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Background: Snakebite has remained an enduring medical problem for many decades and little progress has been made in reducing mortality. Globally, approximately 50,000 – 60,000 people die each year as a result of snakebite and more are left permanently impaired. Antivenom treatment is very expensive, out of reach and has several adverse effects because of the foreign proteins. Adverse effects of antivenom occur normally after one hour of administration. On the other hand, the advantages of herbal treatment are that, they are cheap, easily available, and stable at room temperature and could neutralize a wide range of venom antigen without side effects. Methodology: This study was undertaken by conducting enquiries to the traditional healers and local peoples about the ethno botany used in snake bite cases. In addition, this study included the information on plants used for snake bites in other African countries. Conclusion: Herbal compounds of higher plants may give a new source as different research groups are engaged not only for the discovery but possibly for discovering compounds with novel mechanisms of action that can encourage a rational approach for antivenom activity. The herbal medicines used by the traditional healers for snake bite should as much as possible be studied and decisions should be made and instructed to the traditional healers, for their safe use especially dose related problems and they should be informed to take responsibility for their own action. All these points necessitate preparing a review, exchanging the ideas, so that it can be a stepping stone and will have a great impact against snake bite treatment and management.
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Author(s): Atul Kaushik Anghesom Ambesajir Jeevan Jyoti Kaushik Berhane Girmay
Alternative medicines, antivenom, herbal compounds, snake bites