Angina Rub Could Keep You Alive After Being Fanged by a Cobra

Illustration for article titled Angina Rub Could Keep You Alive After Being Fanged by a Cobra

If you find yourself in a Samuel L. Jackson movie involving airplanes but not sharks or Royales with Cheese, good news! You'll only really need to avoid the Pythons and Boas— so long as you have some Nitric oxide lotion on you.


The rub was originally developed to help with angina, chest pains caused by the heart not getting enough blood, but scientists from the University of Newcastle in Australia found that Nitric oxide paste also slows the lyphatic stystem. Since many snake venoms, like those found in the deadly Eastern Brown, are too big to fit through capillaries they travel through the lymphatic system instead. By slowing the flow of lymph, the flow of the venom can be slowed as well— giving snake bite victims as much as an extra half hour to reach help when using the cream.

It should be noted that this innovation does not work on all snake bites. The venom of the super-deadly Black Mamba, for example, is small enough to fit through blood vessels, so you're still super-screwed on that one. Or if you get bitten in the face like this guy— How did the snake even get up there? Jump? [Science News for Kids - Top art courtesy The Sun UK, Harry Short]



Hey, what's-a matter you? You crazy wizard boy, you chasing away my business-a.

Buzz off!

Nagini, go for the face!