A Photographic History
Snake Oil, Potions, Elixirs, and Kits
Charles F. Smith
Gordon W. Schuett
Introduction by Kimberly M. Wyatt and William K. Hayes
Foreword by Sir David Warrell
Bewilderment. Fear. Panic. Throughout the existence of humans, few events have conjured more dread and terror than the experience of a venomous snakebite. The earliest records of treatments were described in Hebrew Scriptures dating to the 14th–12th centuries BCE. The ancient Egyptians described remedies in the Brooklyn Papyrus of the 4th or 5th century BCE. From shamans and priests casting lengthy spells — calling upon the gods and other supernatural entities to intervene — to drinking fermented beverages along with plant and animal parts as an emetic, or cutting the bite area with sucking or bloodletting, these remedies often proved worse than the envenomation for the victim.
Through a rich series of photographs and text, this new publication titled A Photographic History of Snakebite Treatment. Snake Oil, Potions, Elixirs and Kits, chronicles the history of snakebite treatment, from the approach we call “kill ‘em or cure ‘em” to the era of modern medicine involving antivenom. Beyond clinicians, health care providers and other professionals, this eclectic book by Ashley, Smith and Schuett should have wide appeal to anyone curious about snakebite treatments over the millennia.