Scary tarantula turns out to be a real medical marvel

The Oxford Times: Nicola Bird shows Lee Woolford a tarantula Nicola Bird shows Lee Woolford a tarantula

SCARY it may be, but this tarantula could be just the thing if you’ve cut yourself.

As part of a four-week course on the history of food, Oxford University’s museums and collections education officer, Nicola Bird, took along the spider to reveal past uses for web silk.

Ms Bird explained: “Webs can be used to help stop the blood flow, clot the blood and provide the materials for the skin to recover when cut.

“The web forms a scab-like bond over a cut which washes off and reduces any scars.”

Visitors to the free Wednesday class at the Health and Wellbeing Centre, in the Charter complex, also got to peep inside an 18th century doctor’s bag.

Wellbeing service worker Shirley Heckles said: “There were all kinds of lotions and potions used as laxatives that made you think ‘thank God I live in the 21st century’.”

The next class is on Wednesday, June 4, from 10.30am to 11.30am.

No booking is required, just turn up on the day.

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