Warning against gecko treatments
The Philippines health department is warning against using geckos to help treat Aids and asthma, saying the folklore practice that has spawned a thriving trade of the reptiles in parts of Asia may put patients at risk.
Environment officials have expressed alarm about the growing illegal collection of the reptile in the country.
An 11oz gecko reportedly sells for at least 50,000 pesos (£721).
The reptiles are reportedly exported to Malaysia, China and South Korea, where they are used as aphrodisiacs and to treat tuberculosis and impotence.
The health department said in a statement today that the use of geckos as treatments has no scientific basis and could be dangerous because patients might not seek proper treatment for their diseases.