Researchers Explore Native Plants as Natural Snakebite Cure
So here’s a timely tie-in to the other week’s article on traditional remedies: scientists are taking a closer look at native plants in hopes of creating easily accessible treatments for potentially fatal snakebites.
For those in the northern U.S. better acquainted with shoestring-sized garter snakes than eastern diamondbacks or cottonmouths, treating a venomous snakebite is prohibitively expensive. It’s also laborious. Modern antivenoms can only be made through a fire-vs.-fire approach, milking the venom of the creature in question to produce a treatment for its damaging effects. Think about the fact that millions are bitten across the globe each year, and you’re looking at a lot of lab hours spent milking rattlesnakes.
Scientists on the hunt for simpler cures now begin their quest in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, investigating traditional plant remedies where access to antivenom may be impossible. It’s promising research; click through for more. —MN