9 Natural Home Remedies For Snake Bite On Humans That Work

Updated: 08/09/2019

Snake bite is a term that refers to situations in which humans are attacked by snakes. Usually, snakes do not attack humans unless they are startled or injured. Except for the giant pythons, snakes without venom are not a threat to humans. However, the damage caused by the snake is a high risk of infection if not properly treated.

If you want to equip yourself with essential knowledge about snakebite treatment, or you are in this dangerous situation, this article is for you. Home remedies that are safe and effective will be presented in a very understandable way. But first, let’s find out more about snake bites. You may have not known all of the following useful information.

What Is A Snake Bite?

In general, most snakes try to avoid contact with humans. Snake cobras may actively attack humans, but in fact, most snake bites happen when humans actively capturing or teasing them (accidentally or intentionally making the snake feel threatened).

Recently, on the media continuously published information about deaths from snake venom. People who are bitten by poisonous snakes that do not keep calm to handle will lead to fatal danger in a short time. The bites of non-venomous snakes are usually harmless because their teeth are not designed to tear or cause deep wounds, but to capture. However, there is the possibility of tissue damage and infection from non-venomous solid bites. Although snakebite deaths are not so common, venomous snakes are potentially much more dangerous to humans. Bites caused by poisonous snakes, though not fatal, may still result in amputation of a leg or hand[1].

Of the 725 species of snake venom worldwide, only about 250 species may kill humans with a single bite. There is no accurate report of a case where humans are bitten by yellow snakes, but they are more deadly to humans than any other snake in North and South America.

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What Are The Venom Of Snakes?

Snake venom is a gland containing venomous poison. Venom, like other salivary secretions, is a pre-digestive substance that converts food into soluble compounds and aids digestion. This is a powerful attack or defense weapon of snakes.

Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides[2] and is stored in poisonous glands in the back of the head. In all venomous snakes, these glands flow through the ducts into the empty teeth or teeth in the upper jaw. These proteins may be a mixture of neurotoxins (attacking the nervous system), hemotoxins (attacking the circulatory system), cellular toxins, bungarotoxin, and many other toxins that affect the human body in different ways.

Nearly all snake species contain hyaluronidase, an enzyme that assists the rapid diffusion of venom. Snakes using hemotoxins usually has venom in front of the mouth, making it easier to inject into the victim.

The time after rainy days is favorable conditions for poisonous snakes to operate. Snake bite may occur when the victim is working, gardening, or even travelling. In most cases, people are victims of green snakes or cobras.

What Happens When Venom Of Snake Dissolves Into Human Blood?

Dr. Terence M. Davidson of the University of California, San Francisco Department of Medicine describes: “When a drop of snake venom dissolves into the blood, in just a few seconds the blood will clot tightly.” In addition to the confused blood circulation in the body, snake venom causes acute kidney failure, swelling of the eyelid, difficulty speaking, and weak body.

Snake venom is a deadly weapon that robs the lives of tens of thousands of people every year. But the most unexpected thing is that snake venom is useful in the preparation of many remedies to save a lot of people. Yonchol Shin, a professor at Kogakuin University in Japan, wrote about the snake venom in Science Daily that some hormones in snake venom may activate platelets. So, what we have to do is to determine the non-toxic factors and use them for other diseases.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of Snake Bites?

When being bitten by non-poisonous snakes, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • The body does not have any reactions.
  • Look at the bite, you will see two teeth with small dots, arc-shaped, and especially no canines.

When bitten by poisonous snakes, you may get these symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Vertigo
  • Red, swollen, and bruised bite. This condition may also spread to the surrounding area
  • Nausea, followed by vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rashes
  • Swollen lips, tongue, and gums
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing (similar to asthma)
  • Spiritual confusion, dizziness or fainting
  • Uneven heartbeat

Colubridae-type snakes such as cobra have neurotoxins. When being bitten by these snakes, your body will have some manifestations such as[3]:

Green snake (Vipéridae) contains hemorrhoids; it may cause you the following symptoms when being bitten[3]:

  • Severe pain in the bitten area
  • Bruising and swelling
  • After 30 minutes to 1 hour, you may have problems such as nausea, vascular fastness, hypotension, and fainting.
When To See A Doctor?

After you have a snake bite, you need to perform first aid measures[4], and then quickly see your doctor for examination and treatment within the first 4 hours. Try to determine the snake species, color, size, head shape, and the way to attack this snake if possible. This will help your doctor a lot.

Above is some essential information about snake bite. You are probably thinking about ways to treat this condition as soon as possible. Don’t rush. Here is the answer for you. Below, we will present you some of the safest and most effective home remedies for snake bite. Let’s have a look!

Top 9 Natural Home Remedies For Snake Bite On Humans That Work Effectively

1. Lavender Oil

home remedies for snake bite - lavender oil

Feeling anxiety and stress is universal after getting a snake bite. Applying several drops of lavender essential oil behind your ears will help you feel calm[5] [6] and stabilize your heartbeat. This is a vital step because the more stressed and nervous you are, the faster your heart beats and the faster the toxins spread through your body. It may also soothe your stomach and circulatory system. Furthermore, lavender oil helps numb the pain[7] and neutralize the poison. Thus, you should have it as a handy thing when in a snake-prone area.

You can make use of lavender oil by applying it directly to the affected area or behind your ears. 

2. First Aid

The first aid plays a vital role in protecting a person from serious consequences of snake bites[8], please follow these steps to ensure your safety when you are bitten by a snake, either poisonous or not.

  • Remove Clothing And Jewelry

The affected area may swell rapidly, so cut or remove clothing near the bite. At the same time, remove all jewelry in this area. If not removed before the bite swells, these objects may block blood vessels and worsens the situation.

