Nature's Top Five Secret Healing Powers

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The Wonders of Nature


"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
Aristotle


Today we are in the unique position of discovering that what can kill will also cure. What might look ordinary, has extraordinary hidden capacity. The result of this is that nearly every major disease we know of could, potentially, be treated and in many cases cured by venom and other chemical substances used by various animals.

Nature's secret healers are found in every habitat on the planet.
Nature's secret healers are found in every habitat on the planet. | Source
Nature's healing powers come in unexpected ways.
Nature's healing powers come in unexpected ways. | Source
The most lethal of nature's toxins are proving to be powerful healers
The most lethal of nature's toxins are proving to be powerful healers | Source

Snake venom kills - but it also cures


"Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain."
Henry David Thoreau


Snakes always make most of us wary and this is a natural instinct to an animal who has the potential to cause serious harm even fatalities. However, there is another side to these beautiful reptiles.

There are about 600 venomous snakes. Each species of snake has a unique and complicated venom that works in different ways. Firstly, it's an intricate mixture of peptides, toxins and numerous enzymes. This combination has devastating effects on the prey's body and can be divided into four main types:

  • Venom that damages tissues causing necrosis and blood loss - called Sitotoxic venom
  • Venom that damages blood vessels leading to thinning of the blood and haemorrhage - called Haemotoxic venom.
  • Venom that damages the nervous system is called a Neurotoxic venom.
  • Venom that is a combination of neurotoxin and haemotoxin is called Miotoxic venom.

Although these venoms can be deadly, there are attributes that scientists have isolated showing potential benefits for people.

Venom has the ability to act on certain cells or tissues of the body while leaving other cells alone. For cancer research this has proven to be invaluable knowledge. The difficulty with the present chemotherapy treatment is that it can't distinguish between healthy cells and cancerous cells. Therefore a good proportion of the body that is healthy is also damaged during treatment. Scientists have found that in a few snake venoms they have the potential to target specific cells but leave others unharmed.

However, treatment for cancer is not the only medical research that has been carried out with snake venom. These toxins are already used in some drugs called ACE Inhibitors. Basically these are medicines that control high blood pressure and other disorders of the cardiovascular system. A drug researched by Brazilian and British medical researchers using venom is now being used to treat high blood pressure.

The venoms called 'Haemotoxins' are being researched in order to alleviate damage by blood clots and after a stroke. The chemical aspect of the venom that causes bleeding could be isolated so dissolving clots that have formed in the brain or in other areas of the body. At the present time warfarin is one of the most popular drugs used to prevent clotting but does have major drawbacks not present with the snake venom based drugs. In Europe some medications containing snake venom have already been used successfully to treat deep venous thrombosis (blood clot) and from blood clots forming after surgery. The Malayan pit viper has a protein called 'ancrod' that is able to dissolve clots safely.

Potentially snake venom could also be used for a wide variety of other disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The Vienna University of Technology is one of the leading institutions looking into the venom of pit vipers and tropical rattle snakes from South America that show potential to help with this disease.

Other studies are being carried out by Dr. Krishna Baksi of the University Central Del Caribe in Puerto Rico on brain receptors that receive specific chemical signals to carry out a certain function. These receptors are thought to play some role in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease along with many others. Snake venom has the capacity to target certain receptors. The problem to date is trying to find the correct combination of venom that will target one set of receptors. For example someone who suffers from Alzheimer's disease would require specific receptors to be targeted that are different from someone with Parkinson's Disease.

Snake venom potential is also being researched in areas such as anti-biotics that will stop the immunity building up in many dangerous bacteria - many micro-organisms are becoming immune to current infection treatments. Venoms are also potentially useful in illnesses such as kidney disease.

The complicated compounds of snake venom are life savers as well as lethal weapons.
The complicated compounds of snake venom are life savers as well as lethal weapons. | Source
The black widow spider has potent venom like many spiders. But these toxins can also help healing.
The black widow spider has potent venom like many spiders. But these toxins can also help healing. | Source
Venomous scorpions may have the power to heal cancer.
Venomous scorpions may have the power to heal cancer. | Source

Spiders and scorpions with the power to cure?


