Geckos are reportedly exported to Malaysia, China and South Korea, where they are used as aphrodisiacs and as traditional medicine for asthma, AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and impotence.
Their use as medical treatments has no scientific basis and could be dangerous because patients might not seek proper treatment for their diseases, a health department statement said.
The Philippines warned against using geckos to treat AIDS and impotence, saying the folkloric practice in parts of Asia may put patients at risk.
Treatments for asthma are easily available and affordable, while there are antiviral drugs to control the progress of HIV, it added.
Wildlife official Mundita Lim said her office has asked law enforcers to look into the possibility that scammers may have infiltrated the trade because of the exorbitant prices being quoted online by buyers demanding geckos weighing at least 400 grams (14 ounces).
In folkloric practice, geckos are dried and pulverized to use as medicine, and there are anecdotal accounts of the saliva or internal organs being collected, according to Lim.
That doesn’t work! Come on!