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Thread: Cobra Wine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Under the old oak tree

    Cobra Wine

    I recently saw a small bottle of liquor with what appeared to be a baby Cobra and some gou qi zi ('goji berries'). I've heard of snake wine but never with a cobra. Does anybody know what this is all about? Is it just for decoration or is there some hidden remedy in that glass bottle?


    herb ox

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Destin, FL
    Herb Ox,
    Sorry if this response comes in late...better late than never, eh? =)

    Ill try to keep it short and spare you the Herpetological details of the discussion. The short(est) and sweet(est) I can do:

    Generally speaking, theres are 2 glaring traditional factors I can think of that one would use a snake (any snake) in wine:
    - They shed; from traditional perspective, this can be seen as having an ability to regenerate the exterior quickly.
    - Flexibility; no doubt seen as a method of controlling, tightness and things like arthritis in the body.
    - There are other factors but these things are less important, IMO.

    A bit more specific:
    - A third one springs out for venomous varieties, and that is of venom of course: Venom has many many medicinal uses; relieve convulsions, anticoagulant, relaxant properties, channel opening, etc etc etc. The lsit goes on and on and whole lives of work are done on venom.

    Most Specific:
    - Cobras are elapids, which is the same family as that of the commonly accepted Bai Hua She (I say commonly accepted because while the presently used bai hua she species is a Krait, most people actually know it as a Viper, which is NOT what is presently used and accepted as of today). So while there are some obvious reasons right there for using a cobra in wine, it is kind of odd because Cobra venom is not particularly potent. Perhaps it was simply easier for them to obtain a Cobra than a Bungarus Krait?

    Lastly, are you sure it was a cobra, and not just a false cobra, or a rat or hog-nosed snake, or a number of other snakes that mimic cobras as one form of natural defense?

    Regardless, interesting story, thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    This is one of those 'only in China' stories

    Originally published Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 1:54 PM
    Chinese officials say loose cobras caught, but leave wiggle room
    By Tom Lasseter

    XIANLING VILLAGE, China — Businessman Cai Yong thought it would be a good idea to buy 3,000 cobra eggs and hatch the snakes at an abandoned school building in homemade cages of plywood, brick and netting.

    It wasn't.

    Cai's plan to make money by selling cobra venom for traditional Chinese medicine fell apart when more than 160 serpents slithered through a hole in the wall and threw the remote village of Xianling into bedlam. Starting at the beginning of this month, cobras were seen in outhouse toilets, kitchens, front yards and the mah-jongg parlor in this speck of a farming community in southwest China.

    "I saw one in the bathroom," said Zhang Suli, 47, the wife of a local corn and rice farmer. "I was scared, and I started screaming."

    State media described Zhang pulling up her pants as she ran away from the toilet, but she made no mention of her state of dress during a recent interview.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival holiday last week, when Chinese celebrate the season's harvest moon, wasn't an auspicious one for the residents of Xianling.

    First, there was the cobras-gone-wild story, which veered between slapstick and terror. Then an apparent government clampdown followed, in which officials declared that most of the snakes had been captured and all was well, assertions many locals didn't believe.

    Perhaps more than anything, the episode is a reminder that no problem or locale is too remote for the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to enforce its notion of a "harmonious society" in which there's no social upset. Even when it comes to cobras in the bathroom.

    Walking up a path that led to the village amid small rice fields and rolling hills, Guan Xinyu paused to say local officials were more interested in clamping down on any sign of trouble than in rounding up the snakes. Like several others interviewed in the area, Guan said that while the 1,500-plus cobras that didn't escape were hauled off, he hadn't seen anyone trying to catch the ones that got away.

    "The government is scared of people panicking because these snakes are dangerous," said Guan, 64, who does construction work in the city of Chongqing, a little less than 50 miles to the north. "I know they didn't catch all the snakes."

    Officials recently delivered snakebite serum to the village, though only the breeder has been hurt so far, and given lectures about cobras. The government of Shijiao issued a notice last week detailing how the snakes got loose and telling residents that almost all of them had been caught. A government-run newspaper in Chongqing carried a story with the same message.

    All of which left Wei Yuanxiang with one pressing question: "The government says there aren't any cobras left, so why are people still seeing them?"

    Wei, 56, a corn and pig farmer, unfolded a government statement that said that of 160 escaped snakes, 159 had been captured and one was killed. It also said, without explanation, that a few might still be loose.

    "The government just wants to get this matter finished," he said.

    Wei's neighbor, Luo Lizhong, said he saw a cobra last Saturday, several days after the village was given the all clear. Pointing at a spade leaning against the wall — everyone in the area seems to have one at the ready these days — Luo said he slapped it on the ground when he saw the snake darting across his tool shed.

    "When we go out at night we have to be careful," said Luo, 58, a rice and corn farmer.

    Reached by phone, the man behind all the trouble acknowledged he didn't have a license to raise the cobras. Cai, 42, a farmer and businessman, said he got the idea to buy the eggs in August after he saw a program on TV and read a few articles about high demand for cobra venom in the traditional-medicine community.

