Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by placing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink used in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and considered an important curative and believed to reinvigorate a person according to Traditional Chinese medicine.


  • Steeped: A large venomous snake can be placed into a glass jar of alcoholic beverage, sometimes with smaller snakes and medicinal herbs and left to steep for many months. The alcoholic beverage is drunk as a restorative treatment in small shots or cups.
  • Mixed: Body fluids of snake are mixed into awine and consumed immediately in the form of a shot. Snake blood tonic is prepared by slicing a snake along its belly and draining its blood directly into the drinking vessel filled with rice wine or grain alcohol. Snake bile tonic is done through a similar method by using the contents of the gall bladder.
snake as medicine

Medicinal Uses:

  • Snake oil especially when it is made from the Chinese water snake contains high levels of certain essential fatty acids that have been shown to reduce inflammation; Chinese used it as a topical treatment for joint pain. It’s commonly found in pharmacies throughout China. You can also find rattlesnake oil in the US but it tends to have only about a third of the fatty acids Chinese snake oil contains.
  • Snake oil is also believed to cause the growth of hair in bald men.
  • Snakes wine is believed to cure everything from farsightedness to hair loss, as well as to increase sexual performance.
  • Snake bile is used for whooping cough, rheumatic pain, high fever, infantile convulsion, hemiplegia, hemorrhoids, gum bleeding, and skin infections.
  • Sloughed snake skin. The fact that snakes shed their skin has suggested that they have a regenerative quality for treating chronic skin problems. As a result, snake skin and whole snake are used in the treatment of skin diseases. Acne, carbuncles, itching skin, and psoriasis are examples of conditions that may respond to snake skin. The slough is usually roasted and then used both internally and topically.
  • Snake skin is also considered useful in reducing clouding (nebula) of the cornea, the “skin” of the eyes.
  • Snake venom is also sometimes used as medicine; recent research has shown that snake venom may have value in treating cardiovascular diseases.

Things to know about Snake:

  • What Should I Do if I See a Snake? Leave the snake alone. The snake is much more afraid of you than you are of it (in most cases). The snake will go away if left alone. In fact, most people are bitten by snakes when they try to kill it or get a better look at it.
  • What are the Benefits of Snakes? Snakes eat rodents (mice, rats, etc.) and insects, which can carry harmful diseases that can cause illness, or, in some cases, death.
  • Are All Snakes Poisonous? No. In the United States, there are only 4 species of venomous snakes (copperhead, cottonmouth, rattlesnake, and coral snake), all of which are found in Texas. In Texas, there are over 100 species of non-venomous snakes.

Reminder: Always seek the advice to an expert when using Snake as an alternative treatment.