Try saying this ten times; Helix aspersa muller glycoconjugates. This tongue twister, in fact, is the name of the snail slime that is the main ingredient in a natural skin product known as “snail cream” and it is said to reduce inflammation and redness, stimulate skin regeneration and lock moisture into the skin.
The use of snail slime to improve the condition of skin dates back to ancient Greece. Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, was said to prescribed crushed snails and sour milk as a way to rid skin of inflammation. More recently, the use of snail creams started when Chilean farmers, who harvested snails for the French market, noticed their skin was visibly smoother and less irritated. Nowadays, it is the secreted slime, discovered by these farmers, that is procured to produce snail cream, not crushed up snails of common folklore.
When snails are agitated, they excrete a thick fluid around their bodies, as a means to protect themselves. It may sound disgusting to use something like this on your skin, but, humans and most other animals produce oils as a way to protect their skin. The oils your body produces are made up of lipids, sebum oil, and dead skin cells. The snail’s protective slime, is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial and copper peptides, and proteoglycans, all of which are commonly added into today’s beauty products.
Besides contributing to anti-ageing creams and cosmetics, the Garden Snail, Helix aspersa or Cornu aspersa is edible, and snail farming is a booming cottage industry (especially in England but also in the US). This species has also been used, for centuries, in traditional medicine. Internal use included treatment for gastrointestinal ulcers and, in the form of syrup, to sooth a sore throat or cough. Externally it has been used to treat burns and abrasions.
So, as you leave your home in the morning and find these slimy creatures all over the sidewalk, crawling across the lawn and hanging onto the leaves of plants and trees while eating their fill, remember their positive attributes as you step on, run over, or gather them into trash bags for removal from your property. Maybe they will inspire you to, buy a new face cream or start a new art project but more likely they will have you scouring your nearest garden store shelves for snail poison or calling your pest professional for HELP!