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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Herbal Ayurvedic Cure Shown To Work Against Viper Bites

•, By Douglas Main
 Mongoose plant, an herb that grows in southern India, is prescribed by local people practicing Ayurvedic medicine to treat bites from vipers. But there have been few studies to see how or if it works. 

New research, however, seems to supports its use. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, scientists exposed developing chicken embryos to extracts of viper venom. As you can probably imagine, pure venom quickly killed them, and caused obvious hemorrhaging  when a venom-soaked disk was applied to the embryo's surface. When the venom was mixed with sufficiently high levels of mongoose plant root before being applied, however, none of the embryos died, and there was no sign of hemorrhaging. These embryos were chosen because they are easy to handle and observe, are similar to humans on a molecular level, and prevent causing suffering in higher mammals, the study noted.

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