03.01.2023: What do the American Civil War, the British Department of Health, and Changez Khan, the former Mongol ruler of much of the world, have in common?
You’ll be astonished to learn that “insects” is the answer to this question. You did read that correctly, I assure you.
Most insects change form many times from birth to adulthood. First they hatch from eggs into larvae and then grow through pupal-like stages. In many species, moths are maggot-like in size when passing through the larval stage. There are no organs in their body at this stage. Their main objective is to increase their size by 100 times by gaining as much energy as possible. The special insects we are talking about now come from the Califered species. These are blue and green flies.
These flies must have been buzzing on decaying flesh or feces up until this point, but the world of medical science has discovered several of these species to their surprise. It could be unpleasant for your eyes to observe insects crawling over the wounds. In contrast, insects have long been utilized in the field of medicine as a form of debridement therapy. According to legend, Changez Khan used to transport insects in his caravan as he traveled from one location to another in order to treat the wounded soldiers.
With this technique, insects were introduced into the wounds of the victim, where they consumed the diseased cells that were already dead and rotting. Changez Khan and his troops are thought to have known that these insects cleansed wounds by consuming infectious cells in addition to eating unhealthy cells. In addition, there is proof that the ancient Giampa tribe in New South Wales, Australia, the inhabitants of the hilly region of northern Myanmar, and the Maya civilization in Central America all employed insects.
But what’s fascinating is that this approach was unable to enter the mainstream of medicine. Additionally, it took until the American Civil War for this form of treatment to enter the mainstream of medicine. During the American Civil War, John Forney Zacharias, a surgeon who worked in a hospital in Danville, began making progress in this area. In the contemporary era, John Forney Zacharias is likely the first person to have used maggots, or insects, to remove dead cells. They claimed that these insects also remove bacteria from wounds.
However, because to individuals like Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, progress in this direction quickly came to an end. Other than the use of insects, he took the initiative to practice cleanliness. Alexander Fleming and Penicillin made this practice obsolete since no one would use insects to treat wounds when a bullet could do the same job. However, in the 1980s it appeared that the MRSA virus, a new kind of superbug, was winning the war against antibiotics. In this circumstance, the same insects that had previously been employed to treat wounds came to the fore. These worms were crucial because they were eliminating superbugs like MRSA in addition to clearing away dead cells. Because of this, these worms are accessible to everyone through services like the NHS in nations like the UK.