Which medicines are obtained from animals?

          Scientists have already studied more than 8 million kinds of animals. From these animals we get many useful things like meat, eggs, milk, skins, wools etc. We get many medicines from animals which are also used in the treatment of various diseases. Do you know which are these medicines obtained from different animals?

          Most of the hormonal medicines are obtained from the animal glands. Epinephrine, used in the treatment of heart ailments, is extracted from the adrenal glands of cats and pigs. This is also known as ‘adrenaline’. It was discovered in 1904 and is also used by asthmatic patients.

          The medicine, thyroxine, is obtained from the thyroid glands of the cat. It is used in the treatment of diseases relating to the thyroid glands. Insulin, the common medicine for the treatment of diabetes, is prepared from pancreatic secretion of cats and pigs.

          Sex hormones obtained from many animals are used for curing many sexual diseases of men and women. Snake bites are treated by anti-venom serum obtained from snakes.

          Vaccines for many diseases are also obtained from animals. For example, the polio vaccine is prepared by taking polio virus out of the kidneys of monkeys. In 1790s Edward Jenner, the British pioneer of vaccination, inoculated cowpox materials into non-immune persons who then showed resistance to small pox.

          Apart from these medicines, animals prove very useful in the medical sciences. The efficacy and toxicity of medicine are first tested on animals. And when it is found to have the desired curative effect on them, it is put in the market for human use.

          Through the dissection of different animals, students of biology are taught about various parts of human body. The studies of these animals have provided us with ample information to control many kinds of viruses and bacteria. Diseases like rabies, small-pox, malaria, typhoid, diphtheria etc. have been controlled only because of the knowledge obtained from the study of animals.

          In addition to these medicines, things like silk, lac, honey, pearl etc. are also obtained from the animals. Thus, we see that the animals are immensely useful for us in many respects.