Entomophagy in traditional healthcare practiced by indigenous communities: potential, implications and constraints
Keywords:Constraints, Edible Insects, Indigenous Communities, Human Safety, Traditional Healthcare.
Several insect species including termites, honey bees, American cockroach, grasshoppers, stink bugs, aquatic bugs, silkworms and mopane caterpillars are popularly consumed by indigenous and tribal communities in South America, sub-Saharan Africa, South-east Asia and the Pacific. Different life stages of the insects were found effective in therapeutic treatment against health disorders and life-threatening diseases. In entomophagy (process of insect eating), allergy, content of anti-nutrients, contamination of micro-organisms, chemicals and biochemical compounds, and parasitic infection are major constraints for wide adoption of entomophagy. An urgent attention of policymakers, peopleâ€™s organizations and researchers is therefore needed. This review is focused on worldwide utilization of selected edible insects for therapeutic treatment wherever modern medical facilities are not readily available or indigenous people prefer traditional healers. Certain practical safety measures against anticipated health risk are also elaborated.
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