And even on the ceiling
But eating powdered gecko’s ass
I would not find appealing.
The ancient healers’ art, alas,
Needs gecko parts for healing
Among the superstitious class
With whom these folks are dealing.
Although I hear my views are crass,
I get a funny feeling
That watching where the dollars pass
Would likely be revealing.
And seeing how the funds amass…
It’s little more than stealing.
Ok, actually, it's quite a bit more than stealing. Stealing would be taking people's money for nothing. This is also lying, and killing lizards for no good reason.
NPR reports on a brisk, though illegal, trade in traditional gecko-based cures--significant enough that health officials in the Phillipines are actually issuing warnings. People are being told that gecko remedies can relieve asthma, or even AIDS.
I like geckos. Mind you, I would throw geckos under the bus if they actually did cure AIDS, for such time as it would take to identify the active compounds... but. There is no evidence that it does.
If any of my readers A)can read Chinese (Mandarin, I am assuming), and B) have PubMed access, please take a look at the NPR article--they link to a journal article that I would love to be able to read, but I am (alas!) American, and thus speak barely one language.
Oh, and I was going to post the picture of the gecko from the article, except that it is dead, dried, and mounted on heavy-duty paper clips. I prefer my geckos alive and eating bugs.
If traditional healers are to be respected, we must assume they are motivated by a desire to heal (thus the title), and not to profit without healing (they can profit while healing, of course). Healers who prefer getting paid to healing are known by other terms. If geckos can cure X, then let it be shown in trials, so that we can synthesize X as quickly as possible. If not, then dammit, true healers would look elsewhere. Those who foist