there’s been a resurgence of interest among researchers and the pharmaceutical industry owing to advances in the study of these compounds.
The most recent study out of Florida Atlantic University shows the potential of cone snail venom in treating severe malaria.
Agaricus Blazei, the Healing Mushroom of the Gods
Indigenous cultures have, for millennia, included fungi in their diets and medicinal foods. Modern science is just beginning to catch up to their powerful potential. Like other potent plant healers, mushrooms are multidimensional and complex sources of nutrients that work holistically, rather than pharmacologically. Alternative medicine has experienced so much success in its employ of mushrooms to cope with an array of ailments that, at long last, modern medicine has taken notice and has funded a series of promising studies.
Now traditional oncologists and alternative practitioners alike have found success with mushrooms in patients battling cancer. Of the myriad mushroom species commonly used in traditional medicine, the Agaricus blazei has recently been the subject of numerous trials.
It is known in Brazil as “Cogumelo de Deus,” or “Mushroom of God,” because of its reputation for bestowing health and longevity on those who consume it. Although modern researchers maintain that more studies are warranted before Agaricus blazei’s medicinal value is confirmed as a curative, growing evidence, along with traditional usage, shows that a great part of its potential lies in such arenas as cancer treatment and immune system function for both humans and animals.