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Snail slime: history and health benefits

For centuries snails, and to a lesser extent slugs, have been used both as a food and as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions.

Quave described how, in southern Italy, the common garden slug, Arion hortensis, is sometimes swallowed whole as a treatment for gastritis or stomach ulcers.  In America slugs are not thought to be swallowed live in this way, but a recipe for ‘Slug Syrup’ is recorded on the website of the University of Saskatchewan.

This instructs that a jar be filled with alternating layers of slugs and sugar. After about a day, when the sugar has ‘dissolved’ the slugs, the resulting mixture is run through a sieve, after which 1/3 grain alcohol is added by volume.

The site quotes the original authors who recommend the resulting syrup be used for the treatment  of ulcers, bronchitis, asthma,  claiming that it is able to ‘heal these conditions when nothing else will.

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