There's A Powerful Painkiller In Your Spit

Opiorphin is a chemical in human saliva that is a natural painkiller. In one study on rats, just 1 milligram of opiorphin per kilogram of body weight achieved the same painkilling effect as 3 milligrams of morphine. It's been suggested that the molecule is also a natural antidepressant. The molecule breaks apart quickly in human intestines, however, and demonstrates poor penetration of the blood-brain barrier, which means that it would need to be modified before it could function as a painkiller in humans.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Before aspirin was invented, people reduced fevers and inflammation by chewing the bark of the white willow tree. 00:04

  2. TNT is poisonous, and skin exposure to it will cause your skin to turn yellow or orange. 01:11

  3. Opiorphin is a chemical in human saliva that is more potent than morphine. 02:26

Written by Curiosity Staff August 4, 2015

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