“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
― John Lubbock


Spiders are not everyone's ideal animal. However, love them or detest them, a spider might just save your life one day.

Spider venom could be of great value to people who have suffered from a stroke. Some of the chemicals found within the venom could be used to limit the damage to the brain that a stroke has caused. When a spider kills its prey it often does so by paralysing it. The paralysis occurs due to the venom blocking a substance called glutamate that controls muscle movement. The human brain also has glutamate - a necessary neurotransmitter. However, after a stroke this chemical is released in vast quantities that damage brain cells. Spider venom has the potential to halt this process so limiting the damage done.

Spider venom also has the potential to help people with Alzheimer's disease. In particular, scientists in South America have identified protein within a specific spider's venom. The black widow spider produces latrotoxin that effects the nervous system. One of the peptides within the toxin has been identified as having the potential to help stop the deterioration in Alzheimer's disease.

Another group of animals with the potential to heal are scorpions. In particular the death-stalker scorpion, whose venom is extremely toxic. This venom is being researched for the possibility of helping cancer patients. This scorpion's toxin contains chlorotoxins. It is these substances that scientists in America are looking at closely. The reason for the scrutiny is that chlorotoxins target and stick to cells of cancerous tumours but ignore surrounding healthy cells. Scientists are working to find a way to use chlorotoxins to deliver drugs or other chemicals to the cancer cells, while healthy ones remain unharmed.

Nature's oceans also hide some secret healing powers
Nature's oceans also hide some secret healing powers | Source
The zebra fish is one of nature's most amazing secret healers.
The zebra fish is one of nature's most amazing secret healers. | Source

Were you aware that venoms and other animal chemicals were being researched for medical purposes?

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Healing from the seas


"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another." ~Juvenal, Satires


The zebra fish is not only very pretty but it is one of the most remarkable animals on the planet. This fish has the capability to heal it's own heart.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF), is currently researching the attributes of this wonderful fish that has the ability to repair it's own heart muscles. The researchers are looking for the process that allows the animal to do this in the hope that it can be used for people with heart disease.

Professor Weissberg of the BHF is leading the research into the medical problem of heart muscles that are damaged and how to use the zebra fish's capabilites and apply this to the human heart. The research will focus on stem cell research in order to solve the issue of mending damaged heart muscles. The zebra fish will be vital in this study due to the fact of it being able to regrow it's damaged heart muscles within a few weeks.

A vampire bat is a wonderful example of the secret healing power that is found in nature.
A vampire bat is a wonderful example of the secret healing power that is found in nature. | Source

Test your knowledge

Vampire Bats


"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Of course these furry balls with the funny noses, large ears and fangs are perhaps not everyone's cup of tea - basically because they survive by sucking the blood of other animals. However, these fascinating animals actually have the potential to help patients who have suffered a stroke.

In the UK, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the DIAS 4 study have trials on-going at the present time. Groups of patients who have suffered a stroke are currently being treated using chemicals found within the bat's saliva. These chemicals are special proteins that help the bat to drink blood. These proteins both thin the blood and break up blood clots. If the bat's salivia did not have this property the animal would be unable to get sufficient quantities of blood to survive.

Scientists have produced a drug that contains these vampire bat proteins. There are blood thinning drugs that are currently used - called thrombolytics - for stroke victims, but these have to be given within quite a short period of time after the onset of a stroke for them to be effective. However, the new drug containing bat proteins gives the patient a much bigger time allowance to commence treatment which will still be as effective.


Conclusion

The study into nature's venoms and chemicals continues around the world. Daily, new and exciting properties are being discovered that could potentially change health and healing beyond recognition. So instead of being scared of our venomous animals, maybe we should change our outlook to one of wonder and appreciation for helping to save lives.

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Comments 36 comments

old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Seeker7. A very interesting hub. Incredible how the Zebra fish can heal it's own heart. Brilliant photos .

Graham.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Graham! Always lovely to hear from you. Glad that you enjoyed the hub. Now this is coincidence - the zebra fish is my favourite as well - I think this wee fish is awesome!!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Great information here! Awesome.