    "I didn't take effective measures to keep them from escaping," said Cai, who has been bitten three times by the cobras.

    He knows villagers have reported multiple cobra sightings lately, but he insisted those weren't his snakes.

    Besides, Cai said, the government has told villagers all they need to know. "They educated people about keeping their lights on," he said, "and told them not to go out at night to avoid being bitten."
    I'm surprised those Xianling villagers didn't run Cai Yong's stupid arse out of town. What a colossal mistake.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Southern California
    Why isn't viper venom used?
    It is bias to think that the art of war is just for killing people. It is not to kill people, it is to kill evil. It is a strategem to give life to many people by killing the evil of one person.
    - Yagyū Munenori

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Many-banded Krait wine?

    Chinese woman in coma after being bitten by deadly snake she bought online
    The 21-year-old is believed to have decided to keep the venomous many-banded krait as a pet
    PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2018, 4:11pm
    UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2018, 9:36pm
    He Huifeng

    A 21-year-old woman is in a coma and on life support in a hospital in northwest China after she was bitten by a highly venomous snake she is thought to have bought online, local media reported on Thursday.

    The woman, identified only by the pseudonym Xiaofang, was bitten on her finger at her home in Weinan city in Shaanxi province on Monday, according to China Business Report.

    The report suggested the woman had been keeping the many-banded krait, a species found in much of China and Southeast Asia – including Hong Kong where the government warns it is “lethal” – as a pet.

    The woman’s parents were quoted as saying their daughter had called for help after being bitten and she reported feeling dizzy and nauseous about an hour later.

    They took her to a local hospital but she soon lapsed into a coma.

    The hospital did not have any supplies of antivenin to treat bites from the many-banded krait, which has the scientific name Bungarus multicinctus, because the species is not common in the region. This meant she was not given a shot of the antidote until the following evening.

    On Tuesday the woman’s parents reported to police that the snake was missing and later that day a dead snake – subsequently confirmed to be a many-banded krait – was found a short distance from the family’s home.

    Xiaofang’s family said chat logs from her phone suggested she had bought the snake via an online shopping platform, but did not have any further information about the seller or how she had taken delivery of the snake.

    Many-banded kraits are on a list of protected rare and endangered species in China, and it is illegal to hurt or sell them.

    However with so little information to go on – even the name of the platform used to buy the snake remains unknown – there is little the police can do at present.

    Records indicated that the seller had informed Xiaofang that the creature was venomous, the report said.

    Although Xiaofang told the seller she planned to use it to make “snake wine”, a traditional Chinese medicine made by leaving the animals to ferment in alcohol, her parents said she apparently had second thoughts and had been keeping the animal as a pet.
    Cobra Wine
    TCM Fails
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    A year? No way...

    Chinese man bitten by venomous snake he thought was dead inside a wine bottle he bought for his son
    Bryan Ke
    2 days ago

    Representational purpose only. Image: Jacek Karczmarczyk/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

    A Chinese father from Heilongjiang Province, China, was reportedly rushed to the hospital after a venomous snake, which he thought to be dead inside a jar of snake wine, bit him.

    The father claimed to have bought three jars of snake wine a year ago to cure his son, who has been suffering from a chronic illness.

    He purportedly let the snakes marinate for a year before deciding to administer the traditional Chinese medicine to his son.

    All of the snakes were reportedly still alive, and after one of them attacked him, he was treated immediately and managed to survive the incident.

    A Chinese father had the shock of his life when a supposedly dead snake inside a jar of snake wine he bought a year ago suddenly bit him.

    The man from Heilongjiang Province, China, reportedly bought three jars of snake wine, believing that the drink could help cure his son, who has been suffering from a chronic illness. Instead of opening the jars, the father purportedly left them untouched for a year so that they could have “enough medicinal properties.”

    After the year-long marination, the man claims he decided to finally open the jars and administer the traditional Chinese medicine, only to find that all three of the venomous snakes “came back to life” before one of them bit him.

    After being rushed to the hospital, he was treated immediately and reportedly survived the incident.

    Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that snake wine contains several health benefits and can even be a cure for rheumatism, arthritis and the flu. The drink is often prepared by fitting a snake inside a jar of alcohol, usually rice wine, and leaving it there to marinate for months.

    Some experts said that what happened to the father was not entirely strange since snakes can supposedly live inside a jar of alcohol for 12 months without dying, especially if the lid is left slightly open for air to enter.

    However, herpetologist Wolfgang Wüster argued that what happened was “biologically impossible.”

    “No snake can survive submerged in any kind of liquid in a bottle for more than an hour or so as a maximum,” Wüster told Newsweek. “Snakes have no magical powers, they are made of flesh and bone like any other animal, and require food, water and oxygen to survive.”

    Some snake species are able to enter a state of brumation, which is similar to hibernation for reptiles, when certain conditions are met, such as very low temperatures. During brumation, they require less oxygen and their metabolism slows.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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