Amphibian skin has long been known by humans to possess intriguing biological properties and scientific examination of these secretions has revealed that their components possess a range of medical properties. In Japan and China, toad venom has been used as an expectorant, anti-haemorrhagic, diuretic and cardiac stimulant, and some peptides in the secretions of South American frogs and toads have antibiotic and anticancer properties. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry was built upon the realization of the healing and therapeutic potential of many lead compounds used in ethnic or traditional medicines (e.g. morphine, quinine and aspirin).

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