Cockroach Cure-all, Deja Vu

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Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

From Larry W.: Perhaps the legend of Dr. Gregor and his Metamorphosis cockroach cure, a hoax propagated by Joey Skaggs in 1981, finally made it to China and kick-started an industry.

Cockroaches: the new miracle cure for China’s ailments
by Malcolm Moore
The Telegraph
October 24, 2013

Cockroach farming is booming in China as the country looks for new, cheaper medicines for its rapidly ageing population

a-fistful-of-roach_200The correct way to eat a cockroach, at least in this corner of northern China, is to fry it not once but twice in a wok of smoking hot oil.

“The second time makes the shell crispy and the inside succulent,” said 43-year-old Wang Fuming, as he tipped a bowl of freshly harvested bugs, one or two of their legs still twitching, into the sizzling pan.

Mr Wang is the leading cockroach farmer in Shandong province, with more than 22 million of the insects living in a series of nondescript, concrete bunkers in the suburbs of Jinan.

After cooking, Mr Wang gently ladled them onto a plate, their bodies plumped with the oil and their wings slightly spread, before sprinkling a packet of instant noodle powder “pickled cabbage flavour” over the dish.

“It would be better if we had some chilli,” he apologised.

The cockroach, whose innards resemble cottage cheese, has an earthy taste, with a slight twinge of ammonia. But they have become popular in China not for their taste, but for their medicinal benefits.

“They really are a miracle drug,” said Liu Yusheng, a professor at the Shandong Agricultural university and the head of Shandong province’s Insect Association. “They can cure a number of ailments and they work much faster than other medicine.”

Read the rest of the article and watch the video here.


  • Cockroaches, A Race Above, Joey Skaggs, 1981
  • Cockroaches could help combat MRSA and E.coli, The Telegraph, 2010