There is so much that we can learn from our animal cousins and from the plant world as well.

That Zebra fish is terribly cute! : )

Thank You for sharing your knowledge here.

All the very best!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Mr Happy - always a pleasure to hear from you and glad that you enjoyed the hub. Here's hoping that medical discoveries like this will go a long way to ensuring that our fellow animals are given the respect they need and deserve.

The Zebra fish is beautiful - by far my favourite!!


DFiduccia profile image

DFiduccia 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Seeker7

What a fascinating and enlightening hub. Nature still holds many secrets in the plant and animal kingdom, which can be beneficial to our health and longevity—great presentation.

…voted up—DF


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

these natural healing powers are amazing if you really look at the source great job great share :)


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

All great and interesting information within this well written hub. Loved all the great photos and thanks for helping me learn more about this fascinating subject !

Vote up and more !!!


Maddie Ruud profile image

Maddie Ruud 4 years ago from Oakland, CA

How fascinating. As someone with a family member who has suffered a stroke, I'm especially interested in the implications of fruit bat saliva!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

You have a point. Even though we should stay clear of these creatures. they do have some value to humans. Thanks for the education on these creatures.


kissayer profile image

kissayer 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This was really interesting to read! Your hubs are always so informative!

Not sure I'll be going the snake venom route, but it's fascinating to know about these secret hidden healing powers :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

What a fascinating article - my father has had several strokes, I hope one day the medical profession will successfully be able to use venom to help stroke victims.

Thank you for sharing this excellent article with us, voted up.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

What a fascinating and well constructed hub. I loved the quotations and pictures that you used. I knew about the Gila monster venom being used in the drug Byetta to treat type II diabetes, but didn't know about the others. Very informative, interesting hub - voted up!


viewfinders profile image

viewfinders 4 years ago from God's own country(kerala)

Hey seeker7 its a great researched hub, thanks for sharing with us...

Really great things that the nature provided to us....

great questions from you and really great that much more researches are ongoing , growing limb from the damaged parts itself...,soldiers can took part in war without food for 1 month with the modification of genes....


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Absolutely, Helen, great article. Creation is composed of opposites in all things and the more powerful one side is in polarity, the more potential for a powerful bang on the other end. It's like a pendulum, the force but into it one way, comes back to its point of momentum with even more force, eventually. The highly venomous creatures you superbly feature here have great promise in their uses for healing. Same with the blood suckers- love to see some real use for the ticks and fleas someday lol.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for sharing this very interesting and informative hub. Didn't know about poison's that heal. Passing this on. Amazing pics.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi DFiduccia, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub! I agree, I wonder how many more fabulous secrets does nature hold - I think there are many!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Frank - as always a pleasure to hear from you and glad that you enjoyed the hub!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Kashmir56 - I'm always greatful to Wikimedia Commons for their great file of photos - they always seem to have just what I need!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Maddie, glad that you found the hub interesting. If there is one thing in medicine I would like to see improvements in, is for people who have suffered a stroke. I looked after people who had suffered this way and they are devasating conditions to cope with.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

hi teaches12345, glad that you enjoyed the hub and as always many thanks for stopping by.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi kissayer, many thanks for stopping by. Do you know I have a really weird relationship with snakes. I love them and find them fascinating but they also scare the ******* out of me!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Lesley, lovely to hear from you and glad that you enjoyed the hub!

I was saying to Maddie - who has a member of her family who has suffered a stroke - that if there is one thing I medicine, apart from Alzheimer's disease, that I would love to see improvements in, is the treatment of strokes. Although some can be mild the nevertheless take so much out of a person and it would be great to see this condition have a cure and 100% recovery everytime!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi mperrotter, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. I only found information on the gila monster - what a fabulous lizard!! - after I was about finished the hub. But there is so much to write about this animal that unfortunately it would have made the hub too long. But I think it deserves a hub of its own.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi viewfinders, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub - appreciated!!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Alastar - as always I love to hear your views and ideas! Do you know, the more I learn about nature, the less I actually do know. This doesn't put me off, it makes me even more intrigued by this amazing thing we call life!

