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Echinacea for venomous snake bites  RSS feed

 
Joshua Parke
Posts: 117
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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Here's my experience using echinacea for some rattlesnake bites.  From the research I've done, echinacea is effective for all venomous bites.  Brown recluse, black widow, hobo...there are probably a few other stories that were shared.  But I'm going to share my experience with rattlesnake bites.


Two days ago my horse was bit by a rattlesnake.  Actually, both of my horses were bitten, but only one of them had any real swelling.  The second horse that had been bitten must of had a “dry” bite, because the first horse who was bitten took all the venom.  He swelled up considerably, and my filly who had the dry bite had very minor swelling. <—I’ve been medicating both of them, but he gets most all of the doses throughout the day.

Two mornings ago I awoke, and the first thing I do is go outside and feed my horses.  There was no noticeable swelling at this time.  After feeding them I go to work on my property, a few hours later I get back to my domicile and my boy was at the water, he turned and knickers at me and I saw it….the right side of his muzzle was swollen to the size of a large pomelo, “…the size of a very LARGE grapefruit…”.  I knew instantly what it was, so I go to my herb cupboard and get out the echinacea tincture.  I began dosing him every 30 minutes for the first two hours.  And I think I started out with 18 droppers full, then tapered to an average of 9 droppers full throughout the day.  I gave a dose every hour.  The first four doses were mixed with half a melon in the blender.  Then the rest of the first day I was soaking hay cube cookies in water mixed with the echinacea tincture.  The cookies would absorb the echinacea water.  I was using 18 droppers full in the hay cubes and splitting the doses between my horses.  By the end of the first day the swelling had reduced by at least half.

Day two, I began giving the tincture mixed into a watery fruit smoothie.  The bite is on his upper lip, just barely on the inside of his mouth.  And there was some tissue that was turning dark so I wanted to get echinacea directly on the bite area to stop any formation of necrotic tissue.  So I figured that the watery smoothie would be better than soaked hay cubes.  This worked excellent, and by the end of the second day the swelling had reduced by 80-85% and the dark looking tissue that goes necrotic began to recede considerably.  I was giving a dose every hour, but I had to run to town to pick up more tincture, and he didn’t get a dose for roughly 4 hours.

Day three, this morning.  It’s been 48 hours since the bite and the swelling is reduced by probably 90-95%.  I’m going to continue to give watery smoothies with echinacea throughout the day.  I have enough tincture to last through the day but will probably be driving to town again to pickup some more.

As of right now I’ve used 7oz of tincture, and I plan on giving at least two more 1oz bottles today.  The snake was a small one, and if you don’t know, the small ones tend to release the most venom because they haven’t yet developed much control over their venom flow while biting, so I’ve been told.  So my horse ended up with a full tank of venom into his lip.  And my filly didn’t get hardly any...probably just the residual venom on the fangs.


Last year my dog was bit by a rattlesnake…also on the lip.  I didn’t know about echinacea at the time so I took him to the vet for the antivenin.  That night while he was at the vets I began researching, and that’s where I learned of echinacea….and all the dangers of going the allopathic route.  I guess that giving the antivenin has a high percentage of being fatal.  When I picked him up the next day he was SEVERELY drugged up…I was quite concerned.  I took him home and threw away the drugs they gave me.  I immediately began giving him tincture sandwiched in raw ground beef every hour.  I think I used two 1oz bottles and may have opened a third throughout two-three days.  For him the swelling was drastically reduced by the first day, and by the morning of the third day the swelling was completely gone, and all of the dark tissue that goes necrotic had diminished.  Plus I didn’t feed him his normal meals, the only thing he was eating had been the tincture sandwiched in meat.  Fasting aids in recovery quite considerably, but I needed to get the tincture in him somehow.

The most common thing I hear from people in the area who’ve had animals bitten by snakes is how much necrotic tissue forms and how long it takes before their animal is showing any signs of recovery.  I often hear of dogs at 6 weeks out still suffering from a bite…and yes I tell them of echinacea.  I’ve only had one person actually take my advice…and their dog was recovering by day three….they didn’t administer with the frequency I kept suggesting.  By the second or third day, they understood….and they began giving it more frequently…but still no where near as much as I kept recommending.  And they were afraid of putting the tincture on the bite mark because it may sting a little….I tried to say that the venom in their tissue was causing way more pain than a little sting from some alcohol tincture would cause….yet they were still concerned.  They left town on day four or five after the bite.  The dog was getting much better, but still recovering.  This bite was on the lower leg, by a big snake, with multiple bites.


