This is a natural product that once belonged to the low-priced, low-profit category of natural remedies; if for no other reason because it could not be patented so that the price could be manipulated. It is also one of those traditional remedies that worked, but the explanation given for how it worked seemed incredulous. Thankfully, it is scientifically confirmed that snake oil is natural and therapeutic. It can be used undiluted, or added to base oils for effective massage treatments.
• Competition – snake oil, which was sold on the basis of its healing success, suffered from smear campaigns from the pharmaceutical companies which sold patented medicines. Incentives to use drugs, gifts, trips, etc. are part of the presentation made by the drug companies’ detail people when they advertise to druggists and doctors, who in turn prescribe these drugs with their acceptable side effects in order to capitalise on the promises made.
• Coming to America – True, the Native Indians used the fat of snakes, but China is named as the original locale for snake oil. There it was used to alleviate inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, and similar conditions. Chinese labourers who were building the railroad tracks to link North America from coast to coast during the 1800’s gave it to Europeans with joint pain. When rubbed on the skin above the pain, snake oil brought relief.
• Analysis – during the 1980’s a nutrition-oriented doctor from California decided to look into the components of snake oil and found that it contained:
*Camphor – relieves congested respiratory system, soothes inflammation, muscles aches and pains, and sprains.
*75% unidentified carrier material
*20% important omega 3 derivative EPA – components of the phospholipids that form the structures of cell membranes, and promotes healthy the retina, brain, and sperm.
*48% myristic acid – helpful in anti-aging, fat metabolism and weight loss along with improving brain and nerve quality.
*10% stearic acid – associated with reduced blood pressure, improved heart function, and reduced cancer risk.
*14% oleic acid – inhibits pain, essential for nerve repair, and helps the immune system to function more effectively.
*7% linoleic acids – help fluid balance in cells, and reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
• Prostaglandins – Chinese water snake is the richest known source (more than salmon of the parent of series 3 prostaglandins, which inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory series 2 prostaglandins. Like essential fatty acids, they can be absorbed through our skin.