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Many might have been shocked by the news headlines that broke the news of over 100 million to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to make cough syrup from snails.

Though the news might have been to shocking to Kenyans, to scientists that was not the case. The slow moving slimy organisms with spiral shells have been of interests to scientists for the longest time possible.

Snails belong to a category referred to as Mollusks which falls under the invertebrate group of animals. Other members of the category include oysters, octopuses and clams.

The slow slimy animals are capable of living in fresh water, salty water and land habitats. Different species are adapted to living in different environments like in rivers, lakes, oceans or on land.

Apart from the snails being very rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals, they have been of scientific interests to researchers.

Overtime, they have proved to be of medicinal value and recently one of the Kenyan University was awarded a multimillion grant to research on coffee syrup from snails.

For the longest time possible, snails have been used for wound healing, production of skin care products, treatment of respiratory ailments and in generation of pain relieving drugs.

Wound Healing

The snail slime, the slimy component, also known as mucin, has been reported to having chemical compounds that aid in relieving inflammation and soothing the skin. Examples of wound healing components made from snails include: Prialt (ziconotide), Kerecis Omega3 Wound, Apligraf and Dermagraft.

Skin Care

Snails slime/ mucin has been found to contain natural compound referred to as allantoin and glycolic acid. Apart from reducing inflammation, allantoin help in hydrating the skin and soothing it.

The glycolic acid in the snails slim has been found to help in exfoliating the skin and improving its texture.

Hyaluronic acid also occurs naturally in the body of snails and the acid can be used in skin care products for skin hydration and plumbing.

Some of the skin care products that contain snails’ natural compounds include: Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream, Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream, TonyMoly Pureness 100 Snail Mask Sheet, Nature Republic Snail Solution Sheet Mask, Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule, Skin Prestige Serum d’Escargot, COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream, Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream and Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream.

Pain Relievers

Researchers have established that several natural compounds of snails have the potential of relieving pain in human beings. Though not widely used and still under experimental stages, Conotoxin has been found to relieve pain by blocking signals that carry pain messages from reaching the brain. The naturally occurring compound does not however occur in all snails

Respiratory Treatment Components

Though no specific compound has been isolated from snails for treatment of respiratory ailments, snails use for treatment of the aforementioned dates back to ancient times. Studies have revealed that snails’ meat has bronchodilatory properties and the meat can relax the airwaves and improve on ones breathing. The meat has also been used in treatment of asthma and bronchitis across the world.

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