What you have said about the pendulum effect is not only fascinating but very profound - did you ever study the Kabbalah & Tree of Life? I ask this, because what you have described is one of the teachings of this spirtual path. When the Kabbalah talks about war or peace, famine or feast, venom or antidote then this is the life pendulum swinging back and forth - this is the way that life in the physical expresses itself. And yes, with a mighty bang as well!

LOL!! I tell you what Alastar, if medicine human or vetinary can ever find a use for the tick or the flea then I definitely will eat my very large 'proverbial' hat!!!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Gypsy, hope things are well with you - many thanks as always for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. Thanks also for the share - very much appreciated!!


starstream profile image

starstream 4 years ago from Northern California

Yes! I was just thinking about those little mosquitos and wondering if they have any potential for healing? What an awesome article.


GoGreenTips profile image

GoGreenTips 4 years ago from Indianapolis

Awesome information! Maybe the ancient healers or natural healers of old knew more than we think?


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

Awesome Helen--except I think I just had a stroke when I saw the first picture...I'm terrified of snakes...do you have anything for fainting handy there you can send me via the Internet?

Seriously, I know a lot of those things up there are really, really neat with healing properties. I just can't look at the pictures~ Great hub, Helen!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi starstream - like the horrible ticks and fleas, and as you say the mosquitos, here's hoping that these pesky little insects might well have a very useful purpose for people and other animals!

Glad that you enjoyed the hub!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi GoGreenTips, many thanks for the visit - I agree with you absolutely - our ancestors definitely did more than we give them credit for. There's a lot to be learned from the past that could help in our present and future I think!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

LOL! Hi Audrey! I have to say that I have an odd relationship with snakes. I am scared but I also love them - that probably doesn't make any sense at all, but then I'm full of complications!! I handled a grass snake once at school as part of environment lessons - the grass snake is a UK non-venomous snake. I was amazed firstly at how strong they are, this is not a big snake either and they are not cold or slimy. It was a great experience and the snake was very calm. But if it had been one of the big guys like the rattlers or cobras then you wouldn't have seen me for dust. I think it's the reptile eyes -very cold! Anyway, Audrey, sorry about the photos, snakes are definitely not everyone's cup of tea. My great loathing in life - and I can't look at the pictures either - are slugs and snails, they honestly make me feel sick when I look at them!! YUCK!!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Ha Ha Helen- might just see you partake of hat soup then- hope not and something can be found useful with the pesky critters. No disciple of the Kabb, just a journeyer in these matters. Wish folks would learn that the standard 'peace symbol' is turned upside down(no idea how that happened) and therefore negative, into the ground. Turned upright it becomes the tree of life, positive, full of good. Trivial some might say, but little things can add up to bigger realities in time.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

How terrifically hysterical, Helen---I would take a slug or a snail any day of the week, even if they touched me~~ I was almost bitten by a rattler when I was about 17 and I think somehow that "did it for me"--now I'm terrified if I see a garter snake~ I actually handled them when I was a kid too and was fine with it...and now where do we live again? Rattlesnake country--I'm thrilled~~ Oh well - we all have our phobias...I promise not to post any pictures of slugs for you---and when we lived in the Seattle area for 23 years...I thought they could saddle the ones up there as I've never SEEN any that gigantic...they could devour (and they did) a plant in 1 hour~ I think they were 8 inches long at least~


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Alastar - my friend I couldn't agree with you more! You would indeed be an excellent Kabbalist.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

OMG!!! don't think I'll be visiting Seattle!!!How absolutely gross is that - 8 inches!! Why the hell do they have to grow that big? Yuck!! I remember doing a meditation course many years ago and you had to try and get in touch with your totem animal. I was okay with a spider but when a snail appeared that was it! I mean no offense to any deity or higher self bit of us or whatever, but no way was I going to 'commune' or anything else with a snail!! I held out for a few weeks for something else to come along!

Audrey, if I'd nearly been bitten by a rattler I think I would feel the same way. I think they're awesome animals, but from a great distance! To be honest I think the pythons freak me out more than the venomous ones but I probably wouldn't being saying that either if I lived in rattler country!!

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