Back in 2018, Pepe Casanas, a 78-year-old Cuban farmer made headlines for hunting down a scorpion to sting himself with, vowing that the venom wards off his rheumatism pains.
Although his remedy is no longer seen as unusual. Researchers in Cuba found that the venom of the blue scorpion, whose scientific name is Rhopalurus junceus, endemic to the Caribbean island, appears to have anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, and may be able to delay tumor growth in some cancer patients.
Some oncologists abroad opine that more research is needed to be able to properly back up such a claim. Reports state that Cuban pharmaceutical firm Labiofam has been using scorpion venom since 2011 to manufacture the homeopathic medicine Vidatox.
Labiofam Business Director Carlos Alberto Delgado informed that sales have been climbing 10% annually.
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In Cuba, as many as thousands of patients have been treated with Vidatox. Vidatox is also sold on Amazon.com.
Casanas said, “I put the scorpion where I feel pain,” while demonstrating his homemade pain relief with a scorpion that he found under a pile of debris on the patch of land he cultivates in Cuba’s western province of Pinar del Rio.