Health Benefits of Snake Wine – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Snake wine (Chinese Pinyin: She Jiu, Simplified Chinese: 蛇酒), is a medicated wine made by soaking whole snakes or snake organs (such as snake biles) as well as some herbs and/or insects in rice wine or white spirit (also known as Bai Jiu or Chinese liquor, it is a traditional fermented alcoholic drink). The written history of snake wine can be dated back to the Shennong Ben Cao Jing in the Chinese Western Zhou dynasty (CA. 1040–770 BC). Snake wine is now mainly consumed in China, Vietnam and across Southeast Asia, it is often used as blood circulation promoter, carminative, expectorant, dampness-dispelling drug, tonic and antispasmodic in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, impotence and epilepsy.

2. Odour, Properties And Channels:

Most versions of snake wine are considered to have pungent, sweet and warm properties and to be associated with the liver and kidney meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Snake Wine & Medical Formulas:

3.1 Rheumatoid Arthritis

Snake wine has the effects of tendons relaxing and collaterals activating as well as pain relieving, especially it can significantly reduce the joint swelling and pain related to rheumatoid arthritis. According to Dr. Naftali Primor, R&D manager for Shulov Institute for Sciences Ltd (SIS), chemicals found in deadly viper venom can help relieve the pain of arthritis sufferers ( 2006).

3.2 Impotence And Sexual Performance

Snake wine tonic does not act like an aphrodisiac which make people want to have sex, it nourishes the kidney, promotes vitality and sexual energy. Therefore, it will take time to treat impotence by drinking snake wine.

4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:

Administration with caution for pregnant women, infant and children.

List of reference 2006 Relieving the pain of arthritis with snake venom [online] link:

The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

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