Turmeric's Antivenom Properties
Research shows that turmeric compounds are powerful antivenom substances. In lab and animal studies, they counteracted venom activity from: (ix.90-91)
- Bothrops alternatus: Pit vipers that live in swampy areas in tropical, semitropical, and temperate forests. They also live near developed areas. Particularly aggressive, these pit vipers frequently bite humans. Although their bites are rarely fatal, they still cause tissue damage. (ix.110)
- Bothrops jararaca: These medium-sized pit vipers live in open areas of forests in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Bites cause tissue damage and internal damage. (ix.110)
- Crotalus durissus terrificus: A rattlesnake type of viper found in central and southern South American countries. Their bites are particularly dangerous. (ix.110)
- Naja siamensis: A cobra mainly found in Southeast Asian countries. Not particularly aggressive unless startled; will release venom by biting or spraying into eyes (which can cause blindness). Neurotoxic venom can be fatal. (ix.110)
How Can Turmeric Help?
Turmeric extracts contain compounds that can neutralize venom or prevent its poisonous effects. Curcuminoids have been shown to almost completely inactivate cobra venom. ar-turmerone counteracts venom from both rattlesnakes and pit vipers. (ix.90-91, 111)
Animal studies show that the turmerin protein compound in turmeric can prevent organ damage from cobra venom. Research indicates turmerin's potent antioxidant power neutralized the lethal effects of the venom by 90%. (ix.112)
In animal studies with pit viper venom, oral intake of certain natural compounds was protective against it. Some of these compounds are also found in turmeric: (ix.91)
- Beta-sitosterol (70% neutralizing) (ix.14, 91)
- Caffeic acid (anti-inflammatory) (ix.16, 91)
- Ferulic acid (ix.91, 96)
- Myricetin (ix.38, 91)
- Protocatechuic acid (80% neutralizing effect) (ix.15, 91)
- Quercetin (40-80% protection) (ix.38, 91)
- ρ-coumaric (ix.16, 91)
Topical Turmeric Helps the Wound Site
Animal studies show topical whole turmeric extracts effectively reduce symptoms directly at the area of the snake bite. These symptoms include: (ix.90)
- Tissue death
Injections of turmeric extracts, however, showed no benefit. (ix.90)
Conventional antivenom drugs typically don't resolve these local symptoms. Reducing the severity of these symptoms with turmeric could therefore be especially helpful. (ix.90)
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