The victim of a snake bite may exhibit mild to severe symptoms. There are many varieties of poisonous snakes and the strength of their venom differs widely. All snakebites, poisonous or non-poisonous, should be treated by a doctor immediately. Until professional help can be obtained, the patient should remain as calm and still as possible.
Swelling or discoloration of the skin, racing pulse, weakness, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting may occur. In extreme cases, there will be severe pain and swelling, sometimes paralysis, unconsciousness and even death may occur. The pupils will dilate, shock, convulsions, twitching and slurred speech may occur.
After seeing the doctor, the following suggestions may relieve pain and symptoms:
Calcium Gluconate,500 mg. every 4-6 hrs., to relieve pain, acts as a sedative.
Pantothenic acid (B5), 500 mg. every 4 hrs. for 2 days, an antistress vitamin.
Vitamin C, 5,000-15,000 mg. (10,000 mg. every hour), is a powerful detoxifier. Relieves pain and discomfort and lessens infection.
Echinacea should be taken in tea and capsule form.
Drink yellow dock tea or take 2 capsules of yellow dock every hour until symptoms are gone.
The Native Americans used the fresh plant, having the victim chew the leaves and roots of the plant, swallowing the juice extracted. The pulp was made into a poultice, placed on the snakebite site after the venom has been extracted by lancing the site and sucking the venom out until blood flows freely. This was replaced frequently, no side effects have been noted, no overdose noted.
Poultices of white oak bark and leaves, comfrey, or slippery elm have been used.
Plantain poultice, plantain salves, or comfrey salves are also used.
If you live in an area where there are rattlesnakes, eat plantain, it grows near the rattlesnake dwellings, and will supply some protection.
Or if you have access to echinacea, the same applies.
If medical help is not available, a constricting band should be applied 4-6 inches above the site. Keep calm. Immobilize the affected site, and keep below the heart if possible. Cold therapy is not recommended. A half-inch incision should be made across the fang marks and suction should be performed until the blood flows freely. The incision should be with the long axis of the limb with a sterilized, sharp blade, just through the skin, and a suction cup should be applied for 30 minutes or with the mouth (spit out the blood and venom!). CAUTION: Never make cuts on the head, neck or trunk.
The purchase of a one-handed pump could be a good investment if you spend a lot of time outdoors. The pump is painless and can be used with poisonous insects as well as snakes. The use of the pump on poisonous insects, spiders, etc., gives extremely good results and greatly reduces reaction to the poison.