A REVIEW ON TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL PLANTS USED AS ANTIDOTES IN THE TREATMENT OF SNAKE BITES IN INDIAAbstract
Envenoming and deaths resulting from snakebites are particularly important public health problems in the rural tropics. Snake envenomation is included since 2009 in the World Health Organization (WHO) list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, as this condition remains largely neglected by national and international health authorities. The only available specific treatment is antivenom therapy, which consists of a pool of neutralizing immunoglobulins purified from the plasma of animals that are hyperimmunized against snake venom and specific toxins. However, the antivenom has some limitations, such as the poor ability to treat local effects, risk of immunological reactions, high cost, and difficult access in some regions. Therefore, the search for complementary therapies to treat snakebites is relevant, and the use of medicinal plants against snakebites is a historical practice throughout human history, and this knowledge has been transferred among the rural communities from generation to generation. Though tribal groups, forest dwellers, and rural people possess unique knowledge about plants and their uses, they are dwindling in number, and the younger generation is not interested in carrying on this tradition of folklore remedies. Hence, there is a grave danger of the disappearance of traditional knowledge. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the scientific community to unravel the information and to document the folklore remedies for availability to the whole world for the benefit of human beings to treat snake envenomation. In the present review, an attempt was made to enlist the variety of plant species from earlier research studies, which were shown to possess antivenom activity in snake bites in different parts of India, including certain tribal areas.
N. K. Chilaka * and A. Ganguly
Department of Pharmacology, GITAM Institute of Pharmacy, GITAM (Deemed to be University), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
19 November 2018
11 January 2021
17 January 2021
01 March 2021