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Bothrops jararacaBothrops jararaca

PIT VIPER

 

Venom from this South American pit viper has two uses -- to make an antidote for its bite, and as a source of the enzyme teprotide, which has been used to investigate high blood pressure.

 

Like other pit vipers, this South American snake is not only venomous but quick to attack. It can grow to an alarming 130 cm (4 ft) long and is easily camouflaged in its grassland habitat by its olive-brown markings. It is extremely poisonous and therefore used medicinally to make an antidote for its own venom.

 

PARTS USED

Venom.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Antivenin; teprotide.

 

ACTIONS

Lowers blood pressure.

 

MEDICINAL USE

A synthetic teprotide has been used in orthodox medicine to investigate high blood pressure. The venom is used to make an antidote.

 

PREPARATIONS

Injections.

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