Talk:Cantharidin

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Date rape drug list[edit]

This article really doesn't explain why cantharidin might be used as an aphrodisiac. It just hints at the fact that it causes priapisms, and doesn't explain anywhere why it might have been used as a date rape drug. Unless someone can come up with something about this, I'm going to remove it from the list of date rape drugs. Fuzzform 03:51, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I would agree with that removal (assume it happened years ago), since cantharidin is not an aphrodisiac. -- Scray (talk) 12:53, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Aphrodisiac[edit]

The following statement was in the article with a citation neededtag dated August 2011. I have removed it as it doesn't make much sense.

The extreme toxicity of cantharidin makes any use as an aphrodisiac highly dangerous because it can easily cause death. As a result, it is illegal to sell (or use) cantharidin for this purpose in many countries.[citation needed]

Feel free to re-add if you can find a citation or explanation, but a blister agent is not a likely choice for an aphrodisiac. EdChem (talk) 13:13, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

As the principal irritant in Spanish fly, cantharidin is arguably the most prominent "aphrodisiac" (of course, it doesn't work, but that's never stopped those who claim such things). You may have heard of the Marquis de Sade, who used this so famously. I've restored that language and added a source. We could certainly refine it, but the point is relevant and accurate. -- Scray (talk) 12:51, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for adding a reference. I wasn't sure if the statement was meant to refer to its use as a copulatory gift between beetles and use in humans seemed illogical. I know of de Sade but have not studied him in detail and was unaware of any use of cantharidin. A request for citation had gone unanswered for eighteen months, so I removed the statement. Now that there is a reference, I have no problem with your restoration. The statement you quote appears to me to raise issues about whether the cantharidin is the sought material or an impurity, but I'll read the source before making a change. I agree that the point is relevant if accurate (though I am unsure that it fits the term "aphrodisiac"), and am pleased that it is now sourced. EdChem (talk) 12:59, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Follow-up thought... if there are reliable sources about de Sade's use of cantharidin, perhaps some comment about that should be added as relevant too. EdChem (talk) 13:19, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
I've already added reference to de Sade to the Spanish fly article, and since he did not use purified cantharidin that's probably the right place for it. -- Scray (talk) 21:30, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Makes sense. EdChem (talk) 14:43, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
There needs to be a brief explanation of the aphrodisiac use here, after all, it's cantharidin, not the fly as such, that is the 'aphrodisiac'. Paul B (talk) 15:02, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Opening of discussion: Keep section on Popular culture here, or move it[edit]

...to the article on Lytta vesicatoria (Spanish fly). Discuss below?

  • I vote moving the section to Spanish fly, because that is where people looking for Spanish fly will go first, and often those users are looking for more popular information. Cheers. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 00:31, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
  • They seem more relevant to the Spanish fly article to me, the uses were of the fly which had cantharidin in it, rather than the compound itself. (PS: I was contacted on my talk page for a comment, likely because I commented in the section above this.) EdChem (talk) 04:32, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
  • (in response to invitation on my Talk page) Looking at the Spanish Fly article, which is now more entomological, this is a tough call. The most notable aspect of Spanish Fly, in terms of common use, is the purported aphrodisiac (and resultant toxic) properties of the dried-and-ground insect, historically. Historical uses like this dealt with the (dried) fly, not the purified cantharidin extract. The primary interest in cantharidin is the aprodisiac/toxic compound - so it's a tough call - but I'm inclined to keep it here. Scray (talk) 04:24, 23 January 2016 (UTC)