  • Let The Wound Bleeding

Let the bite bleed freely for about thirty seconds. This process will allow some venom to flow out of the wound. At first, the blood flows pretty much because the venom usually contains an anticoagulant. If the bite is so deep that you are bleeding a lot, you should quickly apply a force to the wound.

  • Use Suction

It would be better to try to suck out the venom, but only if you have special tools. Suction often comes with a manual, but basically, you need to place its straws above the bite to suck the venom out.

  • Place A Clean Bandage Over The Wound

Do not use water to wash the wound, as it may remove all the snake venom on your skin, which is essential to identify the type of snake that bites you.

  • Check The Signs

A possible symptom of snake bite is shocking. If they are shocked, they become weak and faint. Other symptoms include rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. If a person is shocked,   let him lie down, and lift his feet to at least 30 cm. At the same time, keep his body warm. Quickly perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation if he has no signs of life, such as breathing, coughing, or movement.

  • Keep the wound under the heart level

This will help to slow down the flow of infected blood to the heart and other organs in the body. If possible, you should make a brace yourself to keep the area around the bite fixed. Use a stick or board to tie to one side of the bite. If the wound is too swollen, you need to reduce the pressure on the brace.

3. Echinacea

home remedies for snake bite - echinacea

Echinacea is considered a wonderful herbal ingredients for snake bite relief because it is a powerful immune system booster[9], anti-inflammatory agents, and pain reliever. It has antibody response to venom[10], may fight against infections and heal wound fast.

According to research, echinacea purpurea root extract could decrease the regulatory T-cell numbers and functions, thereby promoting immune system functions.

But, talk to your doctor before taking an echinacea supplement because it might interact with prescribed medications (if any).

4. Activated Charcoal

People who are going to enter snake-prone areas should carry some activated charcoal. This ingredient will help to absorb the poison[11] [12] and reduce pain and swelling caused by a snake bite within 10 minutes only.

  • Take 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder and make it damp with water.
  • Apply it directly to your affected area.
  • This will help soak up the venom or saliva left behind the bite, making you recover faster.
5. Tea Tree Oil

After being bitten by a snake, you need to cleanse the bitten area thoroughly. Therefore, use a natural antibacterial cleanser[13], such as tea tree oil to wash your skin. Then, use a clean and dry bandage to wrap gently.

If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, coral snake or copperhead, or water moccasin, then call 911 for directions.

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, with its medicinal properties, may fight off bacteria, parasites, and viruses[14]. It has been shown to support the healing of wounds[15]. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area and use a bandage to wrap up.

7. Mongoose Plant

Mongoose plant is a renowned natural treatment when it comes to home remedies for snake bite as it may neutralize and dilute the poison spreading through your bloodstream[16]. Thus, your body will not be harmed. Mongoose plant is predominantly found in the areas around South-Asia.

You can make use of the flowers as well as leaves of this plant by mixing with some water and then apply it to your affected area.

Alternatively, you can boil mongoose leaves in water and have it to flush out toxins and neutralize the venom.

8. Plantain Leaves

It is found in the wild that plantain leaves are very effective in treating snake bites. This herb is readily available, and you can always bring a tincture of plantain leaves with you. They are considered one of the most helpful home remedies for snake bite due to its healing compound, which may naturally draw out the snake venom from your body. Besides, antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the leaves[17] also contribute to lowering the inflammation and pain associated with a snake bite.

9. Turmeric

After being bitten by a snake, you might feel pain and other possible adverse effects for a few days, weeks, or even months. Thus, taking advantage of high-quality turmeric supplements and adding fresh turmeric to your daily diet may help you ease the pain and decrease inflammation  thanks to its rich content of curcumin[18] [19]. Nonetheless, in case the bite is from a venomous snake, you need to consult your doctor before taking any supplements because some kinds of snake venom may cause blood coagulation[20].

Tips & Precautions

What to avoid if you are bitten by a snake:

  • Do not split or cut the wound. Many people think that splitting the wound may help release venom. However, it is proved that this method does not work and you may get an infection if you use a dirty knife.
  • Do not use your mouth to suck the wound. When you suck the wound with your mouth, the venom may enter your mouth and cause serious health effects. Also, your mouth has a lot of bacteria, so this may cause the bite to become infected.
  • Do not apply ice or soak the wound in water. Maintaining tissue that has not been injured for as long as possible is very important. Using ice or water does not support this because it reduces blood circulation. A cold compress may minimize the flow of blood, causing the venom to build up in your tissues and ruin them.
  • Do not urinate on the bite. This idea is as silly as its name. Many people think that urinating on the bite will help neutralize the toxins. In fact, urine does not help in this situation.
  • Do not use electric shock guns to treat a snake bite. They may harm you and have not been proven to work.

Follow the wound care guidelines when you go home. Things may not stop there. There are still many things that you need to care about. When you return home, the most important thing is to keep the wound clean and closed, and follow the medical care instructions. For example, you need to know how often to change the dressing, how to clean the wound (usually with soap and warm water), and how to identify the infection. Signs of infection include swelling, pain, redness, fluid, and heat in the infection or fever. If you have any of the above symptoms at the bite, call your doctor right away.

Ways to avoid snake bites:

  • If you see a snake, do not touch it. Please slowly step away from it.
  • Never put your hands or feet in a pit without checking if there is a snake.
  • Wear climbing shoes instead of sandals to protect your feet.

Above are some time-tested home remedies for snake bite that you can apply in urgent situations. Choose some of them and alternate them in your treating to see how effective they are. If you have any contributing ideas about our article, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.

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