The use of animal parts in natural medicines has existed for centuries. Creatures like zebras, turtles, and even rhinoceroses have all been used to make these remedies available to people.
While it may seem strange, each of these animals contain a properties which researchers believe may improve human health, in some form or another.
The horseshoe crab is one such animal responsible for providing a few impressive life-saving properties. Wait until you see what 450 million years of this creature’s evolution has done for modern medicine…
Horseshoe crabs are known for their thick exoskeleton and their overall primitive appearance. The species has evolved over the course of 450 million years, and despite their offputting outward appearance, research has shown that these animals may contain life-saving properties…
Scientists believe that the cells in the blood of horseshoe crabs contain amoebocytes, which work in similar ways to white blood cells. These are known to help fight infections in the human body. They do in 45 minutes what it takes other animals up to two days by surrounding bacteria and trapping it at the source.
The amoebocytes in horseshoe crab blood are so effective that the FDA uses them to test every certified drug on the market. These include vaccines, implantable medical devices like pace makers, and even IV meds.
Each year, 500,000 horseshoe crabs are brought to labs to have their blood extracted. A single quart of the stuff costs roughly $15,000. They are subsequently released back into the wild.
Sadly, as is the case with many animals who are used for medicines, roughly 30% of these creatures die during the blood extraction process or after they are released back into the wild, which has led to dwindling populations of this particular species.
It’s amazing to think that an animal we know so little about makes such a contribution to our everyday health.
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