What if you're bitten by a snake...but all you have is a garlic...

What if you're bitten by a snake...but all you have is a garlic...

By: Arlene Gentallan

home remedies for snake bite
What if you're bitten by a snake...but all you have is a garlic...

        Now that's a grim fate folks. But what if it happens! What if you're bitten by a snake but all you have is a garlic!

        I've just heard that garlic has been used as a home remedy against snake bite. But hey, does this thing really works? And how do you even use a garlic?

        I've done some research...lo and behold, in India, garlic is one of their many medicinal herbs against snake bite...


        People from  Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal uses many herbal plants including garlic as a home remedy for snake bite. To use garlic as an alternative treatment for snake bite, they crush garlic bulb and ingest it.

        Another way they use garlic as an alternative medicine to snake bite is to grind it's bulb together with the roots of Indian sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus), then apply it topically on the bitten site.

        Source: International Journal of Pharmacy & Life Sciences, Vol. 4, Issue 12: Dec: 2013, pages 3175- 3176, ISSN: 0976-7126 "Plants used in treatment of snakebite by the tribal communities of Paschim Medinipur district, West Bengal"

Crush it!

        Remember you have to crush garlic to release it's potent component "allicin."

Modern Medicine

        There are claims that using garlic helps decrease the effect of snake venom in the body, but there's no scientific research that can back this up. Modern medicine therefore cannot recommend garlic as a substitute for snake antivenom.

        But if you only have garlic...meh...

Related Article: 10 Medicinal Uses of Garlic

What's in snake venom?

        Snake venom contains various compounds like proteins, neurotoxins, polypeptides, enzymes, and others, with lethal effects:
  • Paralyses muscles (eg. respiratory failure)
  • Coagulates blood
  • Destroys blood cells
  • Impaired blood clotting (viper venom) leading to bleeding
  • Damages cells and tissues (eg. blood, muscle, and nerves) leading to necrosis / gangrene
  • Lowers blood pressure

This may lead to the following sign and symptoms:
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling at the area of bite
  • Discoloration at the area of bite
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Brown urine
  • Gangrene at the area of bite
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis

How long does it take to die from a venomous snake bite?

        On average, a venomous snake bite can kill a victim in 30 minutes to 1 hour. But a snake bite can so lethal, it kill in just 5-10 minutes. However, death may still occur beyond 24 hours after the bite.

        Factors such as the type of the snake, the amount of venom injected, and the body size of the individual bitten can affect how fast the victim dies.

A snake is not always poisonous

        Not accounting unreported cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), snake bites approximately 5 million people around the world each year, out of which 2.5 million are envenomated and about 100,000 die.

        There are more than 3,000 species of snakes in the world, out of which about 500-600 species are venomous.

        50% of venomous snake's bite don't always inject the victim with venom. It's called "dry bite."

        Antisnake venom (ASV) is the only effective standard treatment to neutralize the venom. So if you're bitten by a snake...but all you have is a garlic...I do hope you survive...

        I'm unable to find a testimony or a scientific study verifying garlic's efficacy, but what do you think? Is garlic being used in your community against snake bite? Please do share...