Tags: herbal | snakebite | antidote

Herbal Snakebite Antidote in Development

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 12:48 PM


In the latest attempt to access Mother Nature’s pharmacy, researchers at the University of Copenhagen are close to developing an herbal snakebite antidote.
Marianne Molander, from the University of Copenhagen's Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, has been working within a Danish team to study various plants to find locally available herbal antidotes – noting traditional folk medicines have long relied on natural treatments for snakebite.
"Snake venom antidotes are expensive, it's often a long way to the nearest doctor and it can be difficult to store the medicine properly in the warm climate,” said Molander. “As a result many local people rely on natural resources for treating potentially fatal bites."
The Danish researchers are studying African plants that have proven effective in treating snakebite, including 100 from Mali, 27 from South Africa, and 13 from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
About 100,000 people worldwide die each year from snakebites. Three times as many suffer permanent injuries, disability or amputations as a result of a bite.
The researchers noted plants have always been a major source of drugs, with a quarter of all new medicinal products registered worldwide derived from plants or other natural resources.
"In Africa where much of the population can't afford medicine, there is a tradition of seeking out healers and alternative therapists, before turning to conventional medicine,” Molander noted. “Eighty percent visit the healer before they go to the hospital. Traditional herbal medicine is based on centuries of traditions and achievement, so the local shamans and medicine men are often a good place to start when you are looking for active substances with real pharmaceutical effects."



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Researchers at the University of Copenhagen say they are close to developing an herbal snakebite antidote.
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Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 12:48 PM
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