Alternative Medicine

Colla Corii Asini

A controversial, but very traditional, Chinese remedy made from donkey skins may soon offer doctors a new tool in their fight against one of the most common causes of Salmonella poisoning. Known as colla corii asini, the product is perhaps best known by its more common names, donkey-hide gelatin or ass-hide glue.

Colla corii asini has long been used in China and Korea to treat a variety of medical conditions, especially gynecological diseases, and to slow the effects of aging. And while Western medicine has yet to give the product a serious trial, there have been a few studies looking at colla corii asini for one of its most common folk uses – anemia.

This study, however, looked specifically at the product’s believed antibacterial properties. The researchers behind this study grew Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in their lab and then added Colla corii asini to it. They found that the remedy, in their words, “significantly inhibited the growth” of the bacteria. When they infected mice with the potential pathogen, the remedy prevented the animals’ digestive tracts from letting the bacteria into their systems.

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a leading cause of food poisoning worldwide and is currently considered to be a major player in the 400 or so deaths blamed on acute salmonellosis every year in the US.


Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash