Learning, Healing, and Breathing Deeply How I Got A Venomous Snake Bite, Treated It At Home, and Lived To Tell The Tale (Part 2)

Marjory on Crutches with Snake Bite

The Intense Pain of a Copperhead Bite

The pain was becoming loud, and it was filling up the room and bouncing off the walls. I began writhing on the living room rug. I sprawled this way and that, pinned down invisibly by my snake bitten left foot.

I was groaning and for a brief moment Dave’s face loomed over me. His mouth was set in a line and his eyes studied me, searching for something. I heard him rush back to the office where my daughter was still watching the video. I could hear their voices, my daughter Kimber, occasionally Dave, and mostly Doug Simons as he explained in the video how traditional medicine worked. Their sounds came to me mixed in with the loudness of the pain.

I couldn’t understand what they were saying.

I didn’t care.

In Case You Missed It: Read Part 1 Here

Following Familiar Guidance

And then suddenly in the middle of the pain and the roaring in my ears, I felt a quiet calm presence that joined with me. This presence was I, but not I. She was someone very familiar, very wise.

She pointed out that since I was writhing on the floor, why didn’t I just go with it and proactively stretch my body?

I hadn’t been to yoga in a few weeks and I was pretty stiff.

It seemed like a good idea.

So I started to stretch and move my body ahead of the pain. I stretched like I do on glorious, lazy Sunday mornings when I just take up the whole bed and twist and reach and move everything.

It felt good.

Really good.

Stretching with the Pain

As long as I kept it up there was only the familiar release of muscles stretching. Pain yes, but a familiar pain, an easy pain. A good pain.

She calmly explained that there were new elements of reality that would come with this venom, and I needed to be flexible.

Now when I say she ‘explained’ – it wasn’t like I was hearing any words. Or seeing visions of anyone. I just had a strong sense that this was true. And the words I am writing are my best attempt to explain what I ‘understood’ at the time.

Read more: Treating Infections without Antibiotics

My Surprise Spiritual Experience

There are many spiritual traditions and mystery schools that have a name for this kind of encounter; your higher self, guardian angle, or spirit guide are a few commonly used names.

I didn’t see anyone, or hear any words. I just ‘knew’ things that are not a normal part of what I know.

I suppose you should always have some caution when dealing with this other layer of reality, as other beings may not necessarily have your best interests in mind.

But the suggestion to stretch had been a good one.

To an external observer, it may have appeared that I was flailing about on the floor. But internally, I was doing some really aggressive stretching.

Whatever. It was a good thing.

The Purging Begins

I did this for a time and then I felt my gut start to tremble.

The calm presence let me know that my body could not afford to waste any resources on digesting the food I had eaten earlier and it would have to go.

“Kimber, will you get me a big bowl please?”

She brought the big stainless steel bowl from the kitchen. I got up on my left elbow, leaned over the bowl, and retched.

The calm presence told me to breathe deeply.

I hadn’t realized that while I was vomiting I was holding my breath.

I breathed deeply through my nose down to my root and was surprised to find how much more easily the contents of my stomach came up.

Then for a moment, I forgot to breath, tightening involuntarily again and the retching was a painful struggle again.

“Breathe,” the calm presence reminded me.

I did, and again it felt miraculously easier.

In my life I’ve had a few episodes of vomiting for one reason or another. And while this time wasn’t exactly pleasant, it was the easiest time I’ve ever had of it.

I rested for a while, surprised at this new insight.

Kimber took the bowl away, emptied it somewhere, and brought it back rinsed clean.

I went through two more long rounds of vomiting.

Accepting Change and Respecting the Snake

There was a pause here where I connected with the calm presence. I’ll write it as best as I understand it, but again, it was not communicated in words or images. Just through direct understanding.

She told me that the venom of a snake is an important gift. If honored properly, it would mean big changes in my life. Most people are afraid of major changes, and that is the underlying cause of the deep fear many people have around snakes.

Unfortunately she didn’t have any specifics on just what changes would occur, or exactly how I should honor the venom (although that would come later). I suppose the vagueness of the message is the problem with these kinds of encounters.

But it was very reassuring and it helped me to relax into this whole process.

I had to agree with her that snakes have a really bad reputation that is largely undeserved. Adam and Eve immediately spring to mind whenever anyone says ‘snake.’ And that story didn’t exactly have a happy ending.

The Purging Continues

Physical reality came rushing back in with a new rudeness. I discovered the contents of my colon had liquefied and needed to be released immediately. It came out violently. Dave barely got me to the bathroom in time.

The convulsions for this release also came in waves over a period of time. The calm presence told me that this too was simply a part of the process. Like the contents of my stomach, what was in my bowels had to be gotten rid of. My body needed to focus resources on healing and not on processing waste.

When this part was finished it was well into the night. Dave helped me to bed. I lay down with the poultice sloshing around my foot and a pillow under my knee. The pain was just a throb down there. A very manageable 1 or 2 on the pain scale.

My body was empty.

Completely drained.

The Deepest Breathing and The Slightest Stretch

And then I felt the calm presence again. I understood that the way to honor the venom was to re-learn to breathe deeply as an everyday, ‘all the time’ thing. Yes, yes everyone takes a deep breath when they are stressed, and it is almost a joke to tell someone to take a deep breath when a situation starts to get out of hand. But seriously, if I would take on the challenge of actually breathing deeply as part of every moment of my life, many good changes would come.

She suggested I wear a bracelet. Every time I saw or touched the bracelet I should remind myself to breathe deeply. The bracelet could be of any material; it could be plain or colorful, simple or ornate, a gift or purchased. It didn’t really matter. The bracelet’s primary function is to trigger a reminder to breathe deeply.

And in the mornings for a few minutes before I get out of bed, I should stretch like I had earlier that night. Nothing too crazy. It could be done gently enough not to waken Dave if he were sleeping next to me. Just a few minutes worth would be beneficial. Like a cat awakening from sleep.

Both of these suggestions made a lot of sense to me. Practical and simple, yet, I could see that there would be profound benefits. I promised myself, and ‘her'(?) that I would do these things and work to make them habitual.

And soon after that I was fast asleep.

 

The Morning After My Venomous Snake Bite

I awoke late the next morning; my foot swollen and my mouth very dry.

Dave got me some water and I gingerly began to drink. We opened up the wrapping on my foot, wondering what my foot would look like. Dave joked that the prickly pear had slow cooked through the night and smelled delicious.

It actually did smell good, and I am not sure he was completely joking.

Overall, the swelling was slowly going down.

He applied a fresh poultice to my foot, with new wrappings.

Snake bite - comparison of swollen foot to regular foot the first morning after poulticing

Snake bite – comparison of swollen foot to regular foot the first morning after poulticing

Reapplying the Poultice and Follow Up Care

To make one poultice Dave told me he needed at least two big cactus pads. Each pad was about 10″ or more in diameter and about 3/4″ thick.

I slept a lot that day. I wasn’t that hungry and I ate sparingly. To help rehydrate, I drank a lot of water, herbal teas, and some green juices.

The pair of crutches we keep by the medical kit came in very handy. I hobbled over to the office and did a bit of work on the computer. But mostly I stayed in bed, reading and sleeping.

There was no more vomiting, diarrhea, or even that much pain. My foot was swollen and it was tender. But there really wasn’t that much to say about it.

We kept the foot poulticed the entire day; changing it twice during the day and once more before I went to bed for the night.

Read more: The Medicine Your Grandmother Used

The Second Morning – Sweet Relief

The following morning I felt much, much better. We took the poultice off for a few hours and I could walk with only a bit of stiffness. I had Kimber drive the riding lawn mower over to the house and I used that to get around and do my chores.

We have a project where we are growing out 120 chickens for meat. These chickens were not the usual heritage breeds I normally work with, but Cornish rock crosses. “Franken birds,” they are somewhat unnatural creatures and I am having to really adjust my systems to accommodate them. We had been having some unusual die offs, which I think were due to the heat. But regardless, I was worried about them, and I was glad to be getting back to work.

I came back to the house and we poulticed my foot for the day. But other than a few extra naps I was mostly back to my normal life.

We had intended to poultice the foot that night, but I never got around to it. And by the following morning, other than a bit of residual swelling and some tenderness, I was essentially as good as usual. The foot was only slightly swollen. I had a meeting in Austin, and the swelling was down so that I comfortably wore a pair of shoes that were normally a bit big for me.

Snake bite - second morning after swelling goes down

Snake bite – second morning after swelling goes down

Looking Back on My Snake Bite Experience

What factors do I think went into this being a story with a happy ending? I think there were five key things that were in place.

First, I prepared ahead of time by being familiar with the snakes of my area, and their potential for injury. And I had a plan for what to do in case of being bitten.

Second, I have used traditional medicine for many years. I am familiar with many medicines and I know the process for using them. I have used traditional medicines on several other injuries, both big and small, and I trust myself to use them well.

Third, I have a good sense of knowing what I can handle, and when I should call for outside help (as in going to the hospital). And yes, knowing that there is the medical system as a backup plan is reassuring.

Fourth, I have a strong immune system from years of eating good food, exercising, and taking care of myself. I trust my body to heal.

And most importantly, my family is very supportive and was willing to help with my care. Also, as in many families, I am the one with most of the medical skills, so having the instructional video for them to watch was very useful.

Snake bite - 7 days later all the swelling completely gone

Snake bite – 7 days later all the swelling completely gone

Seek Treatment for a Venomous Snake Bite Right Away

I am writing my story as an example of how you can be prepared and handle an emergency situation. But let’s be clear; if you get bitten by a snake, and you want to try and handle it yourself, you need to have all of the important pieces in place ahead of time. Please don’t think you can just wing it. The statistics for the low number of deaths from venomous snakebites are because people seek treatment right away.

I hope this story empowers you to start taking some of those steps. Get to know the possible dangers in your area – what snakes, spiders, or venomous insects share the Earth with you? Start using traditional medicine on small injuries to gain experience and confidence. And work on improving your general health, especially your immune system.

And do you know what the best way to do that is? Start growing your own food! 🙂

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Marjory


Contributor

Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of "homegrown food on every table." Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her "Grow Your Own Groceries" video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.


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82 Comments
  • Allen Busiek

    Marjorie,

    We’ve got lots of Copperheads in southwest MO, and I killed 4 last year at our 50 acre “homestead to be” in Webster County.

    I’ve heard numerous anecdotal stories of people treating venomous snakebites using stun guns or similar devices in order to pass an electrical current thru the envenomated area – purportedly neutralizing the venom.

    Did you consider this method of treatment – or have you heard credible stories supporting or refuting it?

    Thanks,

    AB (also BSEE)
    Springfield MO

    • Hi Allen, Oh so good to hear from you. I remember us meeting in Springfiels at Vince’s event.
      No, I didn’t think about the electrical shock thing. I have heard of it, but I don’t know much about the success of it. Personally, I also tend to go for the much lower tech ways. Ha, ha, I do have a degree in electrical engineering… but prefer using the plants medicine.
      Hey, so glad to hear from you.

      • Char

        How about using a tens unit to get the electricity into the area?

        • r.book

          The danger of using an electrical current right away is due to Electrophoresis, possibly drawing the venom into the interior of cells. Best to wait until you’ve had time to excrete the venom, and then treat any pain or disability with electricity.

  • Peter Bigfoot of Arizona recommends using a tincture internally of plantain, echinacea, and cimicifuga for snakebite. I know it works because I have used it on a dog who was bitten in the face by a rattlesnake. It was a service dog so they brought her to the vet. After the usual western medicine treatment the dog was sent home. The owner was told it would take two weeks for the swelling to go down. With the tincture it took five days.

    • desert dweller

      I am also in Arizona and we have a dirty little snake called a “Mohave Green” that is NASTY! I am not sure anyone could or should try self treatment with this booger?

    • Hi Judith,

      Oh Peter Bigfoot is quite a knowledgeable healer. I run across him every year when I go to WinterCOunt in Mesa, AZ. I hear his farm is amazing.

      SOunds like you’ve got another great method for dealing with snake bites.

  • You can find Peter Bigfoot at http://www.reevismountain.org. He has lots of personal experiences with snakebites.

  • Thank you. I have been waiting for your follow-up. I’m so glad this had a happy ending. I’m not afraid of snakes/snake bites anymore.

    It’s a miracle that we are able to take care of ourselves. Too much of our power and heritage has been taken from us by the “authorities.” Schools are not teaching much of anything worthwhile. Thank God I had the boy scouts to teach me loads of useful stuff. Be prepared has been my moto for my whole life.

    • Hi Tony, Yes, it is a miracle that we can take care of ourselves. In fact mostly meant to… For breaks, wounds, and body part replacements western medicine is quite amazing. (and a few other things too). But yes, collectively we have given up too much of our own power.

  • Terri Powers

    Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you are doing so well. Please keep up with all the great information you provide. It is very helpful.

    • Hi Terry,

      I went through a year or so where I was working behind the scenes to build the business. We have enough in place now that I can have some more time to contribute to the blog again. Whew, isn’t Anthony the TGN videographer awesome with all those new YT videos?

  • Christopher

    Great story, inspirational. After 4 years in and out of hospital getting treatment for leukaemia, I also came realise we have all the tools and knowledge for healing inside us. Once again, it was a great read and sounds like it was a positive experience for you and yours.

    All the best.

    • Hi Christopher,

      There is a country song that says something about how he was glad for the pain because he didn’t want to miss the dance. I feel like that. It was an amazing experience.

    • “mi darebbe più fastidio raccontare dei fatti miei in pubblico, … scandalizzarmi perchè uno di questi mi ha rovinato il piano di miglioramento finanziario che poteva funzionare solo se il nome fosse rimasto *s8r1eto*,&#e22g;Per sophie: ti faccio notare solo che stai accusando Lia di una cosa chiamata ricatto, che ha anche una rilevanza penale. O puoi produrre prove di quello che dici, (ossia che Lia abbia minacciato Piccardo di rivelare pubblicamente le sue magagne), oppure te e Miguel rischiate una querela.PaoloB

  • Terrific article! Really enjoyed both instalments.

    • Hi Heath,

      Thanks so much. I appreciate your feedback… you know, sometimes I just don’t know what people think.

  • Emily C.

    Im a beginner on this path of self sufficiency, so growing my own food and medicine feels daunting at times, but reading this story with a happy ending and other articles in the Grow Network, I feel inspired and empowered to work the little piece of land that is in my care. Thank you.

    • Emily! I am so heartened by your comment. Yes, that is the point of this whole thing. To inspire a bit more.

  • Nancy Swartzbaugh

    Glad that we don’t have poisonous snakes here. We have other problems like ticks, deer fly, black fly, horse fl, spiders and no-see-ums. Their bites can be painful and itchy. Even thou we live up north my mom had a prickly pear cactus that grew outside with no problem with our cold winter. Glad to see it had some medicinal properties.

    • Hi Nancy, Oh that is awesome to hear about prickly pear living so far norht. The webinar with Doug Simons also had several people writing in from Ohio, and further north saying that they too are growing it in the regions.

  • Anita Franklin

    Marjory, I really, REALLY appreciate you sharing your “fangtastic” experience with us! Glad you are on the mend and back to taking care of your farm and family.

    Now about this new word “fangtastic.” I say “fangtastic’ you endured a poison snake bite situation and turned it into a profoundly positive spiritually/physical healing experience. I love this post! I think it is FAN(G)TASTIC! Marjory, this one post does double duty in how it educates on natural snake bite treatment…and it could save lives. This post was worth a numb butt sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for Part 2… =D

    Like you, I am the key player for getting homegrown food on our table. If I am out of commission for even a short while, the gardening chores won’t get done. While I Love the barefoot/hand gardening…I really do NOT want to deal with more bites. I wear shoes, gloves and carry a short handle hoe to move my plants before I reach into them.

    My natural medicine cabinet contains a LOT of essential oils that I use for most medical type situations. We also have quite a large assortment of plants that I can grab like plantain, mullein and jewel weed to help with immediate situations for bites and stings.

    • Hi Anita,

      Was just thinking of you the other day (still wondering about advertising on Amazon… LOL). I hope your business is going well.
      Fangtastic! I love it.

  • Martha G

    So glad you’re back to normal. Good instructional story but sorry you had to deal with so much pain. It makes me want to learn some home remedies. I appreciated the photos as they brought more clarity. The spiritual experience also really interested me. Thanks for including it.

    • Hi Martha,

      Pain is just pain, the beauty of this was the connection to this new source of wisdom. You can get to doing more for yourself. Take little steps.

  • David

    I wondered how a copperhead venom could be beneficial, other than what you learned by surviving the experience. According to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agkistrodon_contortrix it mentions, “The venom of the southern copperhead has been found to hold a protein called “contortrostatin” that halts the growth of cancer cells in mice and also stops the migration of the tumors to other sites.” Who knows! There may be something to it!

    • Wow David, thank you for that link. That bite could possibly have been a prevention of cancer? Well, I feel even luckier.

  • Charlene from Tennessee

    I don’t want to be the person who reads, profits, and doesn’t leave a comment. Thank you, Marjorie, for helping me know my own limits and possibilities.

    • Hi Charlene,
      Thank you so much for leaving a note.

      • Martha Trahan

        I have used msm powder for snakebites on my dogs…i once heard david “avocado” wolfe tell a story about how someone he knew was bitten by a poisonous snake while on a hike and the msm saved his life. So i bought some just to have it around. One was bitten on the tongue and was so swollen i didnt know what had happened but made a bowl of water and threw in the msm and basically drowned him with it…called my husband to come home…my husband got there and said there is nothing wrong with the dog??? Had i lost my mind? It took 10 minutes for him to get there and the swelling was gone. Another dog was bitten on the face and poor thing couldnt see from the swelling…i washed his face with the msm and in 15 minutes the swelling was gone…i can tell you lots of these stories….i wont be without my msm crystal powder. I recommend it to everyone who lives in the country.

        • Nancy

          What exactly is msm powder, please? Did you make it into a paste to apply? Please,
          more detail. THANKS>

  • mary bingham

    Excellent ! I discovered your network when you had Michelle Small Wright [Perelandra] on for a guest speaker. I have been useing her flower essence and other formulas for years. Did you have any on hand [like Emergency Trauma Solution] when this snake bite occurred?

    • Hi Mary,

      Oh I really love Machaelles work.
      No, I didn’t have any of those on hand. I was using the rose drops for a while and I love that. Probably should go get some more… 🙂

      You know it really is funny how you respond in the heat of the situation.

  • I so enjoyed this wonderfully informative and inspiring article. Thank you for demonstrating that, while it is important to prepare for such experiences on the physical level, it’s just as important not to judge them and surrender to what is happening when they do occur. What a great example of “going with the flow”, trusting in the wisdom of the body/mind and not letting the excruciating pain take over. What strength! What spiritual insight! What a gift to us all.

  • Well done! I’m so glad everything is back to normal and I appreciate you sharing your story. ❤️

  • Cat Lyddon

    One question I did have regarding treating with home based medicine. Do you have any reason not to use anti-venom or to stock it, since you are in an area where working outside so much ( and barefoot) you re at risk for snake and scorpion bite.

    If one did not have green police ingredients could you use oatmeal or something a suburban home might have on hand?

  • Karen L. Haynes

    Hi Marjory — so glad you are almost over this ordeal! Quite an undertaking! With your knowledge of natural and herbal remedies, what would you suggest to do or use in case of a black or brown (NOT the recluse) widow bite. I see more brown widow spiders than I do the black or red. We live in Florida and I am always finding them outside, under chairs, in plants, etc. They come out more at night. I want to be prepared. Thank you,
    Karen

  • David

    A wonderfully insightful article set…on many levels.

    I loved the “five factors.” Just “wow.”

    Beautiful display of insights, wisdom and confidence, especially to those of us who cautiously forge ahead on our self-reliance journey.

    And just the totality of the event: the presence of mind to know how to handle this (or, even, to NOT handle it yourselves, if appropriate); the ability to hear and respond positively to “her”; trusting yourself enough with the knowledge to do this; “prepping” for such an event; the proper application of these non-Western (if I may say it that way) methodologies. And then to artfully share it with others.

    God’s creation, the body, is truly a wonderful thing. This experience, at least to me, speaks so strongly to this fact.

    Truly one of the most insightful and instructive things I’ve read in a long time. Thank you.

  • Lea

    I am on a gut healing journey right now, and can see why, in situations like this, being able to know and trust your “gut” is an invaluable part of this kind of life. When our kids get hurt, the first question my husband and I ask each other is, “What is your gut feeling?” And empowering ourselves with knowledge as you have is the critical to survival in any emergency whether we have to use medical services or treat them ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

  • Good story & real life example.

    Couple of questions:

    1 – Which kind of snake bit you? If you have cactus I assume rattle snake? (type of venom question)
    (I use to live on the edge of the desert in So. Cal, lots of interesting critters & bugs as a kid, stung by a scorpion once Lots of prickly pairs & other, get a drink when we needed it). Here is my comment that should translate into marketing for what you are doing.

    I live in the NW. No cactus unless ornamental garden. What would I do with east of the cascades with snake bite in the woods. We grow aloe in houses here but what would I do in woods?

    Here is a hint I ran into years ago. East Indians have a “stone” that portends to save lives from venomous snakes (bad guys). I have not identified it yet. Looked into Ayurvedic but not there yet. Also know of the value of Oris root that can look like a man-made stone. Also know of diatomaceous earth, kaolin clay, other clay & the Australian aboriginals burying people up to the neck in the earth to cure them of things.

    I have run across lots of information of the earth drawing toxins out of the body (gangrene for example). The skin is the biggest organ in the body. Could something in this observation relate to snake bite in an emergency if cactus wasn’t in your environment? Good material. Hint, hint. – Dave

  • Geo

    I just came across your article. One of the best ways to treat some snake bites is using a 9 volt battery. You wet down the skin, water or spit if needed, so the current will travel across the tissue. Apply the 9 volt battery to the wet skin. If a 9 volt battery isn’t available don’t forget these power smoke detectors and can be borrowed. It’s believe the micro current changes the molecular structure of the foreign protein. Apply as needed. Don’t have an actual amount of time. 30 sec to a minute could be trialed.

    This works for spider, mosquitos, bee and other stings…

    This little trick was told to me by my dad who was told by a MD. I am not a MD, and I am not directing medical care, just sharing information.

    Always a good idea to use this on the way to the ER. I would recommend doing some research in this matter.

  • Great story Majory! Like you, after 30 years of forsaking mainstream medicine, I am prepared with multiple levels of emergency response protocols:

    When facing emergency as well as run-of-the-mill health challenges, I use muscle testing to determine what points of entry are for my highest good and in what order I should engage the tools I have on hand.

    I have eliminated Lyme (2x), West Nile Virus, H1N1, HSV, Cancer of the fallopian tube, Systemic Candidiasis (source of diabetes/arthritis/vision loss/etc), heavy metal toxicity, layers of PTSD, an interstitial mycoplasma, a subdural hematoma, massive inflammation from a sprained ankle, ER level respiratory arrest due to uruishol inhalation from poison ivy, a crippling spider bite and more….all while living alone and clawing my way (across the floor some times) to my remedies that include the following:

    *the PERELANDRA Flower Essences and Microbial Balancing solutions engaged via Machelle Small Wright’s prolific guidance on working with Nature Intelligence via the devic level. See http://www.perelandra-ltd.com

    *a powerful collection of homeopathic drainage remedies and spagyric botanicals via http://www.physicaenergetics.com Items such as Para Tox, Metal Tox, Bacteria Tox, Viru Tox Drainage Milieu, Temple Warrior, etc are life saving formulations. (The Flint Michigan ‘pundits’ like to say that lead poisoning is a fait accompli; but, so NOT TRUE! I received not one response to my emailed efforts to share holistic solutions. Guess the detox solution sounds to easy?!)

    *the foundational supplements for my blood type A, the most fragile of all the blood types, especially since I am a Non-Secretor. The blood type indicator, Non-Secretor, means that I do NOT secrete my blood type antigen over my internal organs; so, my cells don’t clear toxins easily, especially as compared to blood type O’s, the most rugged of the ABO system. For instance, Helix Plus derived from escargot (snails) turns up my immunity so high that mosquito bites have disappeared by morning….of course, if of the benign microbial deposit. LoL! For Zika, Chikungya, Dengue, a bit more effort is required by my ilk. See http://www.4yourtype.com

    *the book by Balch, PRESCRIPTIONS FOR NUTRITIONAL HEALING, is another gem that holds an array of basics to build a medicine bag tailored via muscle testing to your blood type and to your peculiar health needs.

    *the real key to all of the aforementioned options is Applied Kinesiology aka Muscle Testing aka Dowsing.
    For instruction, see Machaelle’s link as well as http://www.dowsers.org to find the American Society of Dowsing.
    I have a CD of my lecture, YOUTHFUL AGING IN A TOXIC WORLD, delivered to their 2014 Conference at University of Vermont. See http://www.greenrita.com for an outline of protocols, an integration of aforementioned masters whose knowledge is cherished and shared with others, openly and freely, as often as humanly possible.

    Dowsing allows you to target which protocols you need, what remedies, dosages and a course of administration as defined by your internal GPS. As well, you can potentize, invert and imprint your homeopathics, et al to drill down to the nucleus of your cells and/or get realigned with your genetic blueprint and/or optimize your nutrition for compatibility with your microbial and energetic terrains. As a result, the healing curve gets compressed into the realm of Supercalifragilistic Ex!

    Namaste the Day!

  • Reminds me of my brown recluse bite last fall in Tampa! Doing my research, I knew there was no anti venom, and that western medicine would fill me with horrible antibiotics that would hinder my ability to fight it. Not to mention possibly slicing it open and leaving it that way for days. I threw every natural remedy I learned of at it. Wheat grass pulp, I drank the juice, used lavender essential oil, oregano oil, and surprisingly, what helped make the most difference was raw grated potato poultice that I learned about on you tube, that two different tribes of American Indian used just for that purpose. I was lucky in that I knew enough to seek help if it had broken open, or if I had developed the red line indicating blood poisoning. The wrong thing I did was try hot bath and epsom salts. Ice is what helped more that warm water. But potato freshened a few times a day is what saw me through a very long, miserable two weeks. Wish I had known about the prickly pear. Thankfully I live in upstate NY and the spiders aren’t here a whole lot. Sure made it a miserable vacation.

  • Just noted copperhead. Skip that

  • Dear Marjorie,

    While I’m new to the Grow Network, I so appreciate what I’m learning from you and others. I know you’re a wise woman and I’m so glad you’ve recovered from the bite. There’s no question you have received something very special from the copperhead snake and its venom. It’s kind of like a mini-death experience and your surrendering to the innate wisdom that came was wise indeed. I sense that the gifts will show up in time and you may not associate them with this event, but come they will. You’ve taken a potentially dire event and turned it into gold for yourself and others here.

    Snake medicine is truly about shedding your past, the way snakes do, all at once and not looking back. In shamanic realms, snake is the great guardian of the physical world, Pachamama. She has healed me many times and held me in her coils so gently.

    Blessings to you and the good work you do.

  • Toni

    Marjory, will you please share with us the details of how your family prepared the cactus in the blender? Skin and all? No disassembling of the pads? This is good to know when speed is of the essence! Thanks.

  • Grace

    Thanks for sharing this! It really got me researching and learning more about snakebites. I live in the Southeast, and have personally seen copperheads and timber rattlers on my property. Around here, copperheads are not ‘docile’ and friendly at all. In fact, I have read that their first defense is to attack. They tend to lay still and offer no warning of their presence other than to bite. They do not move away, but prefer to strike first. I have heard numerous stories of them striking people who did nothing to provoke or touch them. A friend was walking along a road, and one bit his shoe as he walked by (they will often lay on blacktop after the sun begins to go down, for the warmth). I will shoot them if they are on my property. A Timber Rattler can cause severe pain, tissue damage and death (especially to small people and animals). Antivenin is not particularly useful for this variety of snake and often requires multiple doses, which may not even make much difference, or can even cause other complications (and let’s not even mention enormous expense). A two year old was killed by a rattler from one bite. Copperheads are also quite problematic around here. No one I know who has been bitten would ever advise being sweet to them and encouraging their presence as a resident on their property. I have personally shot several copperheads and a rattler on my property and do not have any compassion for these prolific creatures in a neighborhood, populated by lots of kids and animals, elderly folks, you name it. One of my neighbors was literally chased by a copperhead which she did not attempt to kill or provoke in any way. She had to run up her porch steps to get away from it. These are not docile snakes. Read up on it. I did. “Leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone” is a naive and potentially dangerous attitude, although this is not to say I would encourage anyone to actually approach a snake. If you have a positive i.d., and you are a safe distance away with an appropriate weapon (like a .22) then you can safely get a dangerous presence off your property instantly. These are not endangered snakes (in this area at least, they are everywhere). I had to listen to a vegan nazi tell me how bad I was for killing the rattler in my yard. A woman at the table with us informed him of the tragic loss of a little child in her neighborhood who happened to put her hand up on a rock where there was a rattlesnake. Her family will never get over the loss. Copperheads can be very dangerous to a young child as well.
    Black snakes are very useful and should always be respected, as they are natural enemies of copperheads and rattlers. Please do not kill black snakes! I am very careful to honor the nonpoisonous varieties.
    I want to thank everyone for sharing their comments. I learned a lot from reading them, including, using dc shock for snake and other poisonous bites. While controversial, there are enough anecdotal accounts to make me order a small cattle prod just for such purposes. I also have sodium bentonite clay (more drawing power than calcium bentonite) and activated charcoal on hand as well. I got some comfrey root powder, which someone said he used on a brown recluse bite that had not been successfully treated by modern medicine and he was facing possible amputation. Comfrey root poultice turned it around right away. If I were snake-bit, I would be inclined to self-treat as well, at least initially. I am considering carrying clay, and other snakebite first-aid remedies in my vehicle as well.

  • Marjory, thanks for this interesting article, glad you pulled through. I joined the lab today to start my education on growing my own food, and medicines. I live in KY on a 100 acre farm, and plan to eventually be 100% off grid. This article along with copperheads here, and a very long distance to a hospital has given me reason to learn more about herbal medicine, and treatments.

    James

  • Mike Davis

    Welcome to the Copperhead bite survivor club, and glad to hear you are OK!

    I joined when I was 60 after a lifetime of being careful in bad snake country in TN, bitten while clearing brush as the copperhead was in a small tree I was cutting down. It bit me 3 times on my left forearm, no insurance, little money, so home treated the bite with colloidal silver, and was down for 3 weeks. Arm was swollen and dark purple, itched like crazy, much worse than a brown recluse bite.

    Now even a mosquito bite on my left arm will make the fang marks re-appear as dark purple splotches, and that’s after 18 months from the initial bite.

    Good business practice on my homestead is to eliminate poisonous snakes as I find them. So far this year 2 copperheads and 1 rattlesnake, all within 35 yards of my home.

  • d

    the Indians used a ‘stomach stone’ found in the stomach of some deer when dressed out. one such stone is on display in the Alamo.
    this stone is used for many different problems… how many? I have only heard of …”use a stone for that.” as a BACKUP TREATMENT to the more usual treatments using herbals.

  • kenneth r schaal

    The bite kit called The Extractor, by Sawyer, would have gotten most of the poison out, and avoided most of the negative effects. Worked on my snake sniffing border collie. ALl the vet did was monitor him overnite.
    ALso great for spider bites and bee stings.
    All the natural remedies are fine, but no replacement for poison removal when possible.

  • Janet

    Very powerful tale of trust and self healing. I related especially to the spiritual process that unfolded. Forty years ago I had a homebirth with my second child that took me to a very similar place via a large black crow sitting outside my window as I labored….I became the crow so to speak…I know you understand this.

  • CHP

    I had no idea there was any treatment outside of a trip to the emergency room! In 2011 I got bitten by a young rattlesnake on the thumb. I live rurally and our small hospital didn’t have enough antivenom on hand for my treatment. I was life-flighted to a larger hospital that had additional antivenom, an retired physician with years of snake bite expertise, and a surgeon capable of lancing my arm should I have needed it. I share this for the simple reason that 41 hours of intensive, emergency care resulted in a bill of over $61,000, which did not include the life flight. We ended up with out of pocket expenses of $8,000, a hefty sum. Having never had experience with such an “exotic” thing as a snake bite, it would have taken a lot of courage for me to have undergone a home remedy. I would have been too afraid of losing my hand or arm! As it is I suffered zero aftereffects, but another bite and the original, widely available antivenom cannot be used twice and what to do then?! A home remedy, I guess, which even after reading this freaks me out!! I admire you, Marjorie!

  • Barbara Dunaway

    Loved your story, or I did until you mentioned raising chickens for food! You if anybody should know you don’t need to kill one single animal to get your protein or al of the nutrition you need to thrive!

  • Toni Dougalss

    Would a poultice of baking soda have worked, or mud?

    • Nance Shaw

      My 35 year old daughter was bitten TWICE by the same copperhead, on the lower leg. We thought it was a scorpion (two marks were not noticed until 15 hours had passed) and applied a baking soda and tobacco compress. She recovered. We also did give her a Benadryl-like to counteract the “sting”. She lived, and never missed a days work, but she used crutches for about 4 weeks.

      It happened on a Friday night.We realized it was a snake (Copperheads are plentiful) on Saturday. Called some old-timers who assured us that so and so had been bit and no problems, etc. The gist of their comments, was if she hadn’t died yet, it wouldn’t kill her.

    • Dreambes, sérieux, tu souilles le nom de Ulver rien qu’en mettant ton casque sur les oreilles pour l’écouter. Tu calcules rien, t’es pas inteligent. Je pige pas comment on peu etre autant limité et écouter du son aussi bon. BrefCe chilhoods end est pour moi une réussite to.ate..l..surtt si on le compare a wars of the rose…

    • Yang penting ibumu bangga to punya anak kamu, aku aja bangga kok dadi dokter gigi pribadimu hahahaha… tosss…,cuma kok cuman ga lulus2 iku rodo bikin mumet juga kali hehehe… namanya ibu Joe kasih sepanjang jaman, wis ojok mewek.. anakku yo ngamuk nek ibune di sentuh… maklumin sajalah Joe…

  • Carla

    Thank you for the information on the prickly pear poultice, Marjory. My dad was a veterinarian and always had antidote on hand because wherever we lived, it was the back of beyond. We learned to be careful and with the rattlesnakes of Arizona and California that was sufficient so that none of us kids ever got bit. When I was in grade school, we moved to West Africa and it was a whole new ball game, snake wise. The mambas weren’t the only poisonous snakes there but they were the most deadly. They were known as “two-stepper” snakes because if one bit you, you only lived long enough to take two steps. For those, you had to carry the anti-venom with you. We were lucky, none of us ever got bit and had to use the anti-venom. Now I’m back living with rattlesnakes but dad is no longer here to provide the anti-venom so I’m very grateful to you for sharing the information on how to deal with snakebite. Because I still live in the back of beyond with the closest medical help being an hour drive away. And I still much prefer to be self-sufficient.

  • Christine

    I think everyone should have an extractor in their home remedy kit. Ground hard wood Charcoal used as a poultice is great for all bites and infections. Also, when using a potato for a poultice, red are best, and must be changed every 20 minutes or the toxins will be recirculated.

  • Rachael

    I’m wondering about activated charcoal. I’ve used that on bee stings and it works great. How do you think it would do on something like this? What might a protocol be? (I’m fairly new to natural living)

    • Heidi

      I don’t know the exact recipe, but yes, activated charcoal works well for snake bites. A friend of mine tells the story of when she was eight years old. She came home to find her dog bitten by a rattlesnake. Her mother, usually the poultice maker, wasn’t home, but she ran inside, made the poultice herself, and the dog recovered quickly. If an eight-year-old can do it, I think the rest of us can learn as well!

    • Call me wind because I am abtlluseoy blown away.

    • Kjempenydelige bilder, og jeg bare elsker den blÃ¥fargen i dem! 🙂 Det skipet her nederst tok jo kaka da! Mange grÃ¥ hus i Aberdeen (jeg vet), men inntil en himmel blÃ¥, du verden sÃ¥ vakkert! 🙂 Uytolig spennende flybilde ogsÃ¥!

    • pls fix up the roads, stop patching them. everybody has been saying this,see how embarrassing bad roads can be.many families have lost they loved ones due to govt negligence,now it is a gov who is a victim.pls belt up always.i guess the adc did not belt up.sad one indeed.this should serve as a lesson to i dont care pple

  • Nella

    I treated our daughter for a copperhead bite when she was six. She had 3 sets of fang marks on her ankle. I made a paste of Adolphs meat tenderizer in a spoon (a lot of it with only a few drops of water, since it is so granular) and covered the bites with it and a bandaid sort of like my grandmother used to do with baking soda for my bee stings. Then I gave her 1000 mg of Vitamin C at that point (about 6:30), again at 8:00, 10:00, and 1:00am when she got up to the bath room. She got up in the morning with no swelling or discomfort of any kind.
    I’ve found that Fred’s has a tenderizer that has papain in it, which I make sure to keep on hand for bites in particular, as I found that Adolph’s no longer has papain but bromelain in it. I worked in a hospital and saw several bites there. They treated them with IV’s only, elevated the limb and watched for excessive swelling to make sure it didn’t cut off circulation below. I read in a book by Adele Davis many years ago, that she worked with a doctor who added Vitamin C in large doses to his IV’s for treatment of snake bite.

  • Pati

    I would have used bentonite clay or any kind of clay to draw out the venom. There is also a homeopathic drawing salve that I keep on hand for poisonous spider bites called Prid. I would put that on the bite itself and cover the whole area with bentonite. I don’t have prickly pear but I always have bentonite and Prid.
    My friend swears by using a freshly cut half an onion to draw out any poisonous attack. I have brown recluse spiders here, and when I was cleaning my garage I had an onion and a knife close by just in case. We wore gloves and we were careful and only encountered a family of opossums living in an abandoned box which we carefully put back with bedding and sunflower seeds.
    If my friend is right about the onion, I bet that would be good for a snake bite.

  • WOW! Words fail me. I hope that what I am attempting to learn will become a tool that I will be able to utilize. Due to multiple sclerosis(MS), my ability to accomplish any tasks can vary drastically and suddenly without the ability to determine how long or to what extent. It took years for the Drs to diagnose. Knocked me out of a budding career as a wildlife biologist; had been accepted into the Peace Corp. It scares me to see my MRI scans as my brain looks similar to ones with Alzheimer’s(yikes!).

    • Evelyn

      I know this is a little old, but have you considered high dose Vit C? I am finding it to be almost a miracle worker…just fyi…blessings…

  • Charlotte Griffiths

    Wow, thank you for sharing this story. We are in our first year of homesteading on a property in the Ozarks of Missouri. I have not shared s pace with copperhead snakes before this (came here from California), but we have them in abundance here. I need to get myself prepared as you suggested. Question: what besides prickly pear would be strong enough for a poultice? We are growing many medicinal herbs, but none of them ready yet. There is much native medicine here in the forest, though. My husband asked if bentonite or other clay would help? Thanks again for every part of this story!

  • r.book

    Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
    John Heinerman wrote in Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs:

    “In experimental animals, if a dose of trypsin followed injection of venom in less than 15 minutes, all animals survived. If the enzyme was injected 50 minutes after the snakebite, at least 50% of animals survived. Since the papain from papaya is superior to trypsin in this respect, it only stands to reason that it should be taken orally when an individual is accidentally bitten by a poisonous snake here in America; such as a rattlesnake or copperhead, for instance. Papaya tablets are available from some health food stores.”

    I will add that they are widely available at Walmart, and should be kept on hand at all times just in case. Since snake venom is toxic in part to large, complex protein molecules, the enzymes should be chewed in very large amounts for a venomous snake bite, not just the one or two at a time recommended on the bottle.

  • Bertski

    You’re tough! Level headed too it seems. I’ve seen pictures of snakebite turning blue, purple and swelling.
    I had a pup cut me off before crossing a bottom, at night and got tagged. Which would have been me. He swoll up 2-3 times his size. Being wet, I’d say it was a cotton mouth. A snake that is aggressive, mean. See another walk straight into a settler and he still up huge too.
    Which I think it’s be good to have some Indian remedies in the medicine bag.
    One question in is why didn’t you go to the hospital? Where they can get antivenom if they don’t have it and they can also manage pain and other issues as they arise.
    Granted there hasn’t always been hospitals to go to, where many did well before having access and before they became somewhat affordable, but taking a chance on possibly losing a foot or a leg is risky business.
    Glad to see you pulled through it.
    There’s one site talks about marshmallow roots to make real marshmallows but goes into to tell of using it for gangrene. Yet it has other uses to as passing stones.
    Congrats again, but why didn’t you get medical treatment? Or is I that comfortable with what you know?
    Best Regards

  • Alison

    I live in Australia. We have a LOT of deadly snakes here, some of which frequent the back of my property. Would the same poultice work in that situation if it was absolutely necessary. I say if it was absolutely necessary as I don’t have the same skills etc that you do and would likely choose hospital if it were an option.

  • Elaine

    I am so happy to have run across your article, I was bitten by what I thought was a spider and know I am allergic to spider venom, that was not a fun discovery! But I stepped out of bed to use the bathroom and thought I had stepped on a stone, it hurt pretty bad and there was a small area of blood on the bottom of my foot. Knowing I was allergic to spider venom took 2 benadryl and used 2 of my essential oil formulas with some extra frankincense, and went back to bed, the next morning it was hurting really bad and festering so started using the ESO’s neat and used the dressings I had special from when I had MRSA, they had a gel on them that breaks down the outer shell of bacteria and other organisms and it leaves them needing to cling to something and the special mesh acts like a magnet, so kept my feet oiled and the dressing changed for several days. I have multiple issues my body doesnt illicit an immune response, along with liver, kidney and thyroid damage(from pharmaceuticals 🙁 ). A couple weeks have passed and it still hurts, I have seen several specialists that monitor me but always forgot to mention that I had a spider bite. I went yesterday and showed one of my doctors and she said its not a spider bite its a snake bite, and showed me where the lower teeth were(we have tons of copperheads around, my service dog was bit 3 weeks ago). She said considering my body doesnt fight infections even with potent antibiotics there was no sign of infection and to keep doing what I have been it will take about 8+ weeks for me to recover from it. But since my dog was bit have had this feeling there were some in the house which has had me on edge, so make a lot of noise when I am moving around and can occasionally smell them. I am fighting other infections right now and have been forcing myself to eat home made soup and yogurt for the added protein, this snake bite has set me back and have slept very deeply for nearly the 2 weeks. PS On the tomatoes, my absolute favorite is Jet Star they are indeterminate, but are hybrids so you dont know what you get if you save seeds. They are a beefsteak so they have good flesh and get so big I cut a slice out of the center about an inch thick and it hangs over the bread all the way around and the taste is amazing. They also ripen a little at a time so if you do 2 plantings you have tomatoes all season! But Thank you for sharing your story, and remember always wear your shoes to the garden!!!! My mom was never able to train me to wear shoes, or gloves or hats…but we live in TN now so dont go out without shoes…to many bitey things! I will have to get some of the cactus you spoke of, they do grow here, you are awesome! Another BTW I have made up my own recipe and cooking of yogurt I can post that in the appropriate spot if you tell me where!

  • Judy cole

    What an experience! I used prickly pear cactus to get over trigger finger. My son lives in Florida and grows a few varieties so when visiting, I made a tea first then wore cotton gloves and peeled the cactus and put the pieces in thr glove around my finger. It was very gooey but my finger was inflamed and in about tro weeks the heat, pain was gone and it is back to normal, useable and no operation. Judy

  • Elaine

    Judy. where can I buy the prickly pears? It sounds like its as useful as aloe! I am working on building a medicinal herb bed in part of my garden, along with dried flowers, gotta have the pretty to go with it! Is there a place to post recipes I have many I want to share, if you could post the link that would be awesome!

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