Peruvian frog juice drinkers laud health benefits

November 18, 2014
Frogs are crowded into a fishbowl at a juice stand in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Frogs from Peru's Lake Titicaca are the main ingredient in a juice blend that is revered by some Andean cultures for having the power to cure asthma, bronchitis and sluggishness. While the juice is popular, there's no scientific evidence that confirms the frog juice benefits. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Frogs from Peru's Lake Titicaca are the main ingredient in a juice blend that some Andean cultures believe has the power to cure asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and a low sex drive.

To make the mix, which is sold in Peru's Andes and also at some stands in its capital Lima, vendor Maria Elena Cruz grabs a frog from a small aquarium then kills it by beating it on the counter of her stand.

She peels off the skin and drops it into a blender with carrots, the Peruvian maca root and honey.

The is a greenish color and 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 said.

There's no scientific evidence that confirms the frog juice's benefits.

The frogs are from the Telmatobius culeus species locally known as the Titicaca water frog. It is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Cecilia Cahuana, 35, is a fan of the frog juice and says "it immediately cures asthma, , it has vitamins and plenty of proteins."

Most of the customers at Cruz's juice stand are from the Andean region that borders Bolivia, where it is also popular.

  • A mother shows her children frogs in a fish tank, used as an ingredient at a juice stand in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Most of the customers are from an area that borders Bolivia, where the frog juice is popular at outdoor markets in the city of El Alto. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
  • A juice bar advertises frog juice on the wall in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Frogs from Peru's Lake Titicaca are the main ingredient in a juice blend that is revered by some Andean cultures for having the power to cure asthma, bronchitis and sluggishness. The juice is a greenish color and it is served in glasses to customers. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
  • Customer Rudy Tolentino Casas serves frog juice at a juice bar in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. To make the mix, which is sold in Peru's Andes and also at some stands in its capital Lima, vendors grab a frog from a small aquarium and then kill it by beating it on the counter stand. Then hhey peel off the skin and it is dropped into a blender with carrots, the Peruvian maca root and honey. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.