Woman eats poison bugs to cure hemorrhoids, dies

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/22 18:58:39

A Harbin woman died after she willingly ate 10 poisonous centipedes as part of folk remedy to cure her hemorrhoids.

The fifty-something woman surnamed Li was rushed to 4th Affiliated Hospital with Harbin Medical University (FHHMU) on Tuesday.

There she told doctors she swallowed the insects over the past two days believing they would alleviate her hemorrhoid pain.

The remedy follows a principle in traditional Chinese medicine "fighting disease with poison," shzhidao.cn reported.

Tests revealed Li had levels of transaminase, an enzyme that indicates liver damage, 2,000 times the normal amount,  explained Zhu Liying, deputy director at FHHMU.

Soon after Li fell into a coma. She died of acute liver and kidney failure, Zhu said.

Centipedes, or wugong, are prized in traditional Chinese medicine for their venom, which are known to contain the same histamine and hemolytic proteins used for a variety of treatments, including tuberculosis and certain cancers.

However, the folk remedy is sometimes known to do more harm than good.

Research shows that a large percentage of emergency liver complications are caused by the misuse of traditional Chinese medicines, such as heshouwu (fleece flower root) and chaihu (Chinese thorowax root).


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