Snake Venom – Can it be consumed???

9 Nov

What is Venom

Venom is modified saliva delivered through fangs of the venomous snake. The venom is used to immobilize or kill its prey.

Snake venom can contain many different active agents, and can potentially be a mix of

  • NEUROTOXINS – attacks nervous system
  • HEMOTOXINS – attacks circulatory system
  • CYTOTOXINS – attacks cells
  • BUNGAROTOXINS – attacks neuromascular system by binding irreversibly to AcetylCholine and causes paralysis.

Snake venom is always combinations of the above toxins.
Venomous snakes that use hemotoxins usually have the fangs that secrete the venom in the front of their mouths, making it easier for them to inject the venom into their victims blood stream.

How Snake Venom affects

When someone is bitten by a snake with hemotoxic venom, the venom typically acts to lower blood pressure and encourage blood clotting. The venom may also attack the heart muscle with the goal of causing death.

Cytotoxic venom is designed to cause tissue death, which is why some people have to receive amputations after being bitten, because the venom has eaten away the localized tissue. Many cytotoxic venoms can also spread through the body, increasing muscle permeability so that the venom can penetrate quickly.

A neurotoxic venom works to disrupt the function of the brain and nervous system. Classically, such snake venom causes paralysis or lack of muscle control, but it can also disrupt the individual signals sent between neurons and muscles. Such venoms can also attack the body’s supply of ATP, a nucleotide which is critical in energy

Can we consume Snake Venom

Some of the theories about consuming snake venom listed below

1. Absolutely nothing will happen if you were to swallow snake venom, unless you have a cut in your mouth. Venom is only effective if it gets your bloodstream, Poison will harm or kill you if ingested not venom. People in India actually cook with King Cobra venom.

2. This question is probably best left untested by humans… just in case! However, many within the scientific community feel that this is indeed true, primarily because the digestive system can break down the venom and therefore it would not be lethal for humans.
3. When a snake bites you it puts the venom straight into your bloodstream. If you actually drank the venom then provided that your gastrointestinal tract and your digestive system is working ok, then the proteins in the venom should be broken down into harmless amino acids and therefore you will not come to any harm. However, this should not be tried out at home, even if you can get your hands on some snake venom. Many people may have something wrong with their digestive system but be unaware that this is the case. Having just drunk snake venom is not the time to learn that your stomach isn’t processing food properly !

Can we consume Snake Venom : WIKI

Venomous snakes are often said to be poisonous, although this is not the correct term, as venoms and poisons are different. Poisons can be absorbed by the body, such as through the skin or digestive system, while venoms must first be introduced directly into tissues or the blood stream (envenomated) through mechanical means. It is, for example, therefore harmless to drink snake venom as long as there are no lacerations inside the mouth or digestive tract. There are however two exceptions: the Rhabdophis snakes (keelback snakes) secrete poison from glands that it gets from the poisonous toads that it preys on; similarly certain garter snakes from Oregon retain toxins in their liver from the newts they eat.


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