You hear of alternatives to modern medicine all the time, but here’s one woman’s remedy that didn’t quite work out as she had hoped. In short, consuming live frogs to cure what ails you is not something you’ll want to try at home. If the thought of this alternative pain cure even crossed your mind, you’ll want to take note of this cautionary tale.
Daily Mail reports that Hangzhou News covered a story about a woman named Ms. Yao, who was sent to Jiaxing’s Tongxiang Second People’s Hospital, Zhejiang Province, for surgery to remove a breast lump earlier this month.
Dr. Zhang Yun explained what was found in the woman’s breast – and it was definitely a unique occurrence, as the doctor noted: “I found an object that resembled a worm’s head in her breast. I tried to clip it out, and then pull out a 13-centimetre-long (five inches) tapeworm.”
According to Ms. Yao, she had been suffering from rheumatism, which causes joint and connective tissue pain, and to cure the illness she turned to a folk remedy five years ago: eating three live frogs. She never told anyone, but her relatives said that she was hospitalized with a parasitic infection in the past, after going to a Shanghai hospital for stomach pains that she experienced in the months following ingesting the frogs. While she was diagnosed at the time with a parasite-induced intestinal obstruction, her symptoms subsided.
She later discovered a lump in one of her breasts, returning to the hospital yet again. The doctor’s discovery of the tapeworm required surgery, with medical staff continuing to monitor the woman for any further infection that could happen as a result of parasite larvae spreading in her body.
According to Outbreak News Today: “The genus Spirometra occurs worldwide in distribution, although most human cases of sparganosis are recorded from southeast Asian countries. Migrating spargana cause various symptoms depending on the final location in the host. Spargana may locate anywhere, including subcutaneous tissue, breast, orbit, urinary tract, pleural cavity, lungs, abdominal viscera and the central nervous system.”
The jokes poured in from commenters on the Daily Mail’s coverage of the story, with one person noting, “The doctors toad her not to do that again” and another chiming in with: “Some frogs are best left uneaten.” Still another person added: “She was lucky she didn’t croak!”
Another commenter noted: “Can’t believe the frogs didn’t work. Back to the drawing board. I have heard that slugs are a good alternative.”
Others pointed out: “There’s a reason traditional medicine isn’t practiced in civilized countries anymore” and “The reason we have modern medicine is because it has evolved and traditional medicine is no longer needed.”
Other commenters were floored by the lack of intelligence involved, with one person adding: “I can’t believe that anyone with half a brain would eat live frogs. I wonder if it really cured her rheumatism, I have had it myself and after a week of anti-inflammatories was fine.”
Others pointed out barbaric it was for the woman to eat the frogs, with one commenter sharing, “she deserves what she got for her cruelty to those frogs!”