I'm sure many readers are familiar with fairy tales in which a princess has to get up the nerve to kiss a frog, which then turns into a prince. They usually end up getting married and living happily ever after. That, in turn, gave rise to the rather more cynical and jaded advice that "You have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your prince!"
Be that as it may, I was taken aback by an article a couple of days ago.
A new study finds that a psychedelic found in toad venom may help people struggling with depression or anxiety.
Research conducted at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows the fast-acting psychedelic ... helped relieve symptoms in about 80 percent of the 362 study participants who tried it in a group setting. The authors believe the short duration of psychedelic effects make it a more favorable therapy for patients.
There's more at the link.
One presumes the psychedelic substance was chemically isolated, and administered to the participants in a rather more palatable way than having to actually kiss or lick the frog (or toad) concerned - at least, one hopes so . . . On the other hand, that might make great aversion therapy.
Researcher: "If you're still depressed, we're going to make you lick a toad."
Patient (shuddering in disgust): "I'm happy! I'm cured! See my big smile?"
One wonders . . .