Marine, air breathing reptiles with a potent neurotoxic and myotoxic venom responsible for many deaths world-wide - although there are no documented deaths in Australia. They are usually found close to shore, or on coral reefs. They are easily distinguished from land snakes by their wide, flattened tail which is used for swimming, and from eels by their lack of gills. Fortunately, despite having a potent venom, when they bite they inject venom in only some 20% of cases.... Dictionary of Tropical Medicine
Most snake bites are by nonvenomous species. Venomous snakes are found mainly in the tropics; the only species native to the is the adder.
The effects of a venomous bite depend on the species and size of the snake, the amount of venom injected, and the age and health of the victim. A bite from an adder or other viper typically causes immediate pain and swelling at the site, followed by dizziness and nausea, a drop in blood pressure, an increase in heart-rate, and internal bleeding.
Antibiotic drugs and tetanus antitoxin injections are given for all bites to prevent infection and tetanus.
An injection of antivenom is also given for a venomous bite.
With prompt treatment, most victims recover completely.... BMA Medical Dictionary
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: An inconspicuous but fragrant little plant not more than 35 cms high with a hairy stem, two glossy, kidney-shaped leaves and a creeping rootstock. The solitary bell-shaped flower is brownish purple, and creamy white inside.
DISTRIBUTION: Native to North America, especially North Carolina, Kansas and Canada. The oil is produced in the USA mainly from wild-growing plants.
OTHER SPECIES: It should not be confused with ‘serpentaria oil’ from the Virginian snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria) which belongs to the same botanical family but contains asarone and is considered toxic.
HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION: This plant has been employed for centuries in folk medicine but is now little prescribed. It used to be used for chronic chest complaints, dropsy, rheumatism and painful bowel and stomach spasms. It was also considered a ‘valuable stimulant in cases of amenorrhoea and colds’ and for ‘promoting a copious perspiration’. .
The name (of the Virginian variety at least) derives from its use in aiding the body to combat nettle rash, poison ivy and some snake bites.
EXTRACTION: Essential oil by steam distillation from the dried rhizomes and crushed roots.
CHARACTERISTICS: A brownish-yellow or amber liquid with a warm, woody-spicy, rich, gingerlike odour. It blends well with bergamot, costus, oakmoss, patchouli, pine needle, clary sage, mimosa, cassie and other florals.
PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS: Pinene, linalol, borneol, terpineol, geraniol, eugenol and methyl eugenol, among others.
SAFETY DATA: Non-toxic, non-irritant, nonsensitizing. Avoid during pregnancy.
AROMATHERAPY/HOME: USE May possibly be used for its antispasmodic qualities, for example for period pains or indigestion.
OTHER USES: Occasionally used in perfumery work. Mainly used as a flavouring agent with other spicy materials, especially in confectionery.... The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils