Cockroaches have been used in Chinese medicine for some time, but new work suggests they might help with hair loss. We look closer.
Humans have always admired the ability of particular animals to repair themselves. Lizards that can regrow lost tails. Crocodiles that can regrow limbs. Some invertebrates are capable of extraordinary feats of regeneration… Sea Cucumbers are apparently capable of regrowing everything up to and including their heads. They are indeed impressive feats of biology and worthy of wonder, along with no small amount of envy from a species unable to regenerate any body part.
Cockroaches are high on the list of species that possess impressive regenerative powers, and more. Their ability to ingest and survive poisons that would slay anything else is impressive. But it is their physical powers of recovery that stand out, cut off it’s head and you will kill it but it’s body will wander around for another few days. Cut off it’s legs or antennae and it will recover completely in a matter of days to pretty much it’s original condition.
Hair Loss Research
Advances in science are leading to much improved understandings of how these processes work. The ultimate goal being that through gene editing we might be able to imbue humans with some of these ultra desirable properties.
Having used cockroaches in traditional Chinese medicine for decades, where extracts are used to treat oral and gastric ulcers, scientists at the wonderfully named Institute of Insect Science and Technology, at the equally well monikered South China Normal University (we wonder what the other Universities in town are called), believe that cockroach extracts might be used for beauty masks and treating hair loss in the future.
Reasons To Be Optimistic
Li Sheng, director of the Institute, is optimistic that cockroaches can make a serious contribution. He has said that the factor in the body of cockroaches that enable them to heal and regenerate might work for humans.
HIS Hair Clinic
If anybody is going to work out how to translate those miraculous healing properties, possessed by cockroaches, into a treatment for humans, it is surely going to come from the Institute of Insect Science and Technology. Certainly the theory makes sense, but we are aware that parallel research on crocodiles investigating their ability to survive eating meat that would kill anything else, still has a long way to go before it can be made useful to humans.
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