Some important things about administering the echinacea.  It’s a very mild herb, so you can use a LOT of it.  The proper way to administer it is with frequency instead of just quantity.  Give frequent doses instead of just one or a couple of large doses.  I started off giving a dose every thirty minutes, then I give a dose every hour….except while I’m sleeping.  If you can also get the echinacea directly on the bite mark…do it, it will put medicine localized directly where needed.  Echinacea is an herb to use as needed instead of constantly.  If you use it only in cases where it’s needed then it will be very effective, but if you use it every day as a “preventative” it won’t be very effective when the time comes that you actually NEED it.  <—no experience with that statement, just something I’ve read.

My timer has gone off about ten minutes ago….so if the post is all jumbled and a little confusing, I haven’t had time to go through and clean it up a bit…but I think it makes enough sense.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2839
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Excellent post Joshua, Phila'waye (thank you) for this informative post.

Tincture of Echinacea is wonderful stuff and good for all venomous bites.

Want to make your own Tincture of Echinacea?

What you need:
1. 1 quart mason jar with lid and ring
2. Enough chopped Echinacea to half fill the mason jar to the rim (this is stems, leaves, flowers, root)
3. 1 full bottle of vodka (you can also use moonshine but the vodka is fine for making tinctures)

How to make it:

Stuff mason jar with chopped stems, leaves, root and flowers to the mid point of the jar. Pour vodka over the Echinacea to fill the mason jar. Place jar lid on and screw the ring on.
Set in semi- dark place (kitchen cabinet or top of refrigerator) once a day give the bottle a rock or roll then place back in place.
Repeat last step daily for 4-6 weeks.
Place filter paper or real cheese cloth into strainer placed over a wide mouth mason jar, pour the tincture vodka through and bottle up into the size bottles you want to store it in.
discard the spent Echinacea in your compost heap.

There you have it, a potent tincture of Echinacea.

Redhawk
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1235
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Joshua, great information.  I had no idea.

Redhawk, any idea how long the tincture lasts after being bottled, or the best way to store it?  Rattlesnakes are uncommon here, but I know of people being bitten by venomous spiders and the brown recluse bites can have pretty major side effects.  I lost a friend that was bitten on the leg by one.  I would love to have some on hand for emergencies.
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1235
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I am going to keep my lips away from tall grass and brush piles.


Aren't you the guy that pees outside a lot? 

Just a thought.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2839
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
233
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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I fill 2 oz. dropper bottles (brown glass) to the rim and the caps have a PTFE sealing liner. The tincture last a year at full potency when stored in a dark, cool place. You can always use a small box in your refrigerator for dark, cold storage which would extend the shelf life even further.
It works on all venomous snake bites including copperhead, all rattlesnakes, and cottonmouth snake bites, black widow, brown recluse and the guy that taught me how to make it used it on Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) bites in Arizona.

Like Joshua mentioned the way to use it is hourly and use more than you think you might need. (it is hard to overdose)

Be sure the vodka is at least 80 proof (40%) I usually use moonshine and proof it down to 85 (small tight beads) but that's because I have easy access to the moonshine.

Redhawk
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Todd Parr wrote:
Dale Hodgins wrote:I am going to keep my lips away from tall grass and brush piles.


Aren't you the guy that pees outside a lot? 

Just a thought.


Yes, most of my pee strikes the ground directly or is poured from a Starbucks cup, that was filled while I'm in a vehicle. My signature used to say, "The world is my living room and urinal."
.........
This reminds me of the joke about the two friends who are out hiking, when one is bitten in that area. When the doctor tells him what must be done, the friend on the phone tells the other that he is going to die, unless they can get him to San Francisco really quickly.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Interesting. I would like to have some reasearch backing this up or for which venomous snakes echinacea works.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2839
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
233
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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Here you go Angelika, there are others out there if you do a search for Studies on effectiveness of Echinacea.

