Medicinal Uses

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Every 25 seconds someone will have

a coronary event. There are many treatments for blood pressure and heart disease like balloon \

angioplasty and stenting, bypass surgery, and Snake venom.

Balloon Angioplasty

Balloon Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that involves

ejecting a very balloon tipped catheter into either the groin or

arm to enlarge narrowing arteries due to plaque build up. Once

the balloon tipped catheter is blown up in the plaque buildup a

metal stent is then put in to hold the balloon catheter in place.

Coronary Artery Bypass surgery

Coronary artery bypass surgery is the most common type of open-heart surgery that doctors do

to date. This surgery involves taking part of a vein from either the leg or the chest and creating

an alternative path for the blood to travel.

Snake Venom

Yes, you heard right, snake venom has been used as a treatment for heart disease for many

years. The Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake possesses venom like many other snakes. In its

venom it has a unique chemical called "eptifibatide". This

chemical stops the blood from clotting and allows the blood to

flow more freely. They use this chemical in their venom to kill

their prey.


Although it is used as a killing chemical by snakes eptifibatide

is now saving lives. This natural blood thinner is useful to patients with high blood pressure. It

does this by reducing the number of platelets that are usually used for clotting blood in scraps,

and other types of abrasions blot clots. This is very helpful for conditions like heart disease,

because if you have plaque in your arteries the heart does not have to work as hard because the

blood is much thinner. Commonly referred to as a drug called ‘Integrilin’, is a more natural

solution to heart disease than angioplasty or bypass surgery. Because of this Integrilin and other

blood thinners have become very popular in cultures where heart disease is very prominent.

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