Asiatic Toad

The Asiatic Toad (Bufo gargarizans), is a species of toad found in East Asia. It is common in China and portions of the Russian Far East, but relatively rare on the Korean Peninsula. Asiatic toads are also found on the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, although they have been extirpated from some islands in recent years, possibly including Okinawa. The Asiatic toad avoids dense forests, but is found in most other habitats, including grasslands, open forests, and cultivated areas. It prefers humid areas, and is seldom found at altitudes of more than 2600 feet.

The Asiatic toad plays an important role in traditional Oriental medicine. An extract of the toxins secreted by the toad, known as toad venom or Chan-su, has long been touted for its medicinal properties. In addition, dried toad skins have been prescribed as remedies for dropsy and other ailments. More recently, Western medical science has also taken an interest in the toad. In 1998, an antimicrobial peptide was extracted from the toad, and patented.

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