LIMA, Peru — Suffering from stress? Not feeling sexy? High in the Andean mountains, some locals believe putting frogs in a blender is the answer.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence confirming any medicinal benefits from frog juice. And the frogs that Peruvians use are from the Telmatobius culeus species, a water frog from remote Lake Titicaca that is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Entire frogs are the main ingredient in a juice blend some people in Peru and Bolivia believe can cure asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and a low sex drive. To make the mix at her food stand in Peru’s capital, vendor Maria Elena Cruz grabs a frog from a small aquarium, and whacks its head on the countertop until it’s dead.
Then she peels off its skin and drops the frog into a blender with carrots, the Peruvian maca root and honey.
The juice comes out light green in color. Cruz serves it in glasses to her customers.
“Frog juice is good for anemia, bronchitis, bones, the brain, fatigue, stress and it is mostly children, adults, persons with anemia, respiratory issues and sometimes tuberculosis” who come to her stand, Cruz claims.
Customer Cecilia Cahuana, 35, believes this.
“I always come here to drink frog juice because it’s good for the children, for anemia, bronchitis and also for older persons, it’s extremely good,” she said.
Dr. Tomy Villanueva, dean of the Medical College of Lima, says there is “no scientific evidence” that frog juice is a cure for anything, even though it has a place in Andean culture.