Anti-snake venom properties of medicinal plants 

By Inder Kumar Makhija, Devang Khamar 


Snake venom has been the cause of innumerable deaths worldwide. Many people die every year in India alone. For the last century, antiserum is the only available specific treatment. However, antiserum does not provide enough protection against venom induced haemorrhage, necrosis, nephrotoxicity and often develops hypersensitivity reactions. India has a rich tradition of the usage of medicinal plants. Many Indian medicinal plants are mentioned in literature, which are used to treat snakebite victims especially in the rural areas. However, only a few species have been scientifically investigated and still less had their active components isolated and characterized both structurally and functionally. This article presents a review of plants showing neutralizing properties against snake venoms which were assayed in research laboratories, correlating them with ethnopharmacological studies. So plant remedies may be beneficial for the treatment of snakebite and may find alternative to antivenom serum.  

Keywords: Plant extracts, Anti-snake venom, Ethnopharmacology, Biological activity

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