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Frog skin has been linked to cellular healing for over a decade. Research now shows some factors – antimicrobial peptides – may have more benefit than realized.

More traditional options for speeding up cellular healing might include the application of aloe or honey, but one less conventional method that has stood the test of time is the use of frog skin secretions. Simply put, rub a frog on your wound and watch it heal. Not yet certified to be credible, new studies show support for developing an approved medical alternative.

In 1987, researchers discovered a number of proteins known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the African clawed frog were able to inhibit a variety of wound pathogens including bacteria, fungi and even amebae. The discovery, not tested in a clinical environment, suggested frog skin secretions could improve cellular healing.

“Since this discovery, a number of other AMPs have been found in a variety of frog species suggesting these molecules may be more widespread than usual. Their abundance also offered the opportunity to initiate screening forcellular healing AMPs for future harnessing and possible production.”

During testing, the esculentin protein found its way into the cells, suggesting even more might be happening than previously thought, and leaving room for future exploration to determine the intracellular targets and their contribution to overall cellular healing.

The results suggest AMPs may have more benefit than simply keeping out pathogens. With future research, the entire spectrum of benefit should be understood and eventually lead to the realization of an urban legend.

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