The NIH has done a few studies. as has the Maryland Medical Center.
They recommend small doses many times per day as the way to take it.

NIH: "The medicinal value of phytochemicals contained in Echinacea is clearly evident and indicates that these agents, as well as phytochemicals not yet discovered in other herbs, may be valuable tools to combat tumors.
The use of Echinacea as another natural cancer treatment is now being recommended, literally, “alongside — or indeed in place of — conventional therapy".
Can help with uveitis, or eye inflammation. It’s a good idea for people who struggle with chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis to regularly consume the herbal tea.
Echinacea angustifolia is the recommended species to help with the specific ailments related to ADD/ADHD; Anxiety, Depression, Social phobias.

Published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the University of Connecticut performed a meta-analysis study that evaluated 14 studies and determined that:
• Echinacea cuts the chances of catching a common cold by 58 percent.
• Echinacea reduces the duration of the common cold by almost one-and-a-half days.
Craig Coleman, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and lead author of the study: “The take home message from our study is that echinacea does indeed have powerful cold prevention and cold treatment benefits.” As I’ve discovered, it’s one of several effective natural cold remedies.
According to Dr. Coleman,
The significance of that finding becomes clear when you consider Americans suffer from one billion colds annually and spend about $1.5 billion annually for doctor’s visits and another $2 billion annually on non-prescription cough and cold treatments.

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that the immune system seems to be strongly influenced by the level of the echinacea dose. It appears that 10 milligrams of echinacea per one kilogram of body weight, taken daily over a 10-day period, is effective as an immune system stimulant.
In addition, the medical journal Hindawi has published material suggesting that echinacea stops viral colds. However, the most significant results of echinacea benefits with regards to the immune system were the effects when used on recurring infections.

Echinacea purpurea was used by the Great Plains Indians as a painkiller.
It’s especially effective for the following types of pain:
Pain in the bowels
Pain associated with headaches
Pain associated with HSV (Herpes)
Pain associated with gonorrhea
Pain associated with measles
Snake bites
Sore throats
Stomach ache
Tonsillitis
Toothache
Some common ways to use echinacea to combat pain is to drink the herbal tea, or even make a paste out of the ground herb and rub it directly on the area that is affected.

In a paper prepared by Armando González Stuart, PhD, about herbal safety, it describes how echinacea has been used by various Native American tribes to treat:
Arthropod bites
Eczema
Inflammatory skin conditions
Psoriasis
Snakebite
Skin infections
Stings
Wound healing
It can also be used to regenerate skin.


I have many more studies on file but this should be fairly convincing for most folks.

Each of the different varieties of the Cone Flower (all are Echinacea) are used by my people for different ailments, we have used this herb for 2,000 years (most reports published state 400 years).
Forms we use are: tincture (started in the mid 1800's), tea, paste, salve, oil (started in mid 1700's), and extract (soak chopped up parts in water then strain and reduce).
All parts of the plant are used but not in every instance. The root is used for paste, tincture, salve and extract along with the entire top part of the plant, the flowers and stem/leaves make teas.
Sometimes only the root is ground into the paste for application to skin wounds.

Redhawk
 
Joshua Parke
Posts: 117
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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just an update.....

I used probably 17oz of tincture total.  It took roughly 5-6 days before nearly all the swelling was gone. It was probably day 6 that I stopped giving doses so frequently, but I still gave maybe 4 doses per day, and it was on the 9th day that I stopped giving any doses. The formation of dark necrotic tissue I've read about and seen pictures of was virtually non-existent.  On the first day, there was necrotic tissue forming, but those first doses pretty much stopped it in its tracks and it began receding just as quickly as the swelling went down.  By day two I'm guessing, I didn't notice any of the dark tissue anymore.  On day two I took a 1 liter bottle and poked a tiny hole in the lid then I filled it half full with water and put probably 1oz of tincture in there.  Then I would use the fine stream and hold my horses head low and I would gently squirt a stream onto his lip/bite mark.  It was a little bit of a hassle to do this without a halter, so I didn't do it a whole lot, maybe only 6-8 times, I still have probably half the water left.
 
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